HAMMOND, LA., DEC. 19 -- Everyone's heard the story about the recruiter who walks into the gym with a bag full of money. Leo McClure, an associate head basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana College, did the opposite.
He went prospect hunting at Delgado Community College in New Orleans and walked away with $10,000.
He bought $1 worth of tickets at the door for a halftime basketball contest Dec. 12. When his name was drawn, he was given 35 seconds to make a layup, a foul shot a three-point shot from the top of the key, another three-pointer from the wing and, finally, a shot from halfcourt.
He is no novice. He starred as a guard on Southeastern's 1976 and 1977 teams. The school record he set in 1977 for career assists still stands.
He made the first three shots easily, missed his second three-point try, but followed it up successfully and had 11 seconds left to make one from halfcourt.
"I probably had time for another shot from halfcourt if I missed the first one," he said. "But when I let it go, I knew it had an excellent chance of falling. I didn't even follow it."
The shot fell and his memory gets hazy from there. He began celebrating in the middle of the floor, leaping up and down and slapping high fives with spectators.
"I couldn't help it," he said. "I said to myself be cool, but I couldn't control it."
He said he plans to invest $2,000 apiece for the education of his three sons, buy his wife something nice for Christmas and give some to his church. He will return $600 to Delgado so the school can buy another insurance policy to keep the contest going.
The coach said the insurance agent who had to come up with the $10,000 told him the chance of someone winning that contest is a million to one. That's because most people selected to try their luck are not former college all-stars.
"I walked in the gym the other day to try from halfcourt again," McClure mused. "I missed the whole goal."