Seconds after Dean Tran hit a half-court shot at Staples Center on Wednesday to win $100,000 he blurted out the word “Ferrari.”
That was his answer when he was asked what he would do with the money. But after the buzz wore off, Tran stood in a tunnel off the court watching the end of the Lakers’ win over the Pelicans, and his plan changed a little. His son, Ryan, is turning a year old soon.
“Birthday gift,” Tran said. “I said Ferrari, that was my initial reaction. It’s not enough.”
He added: “A toy Ferrari for my son.”
His shot might have brought the Lakers some good luck, too. Nine people, including Vlade Divac, have made the half-court shot at Laker games. The Lakers are 8-1 in those games. The last time someone hit the half-court shot, Ali Sabbouri won $30,000 in October. The last $100,000 winner before Tran was Suni Strong on Jan. 21, 2018.
Tran, a college counselor from Camarillo, wanted to shoot his attempt between the third and fourth quarters of the game backward. He was talked out of taking the stunt quite that far.
“It would’ve been epic,” Tran said.
Instead, he tried it straight on. He shot the ball and then hopped on his right leg with his left leg extended like an arabesque. After the shot went in, Tran danced around like he couldn’t believe it, but the reality was, he could.
He’s been practicing trick shots since he was about seven years old. He’s made half-court shots many times in his life. He’s made them backward and forward.
“I just had to visualize it, block out everybody and take my shot,” Tran said.