A couple of notable basketball shots have been made this season by unheralded people. One, you may recall, was by Dale McCall of Lamar University in Texas who won a trip to Hawaii several weeks ago (SCORECARD, Dec. 13, 1976) by coming out of the stands at halftime and sinking a shot from midcourt. Another Texan, John Kinsey, won a new automobile by sinking a similar shot in a contest at a Houston Rockets game. Getting their money's worth, the Rockets made a little production of the affair by presenting the keys to the car to Kinsey in a ceremony at halftime of a game with the Philadelphia 76ers. A crowd of 16,012 was on hand to see the Rockets go against Julius Erving, George McGinnis and company. After handing over the keys, the Rocket spokesman at the microphone suggested kiddingly that John try another shot from midcourt just for old times' sake. You know, prove that last 50-footer was no fluke, ha, ha.
Kinsey, a good sport, stepped to the center circle, took aim and lofted a left-handed push shot that swished right through the cords. That brought a greater reaction from the crowd than anything Erving or McGinnis had done. In fact, Dr. J made a point of going over and shaking Kinsey's hand.
John didn't win anything extra for his repeat performance, but now people in Texas are calling for a midcourt shootout between Kinsey and McCall.
The showdown could turn out to be a highlight of the basketball season. When McCall arrived in Hawaii on his prize-winning trip, a local TV station wanted to get some footage of him taking a shot from midcourt. Dale agreed. With the lights on him and the cameras running, he stepped to the center of the court and flipped one toward the basket. Swish. Do it again, TV cried. McCall did. Swish again. Then he missed four in a row, proving that he is human, and then raised doubts about that assumption by hitting six more. Eight out of 12, from midcourt.
Billy Tubbs, the Lamar University basketball coach who sponsored the Texas contest that McCall won to get the trip to Honolulu, said, "I told the TV people I'd only promised Dale a trip to Hawaii. I hadn't said anything about the return trip. But he sure earned the ride back with that performance."
Bring on John Kinsey.
Wally Hough is a big, hulking lineman from Plant High School in Tampa who finally agreed to accept a grant-in-aid from the University of Florida. Head Coach Doug Dickey of Florida stopped by Hough's home in Tampa on the momentous day, and so did about 40 of the youngster's relatives, among them his 87-year-old grandmother, known to all as Granny Batson. All 40 relatives filed by to shake Dickey's hand and assure him he'd made a wise selection. Finally, it was Granny Batson's turn, and Dickey greeted the tiny old lady with all the charm and respect he could muster.
"What number are you going to put on Wally?" the old lady demanded. "Well, gee," said Dickey, somewhat startled. "I haven't given that any thought. Let's see. Darrell Carpenter is graduating this year and his number is 67. Will 67 be O.K.?"