It was raining $500 shots in the Whiteoak High School gymnasium last month.
In a tradition that started 11 years ago, anyone who makes a half-court shot during halftime of a Whiteoak boys or girls varsity basketball game wins $500. The first 10 years of the contest there were three winners. But last month alone there were three more winners, including a Whiteoak boys basketball player who won twice in a nine-day span.
Atlee Carr, a sophomore standout athlete and honor roll student at Whiteoak, pocketed the money the first time he made the $500 shot. But the second time he donated the money back to the Whiteoak Athletic Department.
“Atlee is a great young man,” Whiteoak Athletic Director John Combs said. “Most kids would want to put that $500 dollars in their pocket, but he chose to give it to our athletic department. And he certainly has a talent for making long distance shots.”
Carr won the prize for the first time on Dec. 12, 2016 when he drained a half-court shot during halftime festivities of a girls’ basketball game against Manchester. Eight days later Carr won a second time when he nailed another half-court shot during halftime of a Dec. 20 game versus Fayetteville. However, Carr had made a deal with Jeff Dickey, the sponsor of the contest, before the shot. Carr told Dickey that if he made the money shot, he would donate the winnings to his school’s athletic department.
Dickey and The Dickey Group Inc. Realtors have been the sponsors of the contest since it started in 2006.
“We can’t say enough about how much support they’ve given us over the years,” Combs said. “It’s made for an entertaining halftime during our girls and boys basketball games.”
There have been six winners since the half-court shot challenge originated. In 2007, Matt Butler was the first winner. Jared Bohl sank the shot two years later in 2009. Aidan Shannon won the prize in 2015, and Trace Thompson cashed in during an early December game this year.
“Whiteoak High School and the athletic boosters want to thank The Dickey Realty Group for their continued support of Whiteoak athletics,” said Steve Large, a golf and basketball coach at the school.