MIAMI - A 50-year-old computer technician from McHenry, Ill., made a half-court shot to win $75,000 and a hug from LeBron James.
As part of a contest sponsored by James' foundation, Michael Drysch hit a hook shot from midcourt between periods of Friday's game between the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons.
James watched from the bench, and when the shot swished in, he happily sprinted toward Drysch and embraced him, and both tumbled to the court.
"Nice way to meet somebody," Drysch said. "I can't believe it."
The long shot was a long shot, especially given Drysch's shooting form.
"When he wound up I was like, 'Oh no, there's no way,'" James said. "When it dropped, that was awesome. I would have probably air-balled that one in that situation."
Drysch said he practiced the shot and made "maybe 1 per cent."
"That was crazy," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. "The place erupted. It was like it was when we won the finals."
Coach Erik Spoelstra was drawing up a play in front of the Heat bench when Drysch sank his shot.
"I heard the eruption, and I turned and I saw LeBron absolutely tackle him," Spoelstra said.
"I had no idea what was going on. That fan, while he'll love the $75,000, having that on video — LeBron James tackling you at half court in front of 20,000 — I think will be the longer-lasting memory."