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From three-pointers to slam dunks, Swish: The Quest for Basketball's Perfect Shot goes beyond the record books and explores all aspects of making a basket. This book features amazing shots, player profiles, and tons of trivia. Authors Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy cover basketball from the late 1800s to modern times, showcasing top male and female players both at the college level and in the pros.
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J M i l l b r o o k P r e s s · M I N N E A P OLIS

The following images were provided by the Authors: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, pp. 6, 11; YWCA USA, p. 8 (bottom); Murad Tobacco,
p. 10; Capital Cards, p. 12; Spalding Sporting Goods, p. 13; Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, pp. 18, 19 (bottom); Bowman Gum Co., p. 19
(top); Editions Recontre S.A., p. 21 (top); Topps, Inc., pp. 21 (bottom), 29 (bottom), 33 (bottom); Collegiate Collection, pp. 23 (top), ; Courtside Collection,
pp. 23 (bottom), 25 (bottom); From the Authors’ Collection, pp. 25 (top), 31 (bottom); Duke University, p. 26; Classic Games, Inc., p. 27 (both); Fleer
Corp., pp. 29 (top), 50; WNBA Enterprises, LLC, p. 31 (top); General Mills, Inc., p. 33 (top); The Nera Collection, p. 40.
The following images are used with the permission of: © Angeltun, pp. 1, all backgrounds; © Ronald Martinez/Getty Images,
p. 4; © Hulton Archive/Getty Images, p. 8 (top); © Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images, pp. 9, 41 (bottom), 49 (bottom); © Wen Roberts/NBAE/
Getty Images, pp. 14, 59 (top); © NBA PHOTOS/NBAE/Getty Images, pp. 15, 48, 53; © Focus on Sport/Getty Images, pp. 16, 34, 42, 58, 60 (top);
© Rich Clarkson/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images, p. 20; © Rich Clarkson/Getty Images, p. 22; © Getty Images, p. 24; © Andrew D. Bernstein/
NBAE/Getty Images, pp. 28, 39, 44, 52, 54; © Jim Gund/Getty Images, p. 30; © Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 32; © Walter Iooss Jr./
NBAE/Getty Images, pp. 35, 45; © Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 36; © George Gojkovich/Getty Images, p. 37; © Rocky Widner/NBAE/
Getty Images, pp. 38 (top), 62; © Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 38 (bottom); © Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 41 (top); © Ron
Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 43 (top); © Wen Roberts/AFP/Getty Images, p. 43 (bottom); © Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 46; ©
Robert Lewis/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 49 (top); © Ernest Sisto/New York Times Co./Getty Images, p. 55; © Rick Ste; wart/Getty Images, p. 56; © Jen
Pottheiser/WNBAE/Getty Images, p. 57; © Kent Horner/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 59 (bottom); © Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images, p. 60 (bottom).
Front Cover: © Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images (top); © Angeltun (bottom); © Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty
Images (cover flap, left); © Rick Stewart/Getty Images (cover flap, right).

Special thanks to Nera White and Brenda Hiett
Unless otherwise indicated, the memorabilia photographed in this book is from the collection of the authors.
The logos and registered trademarks pictured are the property of the teams, leagues, and companies listed above.
The authors are not affiliated with any of these organizations.
Copyright © 2009 by Black Book Partners, LLC.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise—without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., except for the inclusion
of brief quotations in an acknowledged review.
Millbrook Press
A division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
241 First Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401 U.S.A.
Website address:
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Stewart, Mark, 1960–
		 Swish : the quest for basketball’s perfect shot / by Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy.
			 p. cm.
		 Includes index.
		 ISBN: 978–0–8225–8752–1 (lib. bdg. : alk. paper)
		 1. Basketball—United States—History—Juvenile literature. 2. Basketball players—United
States—Juvenile literature. I. Kennedy, Mike (Mike William), 1965– II. Title.
GV885.1.S74 2009
Manufactured in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 – DP – 14 13 12 11 10 09

eISBN-13: 978-0-7613-5161-0

Introduction.............................................................................................................................................. 4


Aiming for the Stars—The History of Shooting....................................................... 6


Buzzer Beaters—Amazing Game-Winning Shots....................................................... 17


Sensational Scorers—The Art of Shooting................................................................... 34


Longest, Shortest, Weirdest, Wildest—
	Basketball’s Most Remarkable Shots.............................................................................. 47


Fabulous Feats—An Inside Look at Scoring.................................................................... 51


For the Record—Basketball’s Greatest Scoring Marks.................................... 58


Crystal Ball—The Future of Shooting................................................................................. 61


Resources.................................................................................................................................................... 63
Index................................................................................................................................................................. 64



ne of the sweetest sounds in the world is the SWISH a ball makes as it brushes
against the thick cords of a basketball net. This sound can mean only one thing:
a player has made a shot, and a team has added to its score.
A basket might be the reward for a total team effort. It might be the result of
one player’s talent. It might just be a lucky shot. Indeed, no two baskets are exactly
alike. A ball can travel many different paths from a shooter’s hand into the net.
Making a basket is limited only by a player’s skill and imagination.
Basketball began in the United States more than one hundred years ago. Since
then, the sport has spread all over the world. New players and new ideas come to
basketball every day. This book looks at the art of shooting and how it has shaped
the game. Most of all, it celebrates the special thrill you get from launching a shot
and watching the ball—and listening to it—as it swishes through the basket.

