HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In a split-second, Ashlee Arnau became a world-wide internet sensation. The junior cheerleader at William Carey University not only sank a half-court shot during halftime of a Carey men's basketball game, she did it somersaulting, grabbing the ball off the ground in mid-somersault, and catapulting it for a 45-foot make.
Aside from a student section erupting with chants of Ashlee's name, what followed was an instant viral video that's been shown by ESPN, "Good Morning America", a number of national outlets, and was even named the number one play on SportsCenter's coveted Top 10.
"It's been overwhelming, needless to say," said Arnau not even 24 hours later, "There's just so much attention from this, it's just crazy. I've never experienced anything like this."
And her experience isn't over. On Saturday, she'll be flown to New York for a sit-down on the "Today" Show, and will also enjoy interviews on "SportsCenter," "Fox and Friends" on FOX News, and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The Kimmel interview will be via skype.
Arnau never even thought her miracle make would even make it past the bounds of Hattiesburg. "I didn't think it was going to be bigger than the local news to be honest," she said smiling.
She's attempted the shot every halftime of the Saders' home games since Christmas, but the origin of the shot goes back even further.
"I've actually been doing this since I was about 15," she explained, "That's when I actually started doing it, but I just kind of took a break. Then I was really bored at a halftime, just got a ball, and (thought) I'm just gonna go for it."
Thursday's topsy-turvy, half-court heave was actually not the first one she'd made.
"I've previously made it before, but it bounced in. So last night was the first time I've made it straight in the net. Then this morning, I made it at Reed Green Coliseum with Firefly, a Harlem Globetrotter."
So to all the YouTube naysayers, who believe the shot was fake...100 percent authentic.
The pressure builds just a little bit now, as she's been asked to perform the shot in front of a national television audience during her appearance on "Today," which can be seen on Monday on WDAM NBC.