Anybody who's ever been on a half-empty basketball court has hurled up a half-court while the announcer in their head intones, "This is for a million dollars ... " Maybe the ball hits the rim, maybe the backboard, but no matter what, we'd like to believe we'd do better than this:
That's a fellow named Scott Park at halftime of the Notre Dame-Duke semifinal ACC Tournament game, and he really did have a chance to win a million dollars. He came up way, way, WAY short, and oh, did the Internet laugh.
Guess what? We should all be ashamed of ourselves.
The Sporting News brings us the story of Mr. Park, who had no illusions that he'd be able to hit the shot. He's just happy to be around to even attempt it.
Park, now 56, underwent open-heart surgery in 2007. Shortly afterward, his body began breaking down; five organs shut down. The prognosis was so dire that doctors prepared his wife Ellen to say goodbye to him. Park was suffering from Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome, or CAPS, a blood disorder so rare that only 400 people have ever had the disease.
But Park, if you'll pardon the clumsy sports metaphor, scored on a long shot far more difficult than a half-court heave. He became the first person ever to get an organ transplant while suffering from CAPS. He now takes nearly 40 pills a day, but has suffered no further complications aside from a bit of obvious weakness.
As for the viral nature of the video? Park's just fine with that too. “I don’t have any problem with it being out there,” he said. “I would probably want to see it myself, like any of us would. I pretty much knew it wasn’t going in. Unless God intervened and put wings on the ball, I was only going to get it part way.”
And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.