JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 24, 2012) – When ETSU student Jamaal Hundley successfully sank four straight shots – including a final half court heave – as part of a special fan promotion during Monday night’s men’s basketball game at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center, there were questions surrounding whether his foot had crossed the half-court line and whether he would ultimately receive a check for the prize of $20,000.
Hundley, who was competing in the Johnson City Honda/Mountain States Health Alliance Progressive Shot Challenge, made a layup, free throw, 3-point shot and half court shot in less than 24 seconds. However, video evidence and the verification process showed that Hundley’s foot was on the line for the final shot and therefore perhaps not successfully completed the challenge.
While it would have been easy to say “no good” to the special moment that brought 4,000 ETSU fans to their feet in a thunderous applause, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City Honda and Mountain States Health Alliance joined together on Tuesday evening to say something else all together – “Count It!”
Prior to Tuesday’s ETSU women’s basketball game with Southeastern Conference foe Louisiana State, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins, Johnson City Honda owner Joe Trujillo, and MSHA Vice President for Communications and Marketing Ed Herbert presented Hundley with a check for $20,000.
“The shot last night was a magical moment for all of us,” Noland said. “At ETSU, our students come first and we work every day to help the people who study here improve their lives and reach their goals. Jamaal experienced the moment of a lifetime, and we were pleased to be a part of it.”
Mullins said ETSU athletics was blown away by the generosity and support of Noland, Trujillo and MSHA.
“This was about doing the right thing for one of our students here at ETSU,” Mullins said. “Over the last 24 hours, it was encouraging to see everyone come together – despite the technicalities of the situation – and do something for a young man that can change his life. Every day, students are working to make a better life for themselves, and Jamaal took a huge step in that direction with a special 24 seconds.”
Trujillo said he was totally supportive of putting to rest any questions about the competition.
“Jamaal made the shot and deserved the reward,” Trujillo said. “We talk about doing things ‘The Johnson City Way,’ and for our dealership and the people who work at Johnson City Honda, this means helping to make a dream come true for Jamaal. We could not be happier to be here tonight and being part of this special moment.”
Herbert had similar thoughts on the evening and Hundley’s accomplishments.
“For one shining moment last night, 4,000 Buc fans were on their feet cheering for an ETSU student who made the dream come true in 24 seconds,” Herbert said. “Jamaal made the shots, he electrified the crowd – bringing all of us to our feet in a community celebration. Tonight, MSHA, a long time supporter of ETSU athletics, joins Johnson City Honda and ETSU to celebrate and reward him for last night when he made a dream a reality.”