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Coach stuns jokesters, nails improbable shot

posted 1/28/2010 12:12:03 AM |
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tagged: sports, humor, basketball, news, straddle

I love playing basketball, and me being a fan of playing this sport, I thought this was interesting enough to share with you all.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Joel Branstrom figured he was about to be the butt of a joke when he was blindfolded at a pep rally and told he would win tickets to the NCAA's Final Four if he could hit a half-court shot.

But the well-liked girls basketball coach sent the Olathe Northwest High School gym in Kansas into a frenzy Friday by hitting the improbable shot.

"I've been around long enough and done these kinds of practical jokes," said Branstrom, who also teaches biology at the suburban Kansas City school. "I figured they were trying to punk me."

Before launching the shot, Branstrom figured he was about to be hit in the face with a pie, so he held up the ball as protection for a few seconds.

"I knew they would cheer regardless to make me think I hit it," he said. "I let it go, they cheered, I heard laughter. I seriously didn't know I made it for a while."

Video of the shot made it onto the Internet over the weekend, and by Monday the former University of Kansas basketball walk-on was something of a celebrity.

Branstrom was a senior on the Kansas basketball team in 1997 when the Jayhawks were defeated in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

"I would love a chance to go" to Indianapolis for this year's Final Four, he said.

No such luck. The students never had the promised tickets, so they wound up buying him a gift card to a restaurant.

"Some of the kids felt absolutely horrible that they didn't have tickets," Branstrom said. "But that's not what it's all about. We got some smiles; it was a feel-good moment."

The Columbus Dispatch

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Jan 28 @ 12:30AM

He and his family was given the tickets to attend those games.

Jan 28 @ 1:33AM  
Good for him..he deserved it.

Jan 28 @ 2:28AM  
This is such a cool story. I'm so glad the coach and his family will be able to attend this game.

Jan 28 @ 7:19AM  
That sucked, screw a restaurant gift certificate!

Jan 28 @ 7:20AM  
That sucked, screw a restaurant gift certificate!
But he did get his tickets after all.

Jan 28 @ 7:48AM  
The story I saw about it, he did get the tickets, it just didn't say how..

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Coach stuns jokesters, nails improbable shot