Manu Ginobili floats a soft shot over the outstretched arms of two defenders in the 2005 NBA Finals.
A player has many ways to put the ball in the basket.




Aiming for
the Stars


ou don’t have to be a sports fan to know that basketball is very different from
other games. It looks different, sounds different, and requires different skills
than other sports. Basketball is different in another important way. No one is
exactly sure when or how those other sports began—or even who invented them.
We do know these things about basketball.
In the autumn of 1891, students at the YMCA Training School in Springfield,
Massachusetts, were facing another dreary winter of indoor exercise. In the fall and
spring, they played fun outdoor sports such as baseball, football, soccer, and lacrosse.
However, when the weather turned cold, they were stuck inside in the gymnasium.
They marched, did calisthenics, and twirled wooden clubs shaped like bowling
pins. Boring!
The school wanted to create a new team sport that would keep students active
and entertained indoors. An instructor named Dr. James Naismith came up with
A group of men play a game they called basket-ball outdoors in 1892.


a game he called basket-ball. He posted a set of thirteen
rules for his new sport before class on the morning of
December 21. His students decided to give basket-ball a
try. They loved it.
One day, teachers from a nearby women’s school saw the
young men playing basket-ball. Their students started playing
too. Before long others learned about this challenging new
game. Soon basketball spread all over the country.
Naismith later admitted that basketball could have
ended up being called crate-ball or box-ball. He had
asked the school’s janitor, Pop Stebbins, for two square
crates to nail up at either end of the gym. Pop did not have
any. Instead, he offered Naismith two round peach baskets.
A round ball and a round basket? It made sense to Naismith,
and the rest is history.
Dr. James Naismith
Players and fans didn’t hear any SWISH-ing in the early
years of basketball. Not until 1893 were wooden baskets
replaced by iron rims and nets. Another twenty years
passed before the modern net was invented and the
first true SWISH was heard. Still, the thrill of making
a perfect shot—and the excitement of inventing a
new one—helped fuel enthusiasm for the United
States’ newest game.
By the early 1900s, men and women were playing
basketball in almost every U.S. town. The game was
perfect for gyms, dance halls, theaters, armories, and
field houses. These buildings had large floors and
As this YWCA poster shows, basketball was a popular game
for women at the turn of the century.



Girl Power
Women have been playing basketball, unlike other sports, for as long as men. Women
compete at every level, from grade school to professional leagues. The “mother” of women’s
basketball was Senda Berenson. She was a teacher at Smith College in Massachusetts. In the
1890s, most people believed that playing sports was bad for the health of young women.
Berenson disagreed. She thought basketball was an excellent game for her students.
In 1899 the Spalding sporting goods company asked Berenson to write the official rules
of women’s basketball. They were different from the men’s
rules. Players were not allowed to run up and down the entire
court. They had to stay in certain zones. Also, there was a
limit to the number of times a player could dribble. Berenson’s
rules made passing and shooting very important parts of the
women’s game. Not surprisingly, some of the finest shooters
in the country during that time were women.
For the next sixty years or so, women continued to play
basketball according to these rules. Six players took the court
for each team. Three played offense only, and three played
defense only. They did not cross half-court (the area where a
line separates the court in two equal halves). This restriction
kept the best players from showing all their “modern”
skills. By the early 1970s, the women’s game finally began to
change. Women played five-on-five just like the men. Free
to display all their talent, the top stars proved just how good
they could be.
At the same time, the women’s game was growing in
popularity in Europe and Asia. Several countries started
professional leagues. During the 1980s and 1990s, many U.S.
college stars played overseas after graduating.
The first successful U.S. pro league started after the 1996 Olympics. The U.S. team (above)
had won the gold medal, and fans everywhere were very excited about women’s basketball.
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) began play in 1997. Over the years,
the world’s best players joined the league. They helped focus even greater attention on the
teamwork, energy, and skill that characterize the women’s game.

