Everyday Heroes

Student Wins $10,000 From Half-Court Shot—And Gives Money To Grandma

Here's how this thoughtful grandchild chose to say "thank you."

At Kansas University, before the basketball season starts, they have an event called Late Night at the Phog, where the basketball players scrimmage against each other and a couple lucky fans try to win $10,000.

Jordan Stiers was one of the lucky fans to try and drain a half-court shot in order to take home $10,000. Actually, she didn’t technically have to shoot it, since contestants are able to pick any non-basketball player to shoot the shot for them. Last year, KU director of basketball operations, Brennan Bechard, made the shot for another student. With that in mind, Stiers picked Bechard to see if he could work his magic again.

If Bechard made the shot, Stiers would go home with $10,000.

Things didn’t look too good after Bechard missed the practice shot. But the official shot was a thing of beauty.

Bechard heaved it up, and the ball grazed the front of the rim before swishing through. Euphoria erupted throughout the stadium. KU players tackled Bechard, and Stiers pointed to her sister in the stands.

But the only person she really had on her mind was her grandmother.

“I was just thinking about my Nana and what I was going to do to help her,” Stiers said. “I’ve always thought about that one question: ‘If you win so much money, what are you going to do with it?’ And she’s helped me a lot in my life, so pay it forward.”

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The $10,000 Stiers won will help Nana pay for her bills.

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“Nana” is Roxanne Edwards, her paternal grandmother who took her in at age 10 after Stiers was in foster care, along with four of Stiers’ siblings. She took care of Stiers when times were tough, and even helped her become the first person in her family to graduate high school and attend college. Her perseverance and love is what stuck with Stiers.

“She’s my mom. She’s my dad. She’s my grandma — she’s everything,” Stiers said. “She has done so much for me, taught me so much.

“There’s nothing I can do to repay her, but this will say thank you a little bit.”