Ball State Freshman Half-Court Shot Earns Him Free Tuition (Video)

Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 09:05 AM

By Megan Anderle

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A freshman at Ball State University had a weighty challenge on Thursday night – sink a half-court shot and win a semester of free tuition – and as it turns out, the young man won't be shelling out thousands of dollars this year.

Markus Burden, who never played basketball in high school, was randomly selected from a crowd at a freshman Welcome Week event in in Frankfort, Ill. After three failed shots, Burden showed up the college players by sinking the ball with impeccable form, 47 feet from the net. It was his very first day of school.

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The Ball State freshman's half-court shot saved his parents $11,084 in out-of-state tuition for a semester, according to

The crowd erupted in cheers; mascot Charlie Cardinal spun around the court. Burden took a triumphant victory run down the court while fist-pumping.

“It was an overwhelming feeling,” Burden, 18, said.

Burden hit the basketball court occasionally with friends, who would occasionally mess around with trick shots. And that experience paid off, evidently.

Burden knew his mom would be elated at the news, but when he called her – almost in tears – she didn't believe him. A friend had to send her photographic proof for her to know she would be saving a pretty penny.

“It just gives us a lot of breathing room right now,” he told

“God is good,” Malinda Burden wrote Friday on her Facebook page, with a link to the video of her son’s money-saving shot.

Burden has become a local celebrity on his new campus; now other students on campus walking up to him, asking: “Is that half-court shot guy? Are you the one that made the shot?”

Ball State's men's team went 15-15 last season and fired six-year coach Billy Taylor. The team shot only 32.7 percent from behind the arc and has made the NCAA tournament only once in 18 years. It might not hurt to give Burden a shot.

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