Ballentine speaks out
Making the shot
How did you decide
to add the halfcourt shot to your repertoire?
WLTX did a little
story about me for the Capital One All American Mascot Team,
and they got Coach Odom and Bill Old to help out with the
story. When I got to the court, Bill Old was doing
this half court shot backwards. He normally hits them,
but didn't make any that particular time.
to try it as well and it was awful. But WLTX got a shot of
me shooting, the ball soaring through the air, and finally
a shot of the basket where coach Odom shot the ball and made
it. They pieced it together and put it on air that
night. They also did an edit of me dunking the ball.
thought if I could do either one for real, it would be really
When did you try it for the first time?
I remember it well. On December 31, 2004, I did the basketball
game against Wofford and half time rolled around. I
noticed the crowd didn't make a big exit to the concession
stand or bathrooms. I
also noticed nothing was going on for halftime entertainment. We
were already beating Wofford up pretty good, so I started
thinking about what I could do to give the people something
I saw a rack of basketballs, so I ran over
and grabbed one. I
never thought I'd make the shot but figured it would give
the fans something to watch. It was about the seventh
or eighth try that I actually hit one. Nothing but
went absolutely nuts. The bad thing was not one person
got it on camera. That killed me. Video requires latest version of QuickTime. Get it
Did you ever attempt
the shot at a game and not make it?
Later in the year I went back out during two timeouts to
try and get it on tape and never hit one. It was awful.
But you kept trying?
the 2005 NIT rolled around and again nothing was going on
at halftime because promotions aren't allowed during halftime
of the NIT. I
thought this might be a good time to try and get it
on tape, and I did. I made the shot in the second game
of the NIT at the Colonial Center. The place
At the third NIT game, again at the Colonial Center, the
fans wanted me to do it again. I didn't want to. I
had it on tape, I was happy enough.
But the cheerleaders
begged me to do it after they did their routine at halftime,
couldn't say no to them with their puppy faces, so back out
I went. And I hit it again.
The next game was
at Madison Square Garden, and I just had to try it there. First
try —I made it in the Garden. That was probably the
most incredible thing in my career as Cocky. So last
season ended with me making four shots.
And this year?
This year I did
one for a timeout and made it on my second try. I hit another
one against Western Kentucky in the first game of the NIT
and then hit my final one in my last game ever in the NIT
I've finished my career making
seven of them. Granted I've missed it a lot, but making seven
is something to be proud of.