By Ed Odeven

True story. Spring semester 1994 at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. I’m taking media studies and general elective classes and also reporting on the college’s Aztecs sports teams for the student newspaper, Aztec Press.

On a Friday night, in early February, if my memory is correct, the Aztec cheerleaders walked around the sparsely crowded gym trying to get people to buy raffle tickets for a halftime half-court shooting contest. It was a split-the-pot raffle, meaning half the money would go to a successful shooter, the other half to the cheerleaders’ fundraising efforts.

That particular night, I’m sitting in the wooden bleachers, taking notes on the Aztecs women’s and men’s basketball team doubleheader.

I also bought a raffle during the women’s game. At halftime, my ticket number matched one of three or four that were called out.

The other shooters missed their long attempts. I took a few dribbles and fired up a shot. It banked off the backboard. And went in.

I was stunned, excited, thrilled.

And $7.50 richer.

The other half of the loot went to the cheerleaders.

And hey, I had a few bucks to put gas in my VW Bug. And a story to smile about many years later…

This week, I was reminded of my lucky halfcourt shot the other day when a guy named Tim Boven sank a halfcourt shot and won a cool $77,777 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. Good for him.