high ceilings, which provided plenty of room for players and fans. In big cities,
meanwhile, playgrounds were hard to find. Churches and settlement houses
responded by converting their big basements into basketball courts.
Back then basketball was a rough game that caused a lot of bumps and bruises.
Referees called fouls only when players were hit very hard or knocked off their feet.
Players wore thick pants and pads on their knees and elbows to protect themselves.
Nets or wire cages surrounded many courts, which
prevented players from spilling into the audience as
they chased after a loose ball.
Basketball was also a very fast game. Players
darted back and forth and passed the ball all over
the court. Dribbling the ball was not yet important.
The ball at the time was large and heavy. It also had
laces, like a football, so it did not always bounce
Basketball grew quickly in popularity
after 1891. The first trading cards
Making a basket was not easy. Many players were
appeared in 1911.
still learning the basics of the game. They took almost
all shots with two hands. Some players launched the ball from behind their heads,
much the way soccer players toss balls from the sidelines. The most popular style
of shooting was a two-handed shot from the waist or chest. Very few shots actually
went into the basket. Most points were made on free throws, which were awarded
to a player who had been fouled.
Slowly but surely, players found different ways of putting the ball in the basket.
In U.S. high schools and colleges, coaching became more important. Coaches
started sketching out plays for their teams. They taught their players how to get
shots at the basket without defenders blocking their vision. As more and more
people across the country began to understand and appreciate basketball, the game
grew in popularity.


Many young immigrants—and the children of immigrants—began playing
basketball as well. The United States was a melting pot of many ethnic groups
during the early 1900s. Basketball offered them an opportunity to meet other
young people from the same homeland who spoke the same language and had
the same customs. In that
way, the sport helped
immigrants realize they
were not alone in their new
At the same time, basketball also made immigrants
feel more American. The
sport had been invented
in their new home, and
they took pride in being
part of something that the
United States could claim
Players take the court for South Dakota’s state high school
as its own. The groups tournament in 1923.
that excelled in basketball
included German Americans and Irish Americans. The sport was also popular
among Jewish people who had come to the United States from Russia and eastern
Most children of immigrants were too poor to go to college. Fortunately, the
best players found ways to continue playing basketball as they got older. Many
joined teams that were part of professional leagues. Basketball became their job.
A good player could make anywhere from five to fifty dollars a game, which was a
good salary in those days. Players also made money coaching school teams. High
school and college students soon caught on to the “tricks” of the pros.
Aiming for the Stars 11

Throughout the 1920s, sports of all kinds grew in popularity in the United States.
The top basketball players started to become famous. The best-known team was the
Original Celtics. New York was their home, but
they traveled all over the northeast. The Celtics
started as an all-Irish team but soon welcomed
players from many different ethnic groups. The
best players in the country wanted to play for the
Celtics. Over the years, many of them did.
The top college players of the 1920s did not
play professional basketball after they graduated.
Most found jobs in one business or another.
When they played basketball, it was strictly for
fun. A few of those players decided to become
coaches. They taught younger players what they
knew and spent countless hours dreaming up
new ways to put the ball in the basket.
During the 1930s, the United States went
through the Great Depression (1929–42). Many
people lost their jobs. They could not afford to
buy tickets to support a professional basketball
team. Most pro leagues went out of business.
The leader of the Rens, William “Pop” Gates,
Still, fans loved basketball and wanted to enjoy
was one of the best athletes in the country.
Gates was also a professional baseball player.
the sport. College basketball became extremely
popular during this time.
Players who continued to play professionally joined teams that traveled from
town to town. The Celtics were one such team. So were the Harlem Renaissance, or
“Rens.” The Rens were an all-African American team. Wherever the Celtics or Rens
played, everyone who watched them tried to copy their moves.


At the same time, several large companies formed their own teams. They played
one or two games a week against other companies. Fans loved to watch these
games. Workers were happy when their company
could say it was the best in basketball. Putting a
strong team on the court was also a smart way
for a company to advertise its products and
services. Some of the best U.S. teams belonged
to department stores, grocery stores, factories,
and car dealers.
In the 1940s, company teams continued to
play and helped form a number of professional
basketball leagues. The Detroit Pistons, for
example, started as a team for a factory that made
pistons (parts that help make engines work).
Other pro teams from this time were called the
Jeeps, Jets, and Gears.
Basketball went through many changes
during this growing period. In the sport’s This basketball guide from the 1930s shows a
rough-and-tumble early days, players chose to player releasing the ball while in the air. This
was a new shooting style at the time.
keep both feet on the floor at all times. That was
because a player jumping in the air could easily be shoved off the court without
a foul being called. In the 1930s and 1940s, the game “took off.” Players shot
while in the air and on the run. The fast break became a popular weapon. And
the role of the center became very important, because a tall player could grab
rebounds and make quick passes over the heads of opponents to help teammates
get open shots.
Modern basketball was finally taking shape. Players continued to experiment
with shooting techniques and other new strategies. In the years after World
Aiming for the Stars 13

