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Warner's World 1-29
Nothing free about free throws
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Reading Duane Sherrill’s column on his feline felon that took power over all the animals in household with alacrity, I realized I had a similar issue with my cat.
In sports terminology my feline would draw a foul every five minutes. Wouldn’t last long in a basketball game, but he keeps getting away with it at home. Seems just the minute I pick up the laptop he wants to use it as a bed. Then he draws a technical when he sneaks up and scratches my hand moving the computer mouse. I guess you can’t blame him, cats and mice don’t mix well.
Speaking of fouls, I notice a lot of times games can be won or lost from the free-throw line, and there are a lot of basics going unheeded when it comes to the charity stripe. The charity stripe gets its name from the fact it is, according to my “Basketball for Dummies” book, the highest-percentage shot available to a team or the easiest shot to make. To be considered good – not great mind you, but good – a team will complete 70% of its free throws.
Now don’t kill the messenger, but I don’t see that number coming up very often in Warren County basketball. In the NBA, most players make 70-80% of their free throws. The league’s best shooters can make approximately 90% of their free throws.
There are some poor NBA free-throw shooters like Wilt Chamberlain who just made 51.1%, the lowest of all time. The term Hack-a-Shaq describes an intentional foul on a poor foul-line shooter because of poor shooting from the line by Shaquille O’Neal.
According to coaches clipboard, “Middle school teams should strive for 60% from the line, and high school teams should look to 70% as a goal. You won’t shoot as well in a game as in practice, so strive for 75% (high school) in practice. Understand this is a team skill ... become a good free throw shooting team.”
With this information in mind, I watch the free throws and the stances of the shooters at ball games. One thing I’ve noticed is the variety of foot placements and stances. There’s a definite stance and procedure too long to go into here, but that’s just the place to start.
I’m a firm believer in attitude determines altitude or some recommendations include “Take a positive, aggressive attitude in shooting free throws ... take the attitude that the opponent made a big mistake in fouling you, and you’re gonna make them pay.”
Here are the top five foul shooters of all time:
Steve Nash – 90.43%
Mark Price – 90.39%
Stephen Curry – 90%
Rick Barry – 89.98%
Peja Stojakovic – 89.48%
Then just let it go. If you miss one, forget it and focus on the next. Even the very best miss a foul shot so if you miss let it go and focus on the one upcoming.