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'Power of God': Resurfaced video of North Dakota 7th-grader making half-court shot to seal $10K prize still invoking cheers
Image source: YouTube screenshot

'Power of God': Resurfaced video of North Dakota 7th-grader making half-court shot to seal $10K prize still invoking cheers

It's been over a year since JJ Franks — then a seventh-grader at Bishop Ryan Catholic School in Minot, North Dakota — sank a half-court shot to seal a $10,000 prize along with the high-volume cheers of those watching from the stands.

Thing is, JJ first had to hit three other shots in a row — a layup, a free throw, and a three-pointer — before the unlikely half-court bomb. Also, it had to happen within a 25-second time limit.

The crowd, as you'd expect, went nuts when he made his final shot. But what one might not expect is that the kid's feat is getting cheers all over again on social media. Here's one example from Kendall Baker of Yahoo Sports:

The rest of the story

JJ's gem happened during halftime of a game on Jan. 27, 2023, at Bishop Ryan, which is just about an hour south of the Canadian border.

”You only get one shot at that, so if you miss, you miss,” JJ told KMOT-TV afterward.

He added to the station, "I was thinking, I’m probably not going to make it, but I’ve just got to try and try and hope it goes in."

KMOT said some high school players from both the home and away teams came out of the locker rooms to watch.

One of them — Bishop Ryan's Ramsey Walz — compared JJ's miraculous half-court basket to something future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady would pull off.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Image source: YouTube screenshot

"It’s just like, no way, and everyone storms the court," Walz told KMOT. "It was pretty cool."

Image source: YouTube screenshot

JJ told the station his half-court basket "was one in a million, and through the power of God, it went in."

Image source: X video screenshot via @kendallbaker

His mother, Marie, was across town when JJ captured all the attention on the court, KMOT noted, adding that Mom's neighbor gave her updates from the gym.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

”It was surreal because she said that he was shooting for the $10,000 shot, and I’m like, you know, most kids are trying to get that opportunity, so that was expected," she told the station in quite the endearing "Fargo"-esque accent. "But then she called back and said that he won it, and I thought she was kidding me."

'A gift from God'

KMOT said at the time that JJ is a regular player on the junior high team, and while he's not too shabby at three-pointers, he rarely makes half-court shots. Not even in practice.

”The first three I thought he has some basketball talent, but the last shot, really, I think was maybe more a gift from God than it was some natural talent,” his mom remarked to the station.

JJ added to KMOT that the $10,000 winnings were earmarked for college expenses — but he did ask Mom for a few hundred to enjoy for whatever struck his fancy.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News and has been writing for Blaze News since 2013. He has also been a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, and a book editor. He resides in New Jersey. You can reach him at durbanski@blazemedia.com.
@DaveVUrbanski →