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Ohio Wesleyan Basketball Fans Have a Chance to Score $10,000 at Home Games


January 9, 2007

By sinking a few shots on the basketball court, lucky Battling Bishops fans could be sinking their teeth into free pizza or even $10,000 in cash.

Marco’s Pizza and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. have teamed up with Ohio Wesleyan’s athletics department to create the $10,000 Halftime Shootout. The contest will be held at all men’s and women’s home basketball games, unless someone scores the grand prize before the home season ends with a doubleheader Feb. 14.

“This is just a lot of fun,” says Roger Ingles, OWU’s athletics director and co-creator of the new contest. “The fans are excited about the shootout, and it’s great to work with local businesses to provide it.”

As fans enter each home game, they are invited to register for the shootout. During halftime, 10 names are drawn to take part in that night’s event. Participants begin by taking a three-point shot, which places them 19 feet, 9 inches away from the basket. Those who sink this shot earn a free pizza from Marco’s Pizza, 219 S. Sandusky St., courtesy of franchise owner Cameron Cummins.

Those who make the first shot also are eligible to take a second shot from center court, about 45 feet away from the basket. Participants who put this ball in the bucket earn 10 free Marco’s pizzas to share with people sitting in their row of the stands. They also get to try for the $10,000 grand prize by taking a third shot from three-quarters court, which translates into about 70 feet, 5 inches of air.

Anyone lucky enough to make this third consecutive shot earns the $10,000 prize, offered with assistance from Dublin-based Stifel Nicolaus, a regional brokerage and investment banking firm, and its senior vice president, Steven Jefferis of Delaware. Jefferis, as Ingles notes, is a Wittenberg University graduate, which makes it especially meaningful that he is supporting this rival Ohio Wesleyan effort.

So far, Ingles says, the shootout has netted fans about a half dozen pizzas. No one has made the center court shot or tried for the grand prize. During the season, Stifel Nicolaus, 655 Metro Place South, Suite 200, Dublin, is supporting up to 10 tries for the $10,000. Any shots left on Feb. 14 will be split between the men’s and women’s games that day.

“And we’re going to make sure all 10 shots are taken,” Ingles says. “During the last games, all shots will be from three-quarters court for the big money. People won’t have to make any preliminary baskets to be able to try for the grand prize.”

To be eligible for the $10,000 Halftime Shootout, fans must be age 18 or older and cannot have played or coached college basketball anytime within the previous five years. They also can’t be employees or family members of employees of Ohio Wesleyan, Marco’s Pizza or Stifel Nicolaus.

“Our games always provide excitement and entertainment,” Ingles says. “We hope the $10,000 Halftime Shootout adds to the fun.”

Ticket prices for OWU basketball games are $5 for adults and $2 for both senior citizens and students under age 18 with ID. Children under 2 are admitted free. Schedules for the 2006-2007 season are available online at www.owu.edu. Fans will be admitted free at the Jan. 20 OWU men’s and women’s games as part of the Bishop Backer Winter Community Showcase.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives. The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.