Scholarship Earned through Freshman’s Half-Court Shot

October 29, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. shot / ʃɒt / (n.) – the act of throwing or moving something to hit a goal
Example:  The player’s winning shot led the team to the finals.

2. ticket / ˈtɪk ɪt / (n.) – something that allows a person to get something that he or she wants
Example: Golf could be my ticket to an athletic scholarship.

3. randomly / ˈræn dəm li / [RAN-duh m-lee] (adv.) – done without a plan or pattern
Example: He randomly threw the ball in my direction.

4. at stake / æt steɪk / (idiom) – being in a condition in which something can be gained or lost
Example: You should do well in the test; your scholarship is at stake.

5. caddie / ˈkæd i / (n.) – a person who assists golf players by carrying clubs, getting the ball, etc.
Example: The golf player gave his caddie a scholarship.


Read the text below.
A half-court shot becomes a college freshman's ticket to a tuition-free semester.

As part of Ball State University’s welcome week celebrations, a student named Lem Turner was randomly picked to shoot a basketball from the half-court of the university’s Worthen Arena. The prize at stake was free tuition for one semester.

According to Ball State, this is only the second time in three years that a student was able to do a half-court shot successfully. The last time a student was able to do this was in August 2013.

Turner is a first-year student of the university. He is part of the university’s volleyball team, but has played basketball in high school.  On August 21, he made the shot and has since done several interviews, including an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. During the show, the talk show host challenged Turner to a game, which he won. The prize turned out to be a brand-new Ford Focus.

Ball State University is not the only institution that uses unusual methods in giving scholarships. Duck, an American brand of duct tape, sponsors an annual contest called Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which awards $10,000 to the winners. Contestants have to create a prom outfit made entirely out of duct tape and attend their prom while wearing it. Another unusual scholarship opportunity is the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship, which provides full tuition and housing scholarship for up to four years. Students who have worked as golf caddies for at least two years can apply for this scholarship.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with Ball State University’s method of giving away scholarships? Why or why not?
·         What do you think this says about Ball State University?

Discussion B

·         What kind of test or work should students do to gain a scholarship?
·         If you could offer your own kind of scholarship, what would it be and why?

October 29, 2015