Pretty much every basketball team, from college to the pros, hosts some kind of fan shooting contest, with the most popular being one shot from halfcourt for some sort of prize. That prize can vary wildly, from $100,000 if you happen to be chosen to do so at a Lakers game to $1,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets at a Knicks game to far lesser prizes at smaller colleges.
Some places get more creative and give the fan a certain amount of time to try and make a shot from different areas of the floor, backing up to an eventual halfcourt shot for big money, but at Montana State, the halfcourt shot is not the final boss. The Bobcats will give fans $1 for a layup, $10 for a free throw, $100 for a three-pointer, $1,000 for a halfcourt shot, and then $10,000 if they can make a fullcourt heave — which is highly unlikely.
Unlikely isn’t impossible, however, as they learned when Joe Thompson managed to rack up $11,111 after he made shots from all five levels, culminating in a wild, one-handed, fullcourt heave as seconds ticked away on his time limit to complete the challenge, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
As someone who once hit nine free throws in 30 seconds at a Georgia State basketball game for free burritos from Willy’s, I have to say that this is an elite fan shooting competition. I have to assume this is the first time it’s every paid out in full, as not only do you have to make a fullcourt shot, but you have to make a three and halfcourt shot before that in the time allotted in order to even get that opportunity.
Kudos to Thompson, who goes to the cameras and flashes “24” with his fingers and then tapping his heart and pointing to the sky, presumably for Kobe Bryant. His form on the fullcourt heave was pretty excellent, as he wound up and chucked the ball with rather alarming accuracy, even on the first miss, before dialing in the range and catching nothing but net to earn a big payday.