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Thunder Fan Hits Half-Court Shot, Using Money for Wife's Cancer Treatment

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JUNE 12:  The Oklahoma City Thunder mascot waves a flag at center court before the Thunder take on the Miami Heat in Game One of the 2012 NBA Finals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 12, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2013

Half-court shots by NBA fans have been falling left and right all season long, but none have been as exciting and as important as the one made by an Oklahoma City Thunder fan at halftime of the Thunders' win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Among others, we've seen LeBron James jubilantly hug-tackle a guy for winning a bushel of money at a Miami Heat game, and an Atlanta Hawks fan watch as his shot got wedged between the backboard and the back of the rim. Now we've got a Thunder fan who's putting his newfound windfall into his wife's cancer treatment. 

Heath Kufahl got the chance to sink the $20,000 half-court shot as the Thunder were trouncing the Lakers. Much to his and his wife's surprise, the shot went in.

Kufahl told the Thunder cameras about his lucky shot and the good cause that the winnings would be going to after the chaos had died down, and the story took off from there.

According to ABC News, Jenni Kufahl was diagnosed with a rare, malignant form of appendix cancer, of which only 500 diagnoses are made each year.

Heath recounted his feelings with ABC afterward, talking about his unexplainable confidence:

I told the mascot I was going to make it, had a feeling I was going to make it. After all that's happened, the money is nice, but the story behind it is the bigger deal.

I really thought I had a good chance, I have no idea why. I coach basketball. We mess around. I've done this growing up, but never in a setting like that.

And Jenni gushed about her surprise and the reaction their children had once they got home:

When he made it, I was totally shocked. The look on my face shows shock, I didn't even move. That just went in. I couldn't believe it.

They were so excited. We didn't get home until probably midnight. We woke up the three oldest, sat for an hour-and-a-half together or more just watching YouTube videos that had been put up.

As for all these half-court shots falling seemingly night after night, I say let the good times role, and if it leads to more stories like this, then it's all for the best.

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