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He ended his career in 1980 shooting 90 percent from the foul line, a mark that was then the highest in NBA history (now, Barry sits at seventh all-time).So if science and application prove that Barry’s method of free-throw shooting is so effective, why didn’t anyone follow his lead in the ’60s and ’70s?He took 40 adolescent boys with no prior basketball experience and split them into two groups—the granny shot group and the push shot group—and spent five days a week for eight straight weeks teaching and training them.
Since a basketball is 9.5 inches in diameter and the rim is 18 inches in diameter, it stands to reason that the flatter the shot, the more likely it is to make contact with the rim on its way to the net.He bounced the ball three times, bent his knees, and shot… Thanks to Pitino’s persuasion and Onuaku’s open-mindedness, the 6’10’’ center saw his free-throw percentage improve from 46.7 percent as a freshman to 58.9 percent last season. It’s shocking that more players don’t shoot their free throws underhanded considering it is proven to work—in many instances, better than the now traditional overhand shooting (which we’ll circle back to in a moment). The 19-year-old Onuaku has been shooting free throws underhanded (a.k.a.Oh, and on March 2, 1962 (that same year), Chamberlain scored an NBA record 100 points in a game against the Knicks, knocking down 28 of the 32 free throws he attempted along the way.Granny style helped deliver the Philadelphia native a scoring milestone—50.4 points per game—that will almost certainly never be topped as long as the NBA is around.