When University of Kentucky freshman Vincent Swope hit a half-court shot at halftime on Saturday — the kind no one ever really makes — he took a victory lap. He had just won $10,000. Or did he?
Almost immediately, someone from the contest approached him with the rules, and said that Swopes might not win the money from the sponsor — the supermarket chain, Kroger — because he could have been slightly over the line. Here’s what the representative meant:
Here’s video of the shot:
“They said when I released the ball I was over the line,” Swope said. “There are some pictures where it looks like I touched the line and some where it looks like I didn’t touch the line, but that didn’t even cross my mind when I shot it. I was just thinking, ‘I’m $10,000 richer.”
“I thought Kroger was a nice supermarket when I lived up there but then I moved to Florida where Publix makes Kroger look like Aldi,” Deadspin blogger Timothy Burke wrote on Saturday.
But the story doesn’t end there. Yahoo! Sports explains the happy ending, that even included an “Occupy Kroger” movement:
Word that Kroger’s might not pay Swope reached Kentucky Sports Radio founder Matt Jones during the second half of Saturday’s game, so he wasted little time in organizing a movement on the freshman’s behalf. Jones offered to bring Swope on his postgame radio show and encouraged his 37,000 Twitter followers to tweet in protest with the hashtag #OccupyKroger.
Not only did hundreds of Kentucky fans follow Jones’ advice, some also took the movement a step further. Two Wildcats fans made #OccupyKroger signs and stood with them in front of the Kroger in Ashland, Kent.
To Kroger’s credit, the supermarket chain didn’t take long to realize the PR folly that not paying Swope would be. A representative of Kroger called Jones within an hour of the game ending on Saturday and asked him to tell Swope that he would receive the $10,000.
“That’s the Big Blue Nation for you,” Swope said. “They supported me, and I really do appreciate it.”