Interview: Disc Golf Basket Guy From ‘Let’s Make A Deal’

Shelton Basham had Wayne Brady throwing discs at him on TV

The potential contestants who fill the crowd at Let’s Make A Deal, a nationally syndicated game show on CBS hosted by Wayne Brady, are often decked out in costumes.

Sometimes the outfits are off-the-rack buys from Target or repurposed Halloween get-ups. Sometimes they’re made just for the show. And every now and then you get one that really makes you stop and watch the screen for a second.

In mid-October, Shelton Basham had a lot of disc golf fans staring at their TVs when he was called up to compete on LMAD in a homemade disc golf basket costume. He even made good on his efforts by being the big winner on the day.

Basham heard saw our call and reached out to us. We exchanged some emails with the cell phone security entrepreneur and learned this wasn’t his first time hitting the jackpot on a game show — he also won enough money on the original run of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Regis Philbin to put a down payment on his first home.

We wanted answers to the real questions: how did he make his costume and what discs did he bring along?

Ultiworld Disc Golf: Can we get a little background on you?

Shelton Basham: 50, married for 24 years, father of two, living in Anaheim CA. Have volunteered for over 14 years with, and now help lead a group that throws parties for kids in our local shelter every month. Consistently coming up with or finding on the internet new games to play.

UWDG: When did you start playing disc golf? Do you have a home course now?  

SB: Played a little in college but as my son Spencer, now 20, got older was looking for something different to do so I introduced him to disc golf.   Took him out for a couple of rounds and had a great time. Neither of us are good, but that’s not why we play right?

Beach Central Park is our home course.  Even gave them a shout out at the taping but that part was cut out, the magic of editing. I also explained that its actual name is disc golf. I called it “Frisbee Golf”as that’s what I brought. This too didn’t make it to air.

UWDG: How did you end up going to Let’s Make A Deal and where did you get the idea for the disc golf basket costume?

SB: It was something I always talked with friends about doing but we never got off our collective butts and did it.  I told my son to take a day off of work and I’d get us tickets.  It’s actually VERY easy to get tickets, but in no way guarantees you a slot on the show.  I also am a fan of game shows that are challenging.  I saw this as a challenge to find [a costume] that would be out of the ordinary and also something the hosts could play with.  That way it’d make for more interesting TV.

Once we secured a date I was looking through the garage and came across a pair of discs…and that’s when it hit me!  “Be the Basket!”  Looking online, I’d seen people attempted this costume before so I copied a few of their concepts, hopefully improved upon them and came up with a couple tweaks of my own.  To complete the outfit, I had my son come as a blind referee/official.

UWDG: Was the costume made just for the show? How did you make it?

SB: Yep, just for the show.  Actually added bits and pieces over the weeks but like any good procrastinator stayed up ’til 1 am the night before putting the finishing touches on it!

Other then the hula hoops from the Dollar Store, everything else came from Home Depot or was already in my garage.

  • Drilled holes around a plastic hardhat, insert red PVC piping and secured them with hot glue.
  • Added a plastic fitting over each pipe with glue to make it look better and more secure.  Drilled small holes at the end of each pipe, inserted small “Screw Eyes” so there was a place to connect the double ended snap hooks.
  • From there I attached the pre-cut plastic chains and used the same type of hooks on the other end of the chain to attach to my belt under my shirt.  (That’s to make the chains taper inwards for a more “realistic” look.”)
  • Connected the Hula hoops together with zip ties and secured them with colored electrical tape.
  • Used a para-cord type rope to hang over the shoulders and connect to the hula hoops.
  • Lastly took a metal skewer, used two differently colored pieces of construction paper and connected this “flag” with packaging tape.  Said “No Zonks” on one side and “18” on the other.

UWDG: Will you wear the costume for Halloween this year?

SB: Unless my son’s taking it to an actual Halloween party then yes, you’ll find me in the driveway handing out candy and having kids throw discs at me!

UWDG: Did any other people in the crowd know what you were?

SB: You bet.  I had a number of other hopeful contestants trying to make baskets while we were in line and in the waiting area.

UWDG: What discs did you have with you?

SB: Through trial and (painful) error I decided getting hit by a putter or driver was not something I wanted to endure multiple times.  Plus I didn’t want anybody else playing to damage equipment or another person.  I went the el’ cheapo route and bought Dollar Store Frisbees.  Put black electrical tape on there to hide the logos for use on TV.  Almost impossible to get hurt from one of those.

UWDG: Did you end up winning anything on the show? Did you keep anything?

SB: A 2019 Mazda 3!  I don’t have the car yet, but expect to get it around Christmas or a bit sooner.  (They have 90 days after the show airs to get you your prize.)  I test drove one recently and feel I’m a little too tall to drive that car comfortably.  Maybe I’ll have to take my son and daughter out to Huntington Beach Disc Park for a round to see who gets it!

Portions of the conversation were edited for clarity. 

  1. Bennett Wineka
    Bennett Wineka

    Benn started playing disc golf in the '90s but has somehow never gotten any better. He lives in Decatur, Georgia and cares too much about Atlanta United and UNC basketball. Email him at [email protected]

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