College student makes half-court shot, won’t receive $10k prize

Jack Lavery, a freshman at West Chester University, about 45 minutes west of Philadelphia, made a series of impressive shots during a Rams basketball game Saturday, but he won’t be collecting the $10,000 prize.

Lavery’s goal was to make four shots in 25 seconds: a layup, a free throw, a 3-pointer and a half-court shot.

He made them all just before the buzzer sounded and the crowd went wild after seeing someone finally complete the popular home game halftime feat.

But West Chester University officials ruled that Lavery was ineligible for the $10,000 prize because it took him two tries to make the halfcourt shot.

The contest is run through a third-party named Odds On Promotions — a company that insures the school for these particular types of challenges.

Therefore, it’s not West Chester University that decides when and how to pay out the winners.

“This is really tough for me honestly. After all that celebration, they told me I’m not going to get it. I feel a little hurt,” the 18-year-old finance major said. “No one from West Chester has even reached out to me yet.”

Lavery, who was randomly selected to participate in the halftime challenge, had to sign a contract prior to taking the court.

West Chester’s athletic director, Edward Matejkovic, told a local television station that a copy of the contract would be made available to the public.

Lavery’s father, Bill, who offered to match the $10,000 prize for his son says he plans to challenge the school on the wording of the contract.

“We are hopeful that the university will award him with $10,000 for his unbelievable feat like they promised,” he said. “We kind of feel a little let down. They made him believe he won after the shot. It’s kind of frustrating.”

UPDATE (8:31 p.m.): Philadelphia-area ABC affiliate Action News obtained a copy of the contract that Lavery signed prior to participating in the contest.

According to them, the rules Lavery signed off on are as follows:

“I shall have as many opportunities as necessary at each of the first three (3) locations to make a shot; however, no more than ONE (1) attempt may be made at the HALF COURT shot, provided that there is still time left on the shot clock.”

That means that the school is not legally obligated to pay out the $10,000 because he scored on his second halfcourt shot attempt and therefore was not eligible to win the money.

Additionally, the contract reportedly states that anyone who played basketball in high school would be ineligible to collect the prize money.

Lavery played at Hatboro-Horsham High School (Pa.), making him ineligible under this particular section of the rules as well.

Written by Joey Sinatra

Joey Sinatra

Joey Sinatra is a co-founder of Joey is a boxing and basketball journalist who attends USI as a post graduate. Joey grew up in the New Rochelle Area of the greater New York City area, and is a cousin of the famous singer, Frank Sinatra. Joey also writes for the Boxing Globe.

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