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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Two students win fall tuition for making half-court shots

Texas+State+education+junior+Johnathan+Harris+%28left%29+and+criminal+justice+junior+David+St.+Alva+%26%23160%3Bcelebrate+David+winning+free+fall+2023+tuition%2C+Friday%2C+Feb.+24%2C+2023%2C+at+Strahan+Arena.

Texas State education junior Johnathan Harris (left) and criminal justice junior David St. Alva  celebrate David winning free fall 2023 tuition, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

Texas State Athletics’ half-court challenge for free tuition came to an end after the 79-69 men’s basketball loss to Southern Miss on Feb. 24. David St. Alva, a criminal justice junior, and Matthew Aneke, a computer science sophomore, left Strahan Arena winners.
Past participants got a second chance at halftime, including Texas State’s mascot, Boko, but no one made the shot. After the game, students who stood in a line that wrapped around the court were encouraged to attempt the shot until two of them won. 
After numerous attempts from other challengers, an unnerved St. Alva stepped up to half-court and attempted a jump shot. Despite not planning on making it, St. Alva sank the bucket worth up to $4,611.
“I felt like I was going to make it,” St Alva said. “Everybody was missing and I just wanted to send everyone home… I hate to sound cocky about it but… I’ve made that shot plenty of times.”
The students around the court and the fans that had not yet left the arena outside were sent into a frenzy. St. Alva was handed the microphone to encourage those still awaiting their turn to sink the second shot.
“It felt amazing,” St. Alva said. “I had to come up with something quick… let me just give the crowd some encouragement, so I said, ‘follow your dreams, y’all can do whatever you want… if I can do it anybody can do it.'”
That “anybody” came forth just a few attempts later as Aneke stepped up to center court and shot with similar confidence, faith and an old nickname on his mind.
“I knew I was going to make it,” Aneke said. “Back in high school, they called me Waffle House because I was always open… I felt like I hit a buzzer-beater shot, there was a lot of commotion going on, it was a very good feeling.”
President Kelly Damphousse was on the court recording the attempts with his phone and celebrating with students. He said the promotion was a way to get students to attend men’s and women’s basketball games. St. Alva and Aneke had never attended a Texas State basketball game before this one.
“I said, you know, what can we do to get students to come back and so I’ve done this promotion at other places before where I actually saw it at another university have somebody to [shoot a] half-court shot for free tuition,” Damphousse said. “And I thought, Oh, we just do that for students to get them to come and they get something for it.”
For information on future Texas State Athletics events and games, visit its website.

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  • Texas State President Kelly Damphousse (left),  computer science sophomore Matthew Aneke, and Beth Damphousse celebrate free tuition winner for the fall 2023 semester, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State President Kelly Damphousse (left), criminal justice junior David St.Alva, and computer science sophomore Matthew Aneke take a selfie for Damphousse’s Instagram, Friday, Feb. 23, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

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