Source – At first, I thought it was a joke. At the end of a recent Louisville basketball practice, the players spread around to different hoops in the practice facility to work on their free throw shooting.
There, by himself, was Chinanu Onuaku, shooting the ball underhanded.
“No, no,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino explained. “That’s how he’s doing it now.”
A 6-foot-10, Division I basketball player going straight-up granny style at the free throw line? Yes, the hecklers are going to have a field day with this one.
“Oh, I know they’ll make fun of me,” Onuaku said. “My teammates already laughed at me. I don’t really care.”
Finally, somebody’s listening to my man Rick Barry. For decades, Barry has roamed the streets like a madman, rambling about the virtues of the “granny” shot. Hosting youth camps and showing up at parks across the country preaching his unique method to improve free throw percentages but nobody gives him the time of day. Barry is the third best free throw shooter in NBA history and father of two successful NBA veterans; he’s no slouch. But still, nobody listens.
Guys like DeAndre Jordan are being paid tens of millions while shooting 41%(!) from the line but refuse to try something new for fear of being picked on? Shooting underhand is not embarrassing. Continuing to shoot below 50% on FREE throws because you don’t want to be teased is embarrassing, not to mention idiotic.
Most of these big guys’ hands are so massive that them shooting a 15-footer is like an average person clanking a tennis ball off a Nerf bedroom set. Remember how impossible shooting was on those things? My brother and I would get so angry and dejected during our nightly shoot-around that we just ended up beating the shit out of each other. Every night. And we wonder why Ben Wallace instigated the Malace at the Palace? Smdh.
Well, Rick Barry has a new champion and he goes by the name of Chinanu Onuaku. Louisville Cardinal. Center. Granny Shooter. Onuaku is a legitimate NBA prospect (currently ranked 31st on DraftExpress). The sophomore measures in at 6’10/250 and shows a comparable skill set to former Cardinal great, and current Houston Rocket, Montrezl Harrell.
Chinanu does a lot of this
but saying he struggles as a shooter is putting it lightly. He seems like a good kid who legitimately wants to improve his game and cement his place as a surefire first round draft pick. If the goal is to boost your PPG while staying on the floor in crunch time, then why not try a technique that probably feels much more natural for a behemoth human being? Who cares what some Communications major yells from the UK student section. Nobody’s implementing Hack-a-Chinanu if you drill you’re shotting grannies.
Good on you, Chinanu. You’re a pioneer.