By Shiny S. Patel

General Section Editor

DANBURY, CONN. — William Alfiere of Beacon Falls, senior at Western Connecticut State University, received the best gift any college student could ask for; $5000 towards his college tuition. Wednesday night, Alfiere had his ticket number called during a Colonials basketball game and had the chance to attempt a half-court shot in order to win the money and succeeded.

Alfiere is a Dean’s List student who studies justice and law administration. Though he was the senior captain of his high school basketball team, he does not play for WCSU.

“I was at the game and decided to enter the contest and take a shot at the $5,000,” he said. “It sounded fun. When my ticket number was called, I was very excited, thinking ‘wow.’”

Alfiere stood at half court and as he was handed the ball, the WCSU cheerleading squad lined both sides of the free throw area to foster excitement and anticipation.

The adrenaline must have coursed through his body when he had the eyes of everyone in the arena on him. “You feel people watching you,” he said. “I haven’t been in the spotlight on the court like that for a while.”

The Feldman Arena at the O’Neill Center burst into cheers when the ball went straight through the net. According to Alfiere, that feeling was slightly shocking but it must have felt incredible.

“I didn’t expect to make it,” he said. “You throw a shot up like that every now and then for fun, but you never expect it to go in. Even Steph Curry would probably only make it one out of every 10 times, and he’s the best shooter, you know? But as soon as I shot it, I knew it was going to go in. It’s one of those feelings you have as a basketball player.”

When Alfiere shared his good news with his family, they did not believe him at first due to the simple fact that a half-court shot is so unrealistic to go in.

“I sent a family group text to my parents and my brother and sister telling them what I had just done, and none of them believed me,” Alfiere said. “Nothing like that ever happens to our family. We don’t have luck like that.”

A few peers had recorded the shot and even that did not convince his unconvinced family until the reality of the momentous occasion eventually hit.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to take the shot,” Alfiere said. “It was a cool thing.”

The half-court contest was sponsored by the university’s Student Government Association, Center for Student Involvement and Office of Student Affairs.