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Clemson Student Wins Big in Men’s Basketball Halftime Contest

Clemson Student Wins Big in Men’s Basketball Halftime Contest

Jan. 24, 2008

Clemson student Mick Rubio took home $1,000 in Clemson merchandise after sinking a half court shot during halftime at Tuesday’s Clemson men’s basketball game. “It felt amazing. The Tiger and The Tiger Cub mugged me and everything,” he said after making his game-winning shot while participating in Clemson’s own version of “Deal or No Deal” sponsored by Tom Winkopp and Highpointe (

When it came down to the third and final shot from half court, the crowd was completely behind Mick hoping that he would make the basket. “I had shot the first two the same way, with my feet set,” says Rubio. “I didn’t want to miss the third one the same way, so I backed up more.”

As Rubio let the ball go, everyone in the stands rose to their feet as it perfectly sailed through the hoop. “I didn’t hear anything, the crowd, the announcer, it was just me and the hoop. I didn’t even see it in the air; I just stared at the hoop and then saw it go in.”

Rubio said, “I had honestly almost forgotten about opening the case after I made the shot.” By this time, Rubio’s celebration was not because he had won the money, but because he completed the game. The real question now was, what was inside his case? Had there been just a t-shirt inside “[I] would have fell to my knees and you would have had to drag me out of the building!” Yet inside the case wasn’t a t-shirt, it was a thrilling $1,000 (of Clemson merchandise) prize.

As in the TV show, Mick started off by picking one of three suitcases containing either a t-shirt, $1,000 in Clemson merchandise, or $2,000 in Clemson merchandise. Following picking his suitcase, Mick began shooting from different distances on the court having three chances to make it from the set distance.

Before going out on the court, Mick said he didn’t know if he was going to win the grand prize, “but [I] knew that I wasn’t going to lose.” Following each made shot, he got the option of taking a deal offered by Clemson’s banker or refuse the deal and continue to play for what was in his case. To Rubio’s great ability to work under pressure, his confidence played out in the end as he walked away with $1,000 in Clemson merchandise.