LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —Thursday night was pretty magical (or like Magic Johnson if you want to be technical) for 15-year-old Ricardo Jacobo Jr.
As part of the halftime show at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 held at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, he was given the chance to make a shot from half-court for $50,000.
A half-court shot is something some pros can’t do. But Jacobo, a Culver City native, apparently didn’t get the memo.
He not only made the shot, he walks away with $50,000 for having accomplished the feat. He got five chances to make the basket in front of a crowd of many thousands and nailed it on attempt No. 4.
Jacobo also got the check right there on the spot.
More than 24 hours later, he’s still taken aback the ball went in.
“My eyes just like blew up,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Jacobo told CBS2’s Bobby Kaple that right after the ball went in, he looked over to his mother.
“I looked at my mom,” he said, “and I said, yes, and I realized I won $50,000, and I jumped on the host.”
Jacobo’s sister, Alex Fernandez, captured the winning moment on her cellphone.
“At first I was like, I can’t believe this. And I said his face, and he didn’t believe it,” said Alex Fernandez, “I was just screaming and screaming. Then I started crying, I was crying.”
Jacobo almost didn’t enter the competition.
His father, Ricardo Sr., had to persuade his son to sign up for the first round when they were at a mall Saturday.
“I encouraged him to go for it. He didn’t want to do it,” said Ricardo Sr. “He was shy about it, I told him, go ahead, give it a shot.”
From there, he was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take that fateful shot.
He also had to make the shot in front of major sports stars, including some of his basketball heroes, like Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kaple put young Ricardo through his paces to see if he still had that winning touch.
And reported Kaple: “He proved last night was no fluke.”
Jacobo expects to be on Cloud 9 for a while. $50,000 is a lot of money for anyone, let alone a 15-year-old.
“I’m like sleeping with the check,” Jacobo says, laughing. “I can’t stop looking at it. My name on it. And Tyson Chandler [of the Dallas Mavericks] signed it, too. It was amazing.”