Half-court shot earns Ball State freshman free tuition for a semester

Jeff Eisenberg

Markus Burden could not have dreamed up a better way to start to his time as a college student.

On the first day of his freshman year at Ball State, Burden sank a half-court shot to win a semester of free tuition.

Burden was randomly chosen from the crowd on Thursday to shoot from mid-court during a Welcome Week event for freshmen at Ball State. He pumped his fist and ran around the court and his peers erupted with cheers after he sank the shot, a fitting celebration considering a semester at Ball State costs more than $11,000 for an out-of-state student.

Even though Burden told the Lafayette Journal and Courier he didn't play basketball in high school, Ball State coach James Whitford still might want to save a spot on the 2013-14 roster for him.

Ball State went 15-15 last season, shot only 32.7 percent from behind the arc and has made the NCAA tournament only once in 18 years. How much could it hurt to give the luckiest 18-year-old on campus a tryout?