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What exactly is happening with Oklahoma City Thunder fans and half-court shots?

I normally try not to do two sports posts within a few of each other, because I like to keep this here blog diverse, but this is almost too good to pass up. Last night, at the Thunder-Clippers game, a 33 year-old HS teacher banked a half-court shot during halftime and won $20K. He also got to give some dap to Jay-Z and Beyonce, as you can see above; yes, Jay-Z and Beyonce were in Oklahoma, but don’t get your coastal elitism flares up just yet. Kevin Durant plays for OKC, and that’s a client/potential client of Hova.

OK, so some guy hit a half-court shot at a Thunder game. Big whoop. Actually, ’tis. It’s the fifth half-court shot hit in the last 22 Thunder home games. In fact, there was one hit earlier this week. 

That was from Monday night’s win against the Nuggets; Cameron Rodriguez was that guy’s name, and he nailed it too (although Jay-Z was not present for that one).

Last season, two were hit in March and one was hit during the playoffs in April.

I believe this was the first one of the five-in-22 series; there could be a major karma aspect here, because apparently this shooter — Heath — used the $20K to pay for his wife’s cancer treatments, in part.

Here’s the second one from March 2013; Justin Doughtery hit this one:

That was Doughtery’s first NBA game; the tickets were a gift from his girlfriend. He also got a bear hug from Kevin Durant after nailing that shot.

And here’s Larry Hill, who hit a half-courter in the playoffs last year:

Hill is a counselor at an elementary school, and Russell Westbrook, among others, claimed that his sinking of that shot helped motivate them to a 120-91 win in Game 1 of their series with the Rockets (which they eventually won overall, too).

So, if you’re scoring at home:

Phrased another way:

MidFirst, the bank that sponsors these shots, has now paid out $100K since early March 2013. That’s uninsured money, but MidFirst has no plans to stop the promotion. Some are joking about it …

… but in reality, it’s fine. And oh, the CEO of MidFirst — G. Jeffrey Records — is also a part owner of the Thunder.

On the court, the Thunder are 8-3 and second in the Northwest (to the oddly 10-2 Trailblazers, which is something I need to write about eventually on here). I was about to do one of those “If the playoffs ended today…” things, but then I realized 11/82 isn’t even 20 percent, so eff that. They’re a good team and could win the West if healthy. Their fans are apparently ballers. In fact, even the pros almost always miss it that jack-up. And in case you were wondering — because I know you were — the longest connected shot in NBA history seems to be this Baron Davis heave from February 2001:

Ted Bauer

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