Every April, the basketball world celebrates the anniversary of the million-dollar Calhoun Shot. In 1993, Don Calhoun was called upon by a staff member to throw a 75-foot shot worth $1,000,000 during a timeout in the third quarter of a Bulls-Heat game. With the odds firmly stacked against him, Don threw a perfect shot. As the ball swooshed through the net, the Bulls players welcomed him into their hurdle and celebrated.
Don Calhoun lives a comfortable life in an unspecified location a few hours away from Chicago
Don Calhoun soaked up his moment of fame and resumed his everyday life. He is in his 50s and living in an unspecified location a few hours away from Chicago. Don is an empty nester, as his four kids – Clarence II, Gabriela, Naomi, and Terrelle – are pursuing careers away from home.
Despite making the million-dollar shot, Don nearly missed out on the prize. The insurance company supposed to pay out the money said Don wasn’t eligible to make an attempt due to his past as a basketball player.
Upon learning that Don might not receive the money, the Bulls players intervened. Facing intense pressure from players and fans, the franchise agreed to pay Don in 20 annual installments of $50,000.
The $50,000, minus $12,000 in taxes, facilitated an easy life for Don and his family. “In reality, you’re not rich,” he told ESPN. “You’re not a millionaire.” Don’s last check arrived in 2013, as his son, Clarence II, named after Don’s deceased brother, became the first person in the family to get a college degree.
In May 2021, Clarence II realized his dream of becoming a doctor. Don gifted him the shoe he wore that famous night in April 1994 and the ball he sank to win a million dollars. In an interview with ESPN, Clarence II praised his father:
“He drops spiritual motivation all the time, and that’s always needed. In moments when it feels like life is too difficult, he helps you figure out how you can do it.”
Don Calhoun has a stable job and enjoys life away from the limelight. He’s grown accustomed to the annual excitement about the Calhoun Shot, which he views every few years at the urging of a friend.
He told ESPN he deserves a place in the NBA Hall of Fame for making such a famous shot. “How can I get to the Hall of Fame?” Don asked Ryan Hockensmith of ESPN. “Don’t you laugh. I want to be in the Hall of Fame. I think I deserve it.”