Joseph Kearns doesn’t remember anything from immediately after he hit a $2,500 half-court shot during Boston College men’s basketball’s matchup against Clemson on Tuesday.
“Right when I saw that swoosh, I honestly kind of blacked out,” Kearns, MCAS ’23, said. “I straight up don’t really remember it.”
Kearns, a devoted BC basketball fan, said he entered the raffle just before the game started.
But Kearns’ shot was almost not meant to be.
Kearns said he expected the winner of the raffle to be announced at halftime—not at the beginning of the game—causing him to miss a notification on his phone that he had won.
Sean Cullen, Kearns’ friend and CSOM ’23, showed up to the game later than Kearns and attempted to enter himself into the raffle. But the staff that was operating the raffle denied him. A winner had already been selected, according to Cullen.
“I was like, ‘Can I ask who it is?’” Cullen said. “And she goes, ‘his name’s Joseph Kearns.’ She said she texted him a few minutes ago and if he doesn’t respond in a few minutes they’ll have to do another one.”
Cullen said started frantically texting Kearns to try and get his attention, not wanting him to lose out on the opportunity.
“A friend texted me and was like, ‘yo, you got picked to go up,’” Kearns said. “And I thought they’re all like messing with me.”
But they weren’t. Kearns said he finally believed he had won the raffle when a worker came down to his seat and told him face to face.
“They’re like ‘congratulations, you won,’” Kearns said. “‘You get two shots, and then if the crowd wants you to have a third, you can get another one.’”
A former shooting guard for Delbarton School’s varsity basketball team, Kearns said he was confident in his chances—especially with three potential shots.
“Yeah, I mean, I’ve definitely taken half-court shots before,” Kearns said. “I wouldn’t say I’m a master at it, but I definitely believe in my skill set and knew I could come close.”
Kearns’ first attempt certainly came close.
“The first one actually was pretty on target,” Kearns said. “It was just a little left. I think if it was more centered it actually would have went in off the backboard.”
Kearns said that above all, he was just glad to have not missed the shot badly in front of a packed Conte Forum.
“All I wanted was to not airball it,” Kearns said.
Kearns said his close first attempt only made him more confident.
“I was feeling pretty good,” Kearns said. “And then, the second one, I just wanted to go right away because I knew I was going to get it.”
According to Kearns, all it took was some realigning.
“I moved a little bit right or just centered myself a little bit better,” Kearns said of the second shot. “And then just threw it up there.”
Just like the first shot, the second shot also felt good coming off his wrist, Kearns said.
“I knew it was on line,” Kearns said. “It was just a matter of if it was going to bounce in or out.”
To Kearns’ amazement—with $2,500 on the line—his shot swished through the net, and he flung his hands up in celebration.
“It took a while to settle in,” Cullen said. “We were all sitting there videotaping courtside, freaking out.”
Regarding the money, Kearns said he has no idea what he will choose to spend it on.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Kearns said. “But, you know, senior year spring semester, it will definitely be put to good use.”
To make matters easier for Kearns, he doesn’t have to make a decision yet, he said. As of Thursday, Kearns had not been paid his $2,500.
“Yeah, so right after they all kind of looked at me and they’re like, ‘look, we honestly didn’t expect you to make that, so we don’t have your money right now,’” Kearns said of BC’s marketing team. “But honestly, I didn’t even really care at that moment.”
But according to Kearns, Coca-Cola will be contacting him in the next few days about receiving the money.
“I think I just gotta wait for it to hit the bank account,” Kearns said. “And then we’ll just kind of go from there.”