A Ball State University freshman won free tuition for his spring semester after sinking an incredible half-court shot.
Markus Burden was randomly selected from the crowd at a Welcome Week event last Thursday. The 18-year-old failed to make the shot in his first three attempts. Burden said he used the wrong technique with the first two shots.
“My dad told me, ‘Don’t ever try to shoot a half-court shot; try to throw it,'” Burden said. “On the first two, I tried my dad’s strategy. (Then) I kind of disobeyed it.”
On the third shot, Burden tried a different technique, and then finally succeeded on the fourth.
“It was just indescribable,” Burden said. “My body erupted. I just had to start moving. I had to start running around, high-fiving people.” Ball State’s mascot, Charlie Cardinal, joined Burden in running around the court as the crowd cheered loudly.
Burden, a marketing major, said he had made half-court shots before, but never in a contest setting, and never in front of so many people.
In a statement, Ball State said it has been sponsoring the half-court contest for several years, but Markus Burden is the first student to make the shot and win the prize. Out-of-state tuition for the Frankfort, Illinois, native is valued at $11,084.
Burden’s mother didn’t believe him when he told her he’d won free tuition until a friend sent her a picture.
“It just gives us a lot of breathing room right now,” he said.
The half-court shot has also made Burden an instant celebrity on campus, even though he’s only been at the school for less than a week. Burden said other students walk up to him saying, “Is that half-court shot guy? Are you the one that made the shot?”
In February, a Notre Dame senior won $18,000 after sinking a half-court shot during a basketball game. Casey Murdock took only two shots to become one of only three people to make the shot.
What do you think of Markus Burden’s free tuition half-court shot?