UPDATE: $20,000 OKC Thunder half-court shot winner gets to keep prize
UPDATE: 12/10/2013 After much confusion, the NAIA has now ruled Cameron Rodriguez can keep the $20,000 he won after making a half-court shot at an OKC Thunder game back in November.
Representatives from Southwestern College say the funds will be used as a scholarship for Rodriguez.
It was not known if he would be able to accept the money because he plays basketball for Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, on scholarship.
OKLAHOMA CITY – It was a shot worth $20, 000.
An Oklahoma City Thunder fan made it from half-court back on Nov. 18, but he still doesn’t have the money.
In fact, he may never get the money.
Cameron Rodriguez is not only a Thunder fan, he’s a basketball player for Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan.
It’s against NAIA rules for him to get paid to play basketball.
Thunder officials say there have been 231 half court shots.
Of those, eight people have won the $20,000.
Two of those have been this year.
One is now surrounded by controversy.
Cameron is a basketball player for a small college in Kansas, so he can’t be paid to play basketball.
Cameron said, “That experience for me, it’s hard to explain. It was just unreal.”
We spoke with Cameron via Skype from his dorm room.
He said, “Just experiencing that, a taste of what Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook get every night, it’s kind of cool.”
Thunder officials say they randomly pick people at every home game to compete for a chance to make the half court shot.
Dan Mahoney, spokesperson for the OKC Thunder, said, “Our entertainment crews walk the building ahead of time randomly looking for people, but looking for people that look like they have a reasonable shot at making it.”
There are very few rules, mainly that you’re over 18 and not wearing high heels.
Mahoney said, “We’ve since adapted the rules to say you can’t be a scholarship athlete, you can’t be a high school basketball player.”
Cameron just happened to look like he had a good shot.
Now he waits, hoping to get the money but knowing it may not happen.
Cameron said, “I’d probably be fine without the money. I think there’s things more important. I think God has a plan.”
Cameron and his coaches contacted the NAIA immediately.
He is still waiting to find out if he can accept the cash or take it as a scholarship.
Although, it is possible that he will have to forfeit the prize all together.
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