Going Pro
Since the early 1900s, men’s professional basketball has gone through many changes. From
the 1920s to the 1940s, the two top leagues were the American Basketball League (ABL) and
National Basketball League (NBL). Many teams in these leagues also played games against
other teams to make extra money. In 1946 the Basketball Association of America
(BAA) formed. Three years later, the BAA merged with the NBL to become the
National Basketball Association (NBA). For nearly two decades, the NBA was
the only professional league for men.
In 1967 the American Basketball Association (ABA) began and tried to
compete with the NBA. The ABA was known for its entertaining and imaginative
players. In 1976 the ABA went out of business, but four of its teams joined the
NBA, which grew to twenty-two teams. The NBA welcomed a host of new stars,
including Julius Erving, David Thompson, and Connie Hawkins (left). Since then
the NBA has added eight more teams to bring the total to thirty.
For women, professional basketball got its first big break in 1978, when the
Women’s Pro Basketball League (WPBL) formed. For the first time, women had
a coast-to-coast league. The WPBL lasted only three short seasons.
Much more important to the women’s game was a new law (Title IX) passed in
1972. It forced colleges to create women’s teams in nearly every sport that had
a men’s team. Women’s basketball flourished in the 1980s and 1990s. The best
players joined pro leagues in Asia and Europe, because no league existed in the
United States. Soon there was enough talent in women’s basketball to start three
professional leagues, the American Basketball League (ABL), National Women’s
Basketball League (NWBL), and the WNBA. The ABL and the WNBA were
rivals for several years, while the NWBL was considered more of a minor league. Although
there were plenty of good women players, there were not enough fans to support three
leagues. In 1999 the ABL went out of business, and its best players joined the WNBA. In
2007 the NWBL also went out of business. The WNBA grew to fourteen teams. It is the
most successful women’s major league in the history of pro sports.




1925–26 to 1930–31
1937–38 to 1948–49
1946–47 to 1948–49
1949–50 to Present
1967–68 to 1975–76

1978 to 1980
1996 to 1999
1997 to 2007
1997 to Present

War II—which was fought from 1939 to
1945—there were enough good players and enough
fans for new professional leagues to start. At the
same time, college basketball was becoming more
popular than ever.
In 1949 two leagues joined forces to form the
National Basketball Association (NBA). Initially, the
NBA struggled to attract fans. The players were big,
strong, and tough. They worked hard for every shot—
and just as hard to stop every shot. A team could
control the ball for an unlimited amount of time.
Often one team would “stall” and wait for an easy
shot. The result was low-scoring games. Basketball
fans grew bored with the NBA. By the early 1950s,
many had given up on the league.
In 1954 the NBA made a key rule change. Each
team was given just 24 seconds to shoot the ball.
After 24 seconds without putting up a shot, a team
lost possession of the ball. A “shot clock” was placed
near the court so players knew how much time they
had to shoot. The extra passing and dribbling that Bob Pettit rises for a layup. He was one of
stars who helped make the NBA more
slowed the game down suddenly disappeared—teams the
exciting in the late 1950s.
simply didn’t have enough time to play the old way.
A new kind of player soon took over. He did not have to use a trick play
or get a perfect pass in order to find an open shot. Instead, he “created” his
own shot by driving to the basket or jumping in the air. He would release the ball
before a defender could block his shot. The age of the superscorer had begun.
Basketball games became faster and more exciting. Scores went up every year as
Aiming for the Stars 15

Thanks to players like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, the
dunk is now basketball’s most popular shot.

players discovered new ways to put the
ball in the basket.
By the 1960s, pro and college basketball
looked very much like the game you see
currently. Before long, the sport ranked as
one of the United States’ favorites. Soon,
basketball spread all over the world. As
bigger, stronger, and faster athletes picked
up the game, basketball soared. Players used
their talent and imagination to build on the
success of those who came before them.
In the twenty-first century, players
standing seven feet tall have become
midair acrobats. Players under six feet
tall win dunking contests. Women have
become a vital part of basketball too.
They have taken the fundamentals of the
game to a higher level than the men!
Players have found more ways to
swish a basketball than anyone could have
imagined just a generation ago. It makes
you wonder what Dr. James Naismith
would think of his creation—and what
today’s players would think of him. What would they do if he showed up at a
playground with a funky, laced ball in one hand and a peach basket in the other?
Do you think they would call him Doctor J?





he clock is ticking down. Your team is losing by a point. The fans are
on their feet and cheering as loud as they can. Who’s going to take the
last shot?
Some players love the pressure of basketball’s most intense moment. When their
team needs a basket with only seconds remaining, they want the ball in their hands.
Others end up heroes by accident. The ball finds them with time running out. They
simply do what comes naturally—focus on the rim and shoot for the victory.
Basketball history has countless stories of dramatic “buzzer beaters”— gamewinning shots taken just before the final horn sounds. The ball floats through the
air for only a second or two. But to the players and fans, it can seem like a lifetime.
When the shot swishes through the hoop, the memory lasts forever.
What are basketball’s greatest buzzer beaters ever? The following pages look at
some of the best. Read on and join the debate.


