The Sea Lion Shootout scholarship reached its peak of $5,000 Saturday.
The scholarship started at $1,000 Nov. 19. With every loss, the amount increases $250.
Fifteen people have tried to win the shootout, and now Samuel Doctorian, a freshman applied health science major, is the 16th contestant to get a chance to win the scholarship, but first to get a chance at the shootout’s highest amount.
“It is completely random and open to any PLNU student,” said Andrew Borland, director of school spirit.
When Doctorian was called, he was shocked.
“I didn’t think they would call my name,” said Doctorian. “I was like no way.”
In previous games, participants had to make a layup, free throw, three pointer and half-court shot in 25 seconds. Now, students are given 30 seconds to increase their chances of winning.
Even with a little extra time, Doctorian didn’t make the three-point shot. If he could do it again, he recommends for people to “start with the three pointer to get it out of the way.”
Doctorian isn’t the only person thrilled about the shootout. Attendance at games have increased from the 2014 spring semester.
Borland believes that the shootout is responsible, in part, of the increased attendance.
“Whether it is the contestants that are actually shooting, or people just watching their friends do it, there has been excitement about it,” said Borland.
Whether the Sea Lion shootout has a direct correlation to more people coming to games, attendance has increased since the shootout was introduced.
“We have been able to increase our attendance at athletic contests by 30 percent as we continue to find ways to embrace our campus and local community,” said Ethan Hamilton, PLNU’s athletic director, via forwarded email from Danny Barnts, assistant athletic director for communications.
Jake Gilbertson, director of community life, said the Sea Lion Shootout is one of the stepping stones for a better foundation for school spirit.
“That is the goal, ultimately, that we look back in five years and say ‘Wow, school spirit is big on our campus,’” said Gilbertson.
For next year, ASB hopes to make the Sea Lion Shootout a little more rewarding.
“Rather than just have a big prize if you make all four shots, we want to offer a prize at every stage,” said Barnts.
The chance to win the $5,000 is still up for grabs at the next men and women’s home game Jan. 29.