Ripley’s Believe It Or Not has always sought out the unfathomable, so when an incredible story happened in its own backyard naturally they publicize the feat.
Ripley’s has a museum on Missouri 76, the strip in Branson, and has included a local story in its latest book, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Eye-Popping Oddities, released Sept. 28.
Ripley’s press release recalls: Michael Quin of Springfield, Missouri, hit a three-pointer during a half-time challenge at the February 2014 basketball game between the College of the Ozarks and Bellevue to win himself free McDonald’s meals for a year — and the 54-year-old nailed the shot despite being blind since 2010.
According to Branson Tri-Lakes News archives, Quin lost his sight six years prior to making the shot after a series of falls that also affected his mental capacity.
Refusing to allow circumstances to dictate his outlook on life, Quin began taking part in sports he had not previously participated in, including basketball, bowling and golf, spurred on by Champion Athletes.
According to its website, the Springfield-based Champion Athletes is an organization with a mission designed to build self esteem, self confidence, and everyday life skills to enhance the lives of adults and children with disabilities through education, sports competition and new opportunities.
Branson Tri-Lakes News archives quoted Susan Miles, director of Champion Athletes, as saying Quin has shown an uncanny ability to be able to judge distances and keep whatever ball he is shooting, rolling, kicking or hitting on a straight line.
Miles said Quin bowled a 130 and can hit a golf ball straight over a lake.
“He actually never did many sports before his accident but now he has an incredible knack for it,” Miles said.
In the midst of acquiring these new athletic skill-sets, Quin remains coachable.
“I listen to my coach, ’the Lone Ranger,’” Quin said after making the shot and referring to Champion Athletes coach Ryan Saner by his nickname.
Branson Tri-Lakes News archives reported Saner standing underneath the goal and coaching Quin, who was positioned at the top of the key, on the successful 3-pointer. Quin’s first attempt came close, hitting the front of the rim, but his second try was true, swishing through the net much to the delight of C of O basketball fans who erupted in cheers as the shot went in.
“That shot is what Michael calls, ‘Dialing long distance,” Saner said. “I thought he had a good opportunity. I’ve seen him make that basket a number of times. I hear people talk all the time about how amazing it is that he can be so coordinated and accurate.”
Miles and Saner said as impressive as Quin’s athletic exploits are, they pale in comparison to his demeanor.
“The amazing thing about Michael is not just his athletic ability, but his attitude,” Saner said. “He has an unbelievable outlook on life. He’s incredibly inspiring.”
Eye-Popping Oddities is available at Ripley’s Museums and various booksellers.