Sheboygan Shocks the Pistons



n the spring of 1943, some basketball players were overseas fighting for the United
States in World War II. Others stayed behind to work in factories making things
important to the war effort, including guns, tanks, jeeps, boats, and ammunition.
Many of those players joined the National Basketball League, which was the top
U.S. professional league at the time. They worked during the day and played games
at night and on weekends.
The 1942–43 NBL Finals
matched the Fort Wayne
Zollner Pistons (who later
became the Detroit Pistons)
and the Sheboygan Redskins.
The first team to win two
games would take the James
Naismith Memorial Trophy.
The teams split the first
two games. The final game
took place in Fort Wayne’s
small, noisy arena. The
Pistons led most of the way,
but the Redskins stayed close.
Sheboygan trailed 28–27 with
time running out.
Eddie Dancker (22) stands tall in
this team photo of the Sheboygan
Redskins from the 1940s.



Redskins guard Buddy Jeannette brought the ball upcourt and passed to center
Eddie Dancker. Dancker was 25 feet from the basket. He surprised everyone by
launching a long hook shot. The ball banked off the backboard and swished through
the hoop!
The Redskins were NBL champions. Dancker’s shot gave fans something to talk
about for years to come. It was the first—and only—time that a pro championship
was decided on the final basket.

Buddy Jeannette
Jeannette joined the Redskins in the
middle of the 1942–43 NBL season
and gave the team a trusted leader. He
was one of the first player-coaches to
win a pro basketball championship.
Jeannette was elected to the Basketball
Hall of Fame in 1994.
1948 Bowman Buddy Jeannette card

Sheboygan Redskins
The Redskins played for the NBL
championship five times in six
seasons during the 1940s. The team
name honored the Native Americans
of the team’s home state, Wisconsin.
1940s Redskins uniform patch


The Soviets Grab Gold



rom the mid-1940s to the early 1990s, the United States and the Soviet Union
were enemies. Although the two countries never fought each other directly in a
war, they often battled in the Olympics. In 1972 the Americans and Soviets met on
the basketball court. The winner
would receive a gold medal. The
loser would settle for silver.
The Soviet team held a 49–48
lead late in the game. They fouled
U.S. star Doug Collins with only
three seconds left. Collins made
two free throws to give the United
States a 50–49 lead. The Soviets
quickly passed the ball inbounds
for a desperate shot. At the same
time, coach Vladimir Kondrashin
signaled for a timeout, and the
referee stopped the action.
Kondrashin called his players
to the bench and gave them a
play. The Americans were ready
for it and stopped the Soviets.
The Americans believed they
The U.S. players are in shock as Aleksander Belov raises
had won. But Kondrashin argued
his arms in triumph after his last-second basket.
that the clock had not been reset


Aleksander Belov
Belov had a great career playing
for the Soviet Union. He was the
center on the team that won the
world championship in 1974. He
was elected to the International
Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
1978 Sportscaster Aleksander Belov card

Doug Collins
Like all the players on the U.S. team,
Collins was a college star. He played for the
University of Illinois. Collins was the first
player taken in the 1973 NBA draft.
1976 Topps Doug Collins card

correctly. Game officials agreed with him. The
Americans could hardly believe it when they were
ordered back onto the court.
This time, the Soviets made the winning basket. Aleksander Belov caught a
long pass and hit a layup to win the game. The U.S. players were so angry that they
refused to accept their silver medals. In 1991 the Soviet Union broke up into many
smaller countries. The United States developed good relations with these countries.
Fans, however, still argue about this game all these years later.
Buzzer Beaters 21


Jordan Hammers the Hoyas

hen one basket means the difference between winning and losing a
championship, a coach has a hard choice to make. Who takes the big shot?
Dean Smith had many options at the end of the 1982 National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) Championship
game. The University of North
Carolina Tar Heels had Sam Perkins,
James Worthy, and Jimmy Black on
the court. All were talented and
experienced players.
The Georgetown University
Hoyas were ahead 62–61 with 32
seconds left. They had a strong and
confident defense led by Patrick
Ewing. As the Tar Heels passed the
ball around looking for an open
shot, the Hoyas guarded Worthy and
Perkins closely. They left a nineteenyear-old freshman open on the left
side, nearly 20 feet from the basket.
No one knew it then, but that
skinny teenager was the last player
Michael Jordan watches the ball after releasing
his game-winning shot.



the Hoyas should have left unguarded. His name was Michael Jordan. He took a
pass from Black, rose off the floor, flicked his wrist, and sent the ball on its way. It
swished through the basket to give North Carolina a 63–62 lead.
Moments later, Georgetown’s players were still in shock from Jordan’s unexpected
basket. The Hoyas threw the ball away, and the Tar Heels won the championship.

