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Spring 2010

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BY PHIL BOLSTA

Plenty of sports fans know who Blake Hoffarber is, but odds are they don’t know that the buzzer-beating basketball star is also a undergraduate finance major at the Carlson School pursuing his BSB degree.

        Hoffarber, a junior shooting guard on the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team, found national fame after a miracle shot in the 2005 Minnesota State High School Basketball Tournament. With his Hopkins Royals down by two points in the waning seconds of the championship game, Hoffarber (then a sophomore) had a loose ball fall in his hands after he had been knocked to the ground. While sitting on the floor, he launched an 18-foot swisher as time expired to tie the game, which the Royals won in overtime. Hoffarber repeated his heroics in a 2008 Big Ten Tournament game against Indiana University when he drained a desperation jump shot to win the game in the closing seconds.

Q. After your Hopkins buzzer beater, what was it like being a guest on the Today Show and trying to re-create the shot on national TV?

A. They gave me five chances. I missed the first four. On the fifth try, they reenacted the situation, saying there were so many seconds left in the game. Matt Lauer also said that if I made the last shot, they would donate $10,000 to charity. I hit the shot, but a lot of people thought it was fake and that they edited it. But it was actually real.

Q. How did it feel to win an ESPY award for your Hopkins buzzer beater as the Top Play of the Year?

A. It was surreal. Just to be nominated was a big deal.

Q. Why did you choose the Carlson School?

A. I thought that by going to one of the country’s best business schools in a city like Minneapolis with a lot of large corporations, I’d have a lot of opportunities after my basketball career was over. 

Q. So what are your future plans—MBA or NBA? 

A. It depends on how far I end up going in basketball. Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but it’s tough to do that. I’d be happy playing overseas in Europe. I hope to get a good opportunity after I graduate, whether it’s in basketball or business.

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