Thunder Fan Sinks Half-Court Shot, Will Use Winnings to Pay Wife's Cancer Bills

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 6, 2013

One fan was plucked from the stands at the Oklahoma City Thunder game on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena and tasked with making a half-court shot for $20,000. The joy he shows after making the shot runs deep, because the money should help in his wife's battle against cancer. reports Heath Kufahl took the amazing shot between the third and fourth quarters of the eventual Thunder win over the Lakers, 122-105. When it went in, Kufahl ran around the court like an NBA player dropping the game-winner in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Nabbing 20 large is a huge deal, so his excitement is certainly warranted. Still, the story is far more powerful when you hear more about this youth basketball coach from Del City, Oklahoma: 

It's always cool to see someone make that shot, but for the Kufahls and their seven children, it means a bit more: Heath's wife, Jenni, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in October of 2012. The money will be used for mounting medical bills. 

Sometimes, things just have a way of working out to perfection. 

This particular story has everything, even some light-hearted deception, because it seems Kufahl is actually a fan of the Purple and Gold (via Lakers beat writer Kevin Ding):

Guy who hit halfcourt shot to win $20k says: "I'm actually a Lakers fan. Don't tell anybody. I had to wear a Thunder shirt."

— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 6, 2013

I'm sure Thunder fans will still find reason to smile when conjuring images of Kufahl hitting this shot, which will be of a tremendous help to his wife and seven children. 

If you're still bitter, consider that his Lakers are now 2.5 games off the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. After this wonderful stroke of luck, Kufahl might just think about becoming a full-time Thunder fan.