Michael Jordan
Jordan was named NCAA Freshman of the
Year in 1982. He played two more seasons at
North Carolina and was voted NCAA Player
of the Year both times. Jordan was famous
for his dunks—and for sticking out his
tongue before he made a move to the basket.
1989 Collegiate Collection Michael Jordan card

Dean Smith
Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961
to 1997. He led North Carolina to the
National Championship in 1982 and
again in 1993. In all, Smith won 879
games as a college coach.
1992 Dean Smith Courtside Collection card

Buzzer Beaters 23

Lorenzo’s Slam Sinks Houston



uring the 1980s, the slam dunk became basketball’s most popular play. No
college team was better at it than the University of Houston. The Cougars
were led by superstars Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon and coached by
Guy Lewis. Before Houston
met the North Carolina State
University Wolfpack for the
1983 NCAA Championship,
Lewis joked that the team with
the most dunks would win.
How right he was! Jim
Valvano, the coach of the
Wolfpack, told his players to
keep the Cougars away from the
basket—and from dunking. Late
in the second half, the score was
tied 52–52. Neither team had
made a dunk.
With time running out,
the Wolfpack passed the ball
around waiting for the final shot.
Houston nearly stole a pass to
Coach Jim Valvano shows the
world who’s number one after the
Wolfpack’s amazing victory.



Dereck Whittenburg, who panicked and tossed up a jump shot from 30 feet away.
His teammate, Lorenzo Charles, saw the ball falling short and grabbed it out of
the air. Without coming down, he turned and stuffed the ball in the basket. The
Wolfpack won the championship, 54–52, on the first dunk of the game.

Lorenzo Charles
Before the championship game, Jim
Valvano told Charles that he was not
playing up to his potential. After making
the winning dunk, Charles became a star
for the Wolfpack. He averaged 18 points
a game in his last two college seasons.
Lorenzo Charles signed floorboard

Jim Valvano
Valvano was one of college basketball’s
smartest and funniest coaches. He
once asked a referee if it was against
the rules for thinking something bad
about him. The referee said, “No.”
Valvano smiled and said, “Well, I think
you stink.” They both had a good
laugh . . . and then the referee called a
technical foul!
1992 Courtside Collection Jim Valvano card

Buzzer Beaters 25


Christian Laettner
Shoots Down Kentucky


uke University and the University of Kentucky have played many memorable
games. Fans will never forget when the Blue Devils and Wildcats squared
off in the 1992 NCAA tournament. The winner would move on to the Final
Four. The loser would go home.
The game was very close. The score was tied 93–93 at the end of 40 minutes.
Near the end of the 5-minute overtime period, Sean Woods made a basket for
Kentucky. The Wildcats led 103–102 with 2.6 seconds left. Duke coach Mike
Krzyzewski called timeout and sketched out a play for the Blue Devils.
Grant Hill (33) rushes to congratulate Christian Laettner on his remarkable shot.


Grant Hill threw a long pass from near his own basket. Christian Laettner caught
the ball near the Kentucky foul line. Wildcats were on both sides of him. He spun
to his right and then quickly spun back to his left. Just as Laettner hoped, the
Kentucky defenders backed away. He rose into the air and swished a 15-foot shot
to win the game.

Christian Laettner
Laettner led the Blue Devils to the
NCAA championship in 1991 and 1992.
He was at his best at tournament time.
Laettner was named College Player of the
Year in 1992. He went on to play thirteen
seasons in the NBA.
Classic Games Christian Laettner card

Grant Hill
Hill is a talented all-around player.
In 1991 he made an amazing dunk
against the University of Kansas.
It was one of the greatest shots
ever in an NCAA Championship
game. In his first NBA season, Hill
received more votes for the AllStar Game than any other player.
Classic Games Grant Hill card


Paxson Puts the Suns on Ice



asketball is a team sport—even if a teammate is one of the greatest
players ever. The Chicago Bulls proved this in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA
Finals. The Phoenix Suns led 98–96. They were 14 seconds away from tying
the series.
The Bulls passed the ball
to Michael Jordan. Everyone
thought he would take the
last shot. They were wrong.
When two Phoenix defenders
met Jordan, he passed the
ball to Scottie Pippen. The
Suns quickly blocked his path
to the basket. Pippen passed
the ball to Horace Grant,
who was just a few feet from
the basket.
Grant was a good shooter,
but John Paxson was better.
While the Suns were chasing
the Bulls, Paxson had quietly
moved to his favorite spot
behind the three-point line.
John Paxson’s Chicago teammates
have already started celebrating as
he launches his game-winning shot.

Grant turned and whipped a pass to Paxson. He rose and released a smooth
jump shot that found the bottom of the net. A few seconds later, the Bulls were
celebrating their 99–98 victory. They were world champions for the third time
in a row.

John Paxson
Paxson was a true sharpshooter. He made
15 of 24 three-point shots during the
1993 playoffs. Paxson became the general
manager of the Bulls in 2003. Paxson’s
father and brother (Jim Sr. and Jim Jr.)
also played in the NBA.
1991 Fleer John Paxson card

Horace Grant
Grant was one of the NBA’s best
defensive players. He was also a
good rebounder and scorer. Grant
has a twin brother Harvey who also
played in the NBA.
1992 Topps Archives Horace Grant card


Tech Gets Caught in Charlotte’s Web


hen less than one second
remains in a game, a
player must catch the ball and
shoot it in one lightning-fast
motion. Sylvia Hatchell, coach of
the University of North Carolina
Tar Heels, made sure her players
knew this. They trailed Louisiana
Tech University 59–57 in the 1994
NCAA Championship game. The
clock read 0.7 seconds—time for
one last desperate shot.
Hatchell wanted her 6' 5" center,
Sylvia Crawley, to take the shot.
But Louisiana Tech guarded her
closely. Instead, Charlotte Smith
got the ball. Smith was standing
more than 20 feet from the basket
when she caught the inbounds pass
from Stephanie Lawrence.

