On Feb. 6, CCIM Dean Paaige Turner partnered with junior Media Sports Production major Griffin Leonard to compete in the Dean’s Shootout during halftime of the Ball State Men’s Basketball game against Ohio University.

The competition brought together Deans and students from across the university as they partnered in attempt to connect on as many free throws as possible during a limited amount of time.

As someone who loves playing basketball himself, Leonard said he was excited to participate as Dean Turner’s partner and represent the college and Sports Link program.

Read about Leonard’s experience participating in this year’s Shootout below.

What did you do to prepare for the challenge? 

Dean Turner and I had two practices in the days leading up to the competition, and I think that helped! We got the chance to figure out our strategy. 

Were you nervous? 

As someone who played sports competitively through high school, playing in front of a crowd is nothing new to me. However, it’s always a challenge when you’re competing in something for the first time! 

Did you have any expectations or goals going into the challenge? 

All I knew was I didn’t want us to get last! Dean Turner said that her past experiences weren’t great, so I just wanted to make sure we improved from last year. As long as we had fun and didn’t embarrass ourselves, we were good. 

What was it like to participate, and what was the atmosphere like? 

It was a great time! I kind of blocked out the atmosphere in the moment, but a lot of fans seemed to have stuck around and watched. I wish we hadn’t gone first, it would have been nice to see a couple teams take on the challenge before we had to, so we got thrown right into the fire! 

How do you feel about your overall performance during the challenge? 

I certainly could have done better. I think I rushed some of the shots to get more up, but then again, we probably had to if we wanted a chance to win! 

What were the final results of the challenge? 

I made six of my 16 shots, and I believe Dean Turner made two or three. We certainly improved from last year! 

CCIM Dean Paaige Turner and junior Media Sports Production Major Griffin Leonard compete in the Dean's Shootout Feb. 6 in Worthen Arena.

What was the best thing about being Dean Turner’s partner for this competition? 

We had a blast! Even though we competed against the other colleges, everyone was really positive and supportive of each other. Dean Turner and I get along really well and I had a great time. 

Do you have any advice for next year’s competitors? 

Watch your first three shots. I grabbed the next ball as soon as I could, and I believe that caused me to miss out on making adjustments. 

Would you do this again and why? 

I would! I’d love a chance next year to team up with Dean Turner and try to improve our score. I think that with a little practice we’d have a chance to win! Additionally, I’d want to up my shoe game after seeing Dean Turner’s style that she rolled out.