Student wins car with half-court shot

Jill Brower

In Monday night’s loss to St. Joe’s, the Villanova basketball team missed a number of key shots. One essential shot, however, did make it. The shooter was not a player, though, but a fan shooting to win a two-year lease on a 2004 Land Rover.

Sophomore John McCarey left the Pavilion with more of a reason to smile than most. He made a shot from half-court to win the car, provided by Land Rover Main Line in Wayne.

Although the contest has been going on for four years, McCarey is the first student to ever win.

McCarey was offered the chance at the halftime shot before the game began.

He described the event as a surreal experience. “People keep asking me what I was thinking during it, but I don’t remember,” he said. “The only thing I thought about was not crossing the line and getting disqualified.”

McCarey was happy to have the crowd’s support during his shot. “The momentum was in our favor at that point and the crowd was really into it when I went out there,” he said.

According to McCarey, his calm manner during the big moment led to his success. “Normally I’d be nervous in front of that many people, but I couldn’t even hear anything,” he said.

McCarey’s shot was even featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ranking in at No.1 of their top ten plays.

“Being on SportsCenter was even cooler than winning the car to me,” McCarey said. “People I haven’t talked to in years have been calling me to tell me they saw me on it.”

Chris Heck, assistant vice president of the Athletic Department, said he was “extremely excited, to say the least.”

“It’s a great thing for the crowd and the students,” he said.

Seated next to Heck in the Pavilion, Tak Papariello, centre manager of Land Rover Main Line, said the two “hi-fived” when the ball went through the net.

“It was fantastic for the students and great publicity for us,” Papariello said.

The deal with Land Rover Main Line of Wayne includes a two-year lease on a 2004 Land Rover Freelander, a value estimated at $15,000.

Papariello, a Main Line native, has been a Villanova basketball fan since the age of three, and urges other local businesses to support the team.

“It’s exciting to see that the community involves the University, and the University involves the community.”

McCarey is currently in the process of signing the papers for the lease with the Land Rover Main Line and the Athletic Department.

At the Feb. 11 game against Providence College, McCarey will be officially presented with his prize.