Charlotte Smith launches her buzzer
beater an instant after receiving a
teammate’s pass.

The ball barely touched Smith’s fingers before she launched a long three-pointer.
The ball swished through the hoop to give North Carolina the championship.

Charlotte Smith
Like her uncle David Thompson—
who was an NBA superstar in the
1970s and 1980s—Smith was a great
scorer and leaper. She had 23 rebounds
against LSU in the 1994 championship
game. A year later, she dunked during
a game.
2007 WNBA Enterprises Charlotte Smith card

Sylvia Hatchell
Hatchell became coach of
the Tar Heels in 1986. She
was elected to the Women’s
Basketball Hall of Fame in
2004. Hatchell won her 500th
game with UNC during the
2007–08 season.
Sylvia Hatchell signed floorboard


Jordan Hits a High Note



ichael Jordan had already won five NBA championships when the Bulls
took the court against the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.
The Jazz wanted to win badly. They had played well in the series but trailed three
games to two. Even so, Utah was confident it could win Game 6 and take the
championship in Game 7.
With less than a
minute left, the Jazz
had the ball and the
lead, 86–85. A victory
was within their grasp.
John Stockton passed
to Karl Malone, but
Jordan got his hand
on the ball. He made
the steal and dribbled
toward the Utah basket.
Bryon Russell was
waiting for him near
the three-point line.

Bryon Russell turns to watch
as Michael Jordan releases
his game-winning shot.



Russell was a good defender. When Jordan faked to the basket, Russell stayed
with him, but Russell’s foot slipped just a bit. That was enough for Jordan to fire a
twenty-foot jumper. He swished it to give Chicago an 87–86 victory. With his final
shot as a Bull, Jordan won his sixth championship.

Michael Jordan
Jordan was voted the Most Valuable
Player (MVP) of the NBA Finals
after each Chicago championship. In
179 playoff games, he averaged 33.4
points a game.
Michael Jordan snack-sized Wheaties box

Bryon Russell
Russell was very good at guarding players
far from the basket. Few players besides
Jordan would have even tried to beat
Russell with a jump shot. Many Utah fans
believe that Jordan pushed Russell, but
Russell says there was no foul.
2001 Topps Bryon Russell card






player has many ways to score a basket. Some players like to shoot from far
away, while others prefer layups and slam dunks. Great scorers are good at
several shots, but almost every player has a favorite. This chapter explores the most
popular shots in basketball and the players who made them their own.

The set shot is basketball’s oldest shot. The shooter sets both
feet on the floor and then launches the ball toward the basket. In the
early days, players took set shots with both hands and released the
ball from chest height.
One of the best set shooters ever was Bobby McDermott. He
often made baskets from 30 feet or more—far beyond the current
three-point line. In 1950 McDermott was voted the greatest player
in history.
Of basketball’s modern players, Larry Bird was a great set
shooter. Bird played in the 1980s and 1990s. He shot with his right
Larry Bird aims his set shot. He used the same shooting style at the free throw line.

hand and used his left hand to steady the ball as he brought it back over his head.
Bird was a master of almost every shot, so defenses never knew what to expect
from him.
The set shot is still a very important part of women’s basketball. One of the
best at it is Katie Smith, a veteran star in the WNBA. She sets her feet quickly and
launches the ball next to her right ear. Smith is hard to
stop because she can repeat each shot with the same easy

By the early 1930s, many players had begun
experimenting with one-handed shots. To make up for
the power they lost by using just one hand, they jumped
toward the basket. A college player named Hank Luisetti
became very good at making one-handers while running.
He would dribble past his man, leap off the floor, and
then shoot before the defense had a chance to block the
shot. Luisetti’s style would lead to the jump shot, which
almost every current player uses.
Even as the jump shot became popular, a number
of players continued to shoot one-handed. The best Oscar Robertson rises above the defense
to shoot his famous one-hander.
was Oscar Robertson, who often jumped away from
his defender instead of toward the basket. His shot was
beautiful to watch and impossible to block. Robertson was also an excellent passer
and rebounder. During the 1960s, many fans believed he was the NBA’s best allaround player.
George McGinnis followed Robertson a decade later. He was a big, powerful
forward who shot one-handed while attacking the basket. McGinnis was a scoring
champion and MVP in the ABA during the 1970s.
Sensational Shooters 35

Kobe Bryant shoots a jumper. He uses his right arm to aim his shot.

