Matt Hasselbeck will get to wear his traditional number 8 when he joins the Colts, yet he is not the true winner of the debate for number 8 in Indianapolis. Rather, that honor would belong to Norwell (In.) High.
The story behind that benefit revolves around a unique basketball trick shot contest and a bet between two new teammates, all with the best intentions.
As first disseminated by the two athletes themselves on Twitter, Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish, the existing Colts number 8, decided to have a competition to determine who would get to wear number 8 during the 2013 season.
Eventually, the pair agreed on a single test: A halfcourt shot from Harnish. If the existing number 8 connected on the deep effort, he would agree to give up his jersey number to Hasselbeck in exchange for an $8,000 donation to the charity of Harnish’s choice.
Harnish lined up the shot, connected, and immediately selected the recipient for his $8,000: A scholarship program at Norwell, his alma mater.
Specifically, Harnish gave the money to the Norwell High School Dollars for Scholars campaign, and gave the funds in honor of Heath Bumgarner, a Norwell High student who passed away in March.
The video depicting the entire challenge is fantastic, as one might imagine of a one-shot contest for $8,000 and the rights to a jersey number. As soon as Harnish hits the shot, he, Hasselbeck and everyone else in the general vicinity explodes with excitement.
Naturally, the entire episode is a terrific statement for the Colts, Hasselbeck and Harnish, not to mention anyone who has dreamed of solving a dilemma since that first Larry Bird-Michael Jordan McDonald’s commercial.