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Student hits ‘GameDay’ shot

Meg Handelman | Monday, February 11, 2013

Senior Casey Murdock had the luck of the Irish on his side Saturday morning when he made a half-court shot at College GameDay to win $18,000.

“When I saw the ball bank into the hoop on the second shot, I honestly did not know how to feel,” Murdock said. “I was completely at a loss for words.”

Murdock hit the shot on his second attempt during the ESPN program’s broadcast from Purcell Pavilion.

The avid basketball fan said he plans to act responsibly with his winnings.

“I’m definitely going to save the majority of it; I’ll invest it somehow so that I can prepare for life after college,” Murdock said. “At the same time, when something like that happens, you need to celebrate somehow, so I’ll figure out a way to have fun with a little bit of it.”

Murdock’s favorite part of the experience was the crowd rushing the court to pile on him after he made the winning shot. Being surrounded by a horde of people, including the Notre Dame men’s basketball team, was completely overwhelming, he said.

“It felt like the entire Notre Dame community was celebrating this amazing moment not only for me, but with me,” he said. “It truly made me feel like part of a family, and at that point there was no more I could ask for.”

After the shot, Murdock said he found his friends and captured the moment through taking pictures and then continued celebrating at his home.

“I returned to my off-campus house, and as soon as I walked in the door all of my friend piled on me and started screaming with excitement,” he said.

Murdock said he practices shooting the ball around almost every day and has made half-court shots before, but he did not actually practice in preparation for “College GameDay.”

He has received many comments about the unorthodox form he used to get the winning shot, he said.

“I seem to have a better chance from half-court when I float the ball,” Murdock said. “In the end, though, I made it, and that’s about all that matters.”

Murdock said he continued celebrating by attending the men’s basketball game Saturday night, in which the Irish defeated Louisville 104-101 in a five-overtime game.

“It was all completely surreal, and definitely made one of the best days of my life,” Murdock said.