Half Court Hero
It’s fitting that it was Caleb Espy who sank a half court shot in Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion to win free pizza for a year. He’s put in the work to deserve it.
“I’m one of those guys down below the backboard,” Espy says.
Normally the third-year business administration major is donning a yellow body suit and a crazy wig and helping inspire the crowd to cheer on the Yellow Jackets at basketball games.
“If we start chanting something, usually the band will follow along,” Espy explains. “If we ever get on the Jumbotron, we start jumping up and down going crazy, trying to get the crowd involved.”
When the opportunity came for Espy to take his involvement to the next level, he jumped even faster.
“This lady comes walking up and says ‘Hey! Do any of you guys wanna—’ and I said ‘Yes!’ before she even asked the question,” Espy recalls.
The Yellow Jacket super fan said he didn’t care what he was going to be asked to do, he was going to do it.
It turned out to be taking a shot of his choice for pizza. He could have taken a layup for a single pie or a free throw for three. While walking out onto the court, he was pretty set on taking a three-pointer for 10 pizzas. But things changed when he heard the crowd.
“I pointed to the spot and all the students were like ‘Yeah! Shoot the half court shot!’” Espy says. “I just had to go for it all.”
A few deep breaths and a couple of dribbles later and Espy was heaving up his half court attempt.
“I knew it was on line. I knew it wasn’t going to airball.” Espy remembers his shot sailing. “Then it just kind of perfectly dropped in there.”
He’ll be getting 52 total pies, so one pizza per week. Domino’s is Espy’s pizza brand of choice, he says, especially since the company changed up their recipe. He plans sharing his winnings with his friends.
“When I heard that I was winning a year’s supply of Domino’s I was like, ‘That’s awesome.’”
As for preferred toppings, he goes for classic pepperoni or buffalo chicken when he is looking to change things up. So far he’s only eaten two of his 12-month allotment.
The proven shooter has a couple of tips for others faced with a half court shot.
“A lot of people try to throw it like a baseball, and that usually won’t work,” Espy suggests. “You’ve got to jump into it, use both arms and use your legs.”