Austin Hylander wins free tuition 2010.02.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

austin_hylander.2009.jpgIt probably seemed like a good risk to officials at Ohio State University. After all, what are the odds that someone is going to come out of the audience at the Value City Arena and throw a basketball through the hoop from mid-court?

Don’t talk to Fayette’s Austin Hylander about odds. Just look for the smile on his face and the dollar signs in his eyes.

Hylander made the shot, and as a reward, his tuition at OSU is free next year.

The freshman walked into the arena lobby  Thursday with some friends to watch OSU’s womens team play Minnesota, coached by Fayette native Pam Borton.

When asked if they wanted to participate in the half-time shooting contest, his friends turned down the offer for fear of embarrassing themselves in front of the crowd.

Hylander volunteered. He was one of Fayette’s top players last season and he figured he had a shot.

Here’s how the game works. The shooter has 30 seconds to show what he or she can do from four positions on the floor.

First comes a lay-up. Make that and receive a $50 gift card to Big Lots, sponsor of the Big Shot contest. Then comes a free throw which increases the winning to $100. Next up is a three-pointer for a $500 prize. If all three of those shots go through and there’s still time remaining, you can try for the half-court bomb.

“I missed my first lay-up and thought to myself that I was just going to embarrass myself,” Hylander said, “and then I air-balled a three pointer!”

That was after his free throw went through and after missing his first three-point attempt.

He moved to half-court and missed his first two tries. That third attempt was something else.

“You could tell just by the arc of the ball that it was going in,” Curt Phillips of Fayette told Hylander’s mother later. Phillips was among the 3,300 people in the stands.

Hylander said he was told there were about three seconds showing on the clock, but he wasn’t paying attention. He was busy running a lap around the arena collecting high-fives. The announcer on the television broadcast said something like, “I’ll bet someone even more excited are his parents.”

Hylander hasn’t yet received details on the tuition payment, but he said a typical course-load costs nearly $9,000. That’s just a bonus—a very big bonus—to the thrill of participating in the event.

“I didn’t even expect to make the shot,” he said. “I just wanted to say I got to shoot at half-time of an Ohio State basketball game.”

He became the first person in the four-year history of the event to win.

Hylander can’t remember ever making one of those last-second desperation shots from half court when he played in high school, but does recall a similar event from elementary school.

“I made a buzzer beater once in fifth grade to win against Pettisville in double overtime. That I still remember, but nothing like this one!”

Now he has something to take the place of his fifth-grade feat.

“This was absolutely incredible,” he said.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017