Another famous one-handed shooter was Magic Johnson,
the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. Johnson
was known for his dribbling, driving, and passing. But when
a defense left him open, he could pop in one-handers from
25 feet.

Basketball changed forever when players began using the
jump shot as a major weapon. A good jump shooter can make
baskets at any time, from any place on the court. Most of the
game’s great scorers have had good jump shots.
Not everyone shoots a jumper the same way, but the basics are
the same. A player jumps in the air, uncoiling the body and arms
to transfer the energy of the leap into the wrists and fingertips.
At the top of the jump, the player releases the ball—making
sure to line up the eyes and shooting arm with the target.
One of the first great jump shooters was Paul Arizin. He learned to shoot in
the 1940s in a gym with low ceilings, so his jump shot had very little arc. Another
early jump shot artist was Whitey Skoog. He tucked his legs underneath him when
he shot.
Jerry West had one of the prettiest jump shots of the 1960s and 1970s. He was
at his best when dribbling to the basket and then suddenly springing in the air to
take his shot.
During the 1980s, two of the best jump shooters in the NBA were Kiki Vandeweghe
and Chris Mullin. Both believed that practice makes perfect. Vandeweghe and Mullin
took hundreds of jumpers a day, so every shot felt natural during a game. In recent
years, Glen Rice’s form on the jump shot was as close to perfect as any in history.


Ray Allen and Gilbert Arenas could “stop-and-pop” from anywhere on the court.
Kobe Bryant is another amazing jump shooter. His jumper is one of the most accurate
ever. It helps make him one of the greatest players the NBA has
ever seen.

The mid-range jump shot may look easy during warm-ups,
but it is difficult during games. A player takes the shot from
about 15 feet away from the basket. Defenders often converge
on this area, so the shooter has little room and little time to rise
off the floor. The key is to release the ball quickly, because one
or two opponents may be close enough to block the shot. A
mid-range jump shooter must also have a feathery-soft touch
or the ball will rattle out of the basket.
A player’s size is not important for making a mid-range
jump shot. In the 1960s and 1970s, guards such as Hal Greer,
Dave Bing, and John Havlicek were good at this shot. So were
forwards during this period, including Tom Heinsohn, Billy
Cunningham, Adrian Dantley, and Alex English.
The mid-range jump shot can also be a weapon for undersized The great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
is helpless against Bob McAdoo’s
centers. Willis Reed used it against the great defensive centers mid-range jump shot.
of his era, including Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Nate
Thurmond, and Wes Unseld. Bob McAdoo’s mid-range shot was very unusual. He
brought the ball far behind his head before letting it fly. He led the NBA scoring
and was the 1975 league MVP.
In recent years, as NBA players have become taller and faster, fewer have made
the mid-range jump shot a part of their game. One star who continues to favor it is
Richard Hamilton. He swishes mid-range jumpers just like the old-timers did.
Sensational Shooters 37

Allen Iverson angles toward the basket as he drives past a defensive player.

Every player has a different way of driving to the hoop for a
layup or dunk. Smaller players often start from far out and dart
past two or three defenders. Bigger players often start closer to
the hoop and use power moves to get to their target.
One of the best “little men” was Nate “Tiny” Archibald.
He was a lightning-quick ball handler who could dribble
right past his defender. Archibald led the NBA in scoring
and assists in 1972–73.
Like Archibald, Allen Iverson also loves to score against
bigger, stronger players. He has a brilliant crossover dribble
that completely confuses defenders. Iverson was the NBA scoring leader four
times and was named the league MVP for the 2000–01 season. Chris Paul has
followed in Iverson’s footsteps. He is so fast going to the
hoop that opponents have to focus all of their attention
on him.
Pete Maravich was bigger than Archibald, Iverson, and
Paul, but he had more moves than anyone when it came
to driving to the hoop. He looked as if he was making up
shots as he was taking them. And sometimes he was!
Big men with a talent for driving included George
Mikan, Walt Bellamy, David Robinson, and Shaquille
O’Neal. Mikan—the NBA’s best player in the 1950s—was
a rough center who used his hips and elbows to back his
man toward the basket. Bellamy was a star in the 1960s.
He liked to wait for a defensive player to make his move
Cynthia Cooper rises toward the rim.



and then dribble, spin, or jump past him to the rim. Robinson was a gymnast as a
boy. Although he grew to seven feet tall, he was graceful and quick enough to glide
past most defenders during his prime in the 1990s. O’Neal uses his great power and
size to get to the hoop. The NBA’s most rugged defenders often look helpless when
they try to guard Shaq.
Driving to the basket is also a key part of the
women’s game. One of the best ever at this skill was
Cynthia Cooper. She exploded toward the basket for
layups or passes to open teammates, but she always
played under control. Cooper led her college team to
the NCAA Championship in 1983 and 1984 and helped
Team USA win a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics.
She joined the WNBA at the age of thirty-four and
was named MVP in the league’s first two seasons.
Cooper’s drives helped the Houston Comets win the
league championship four years in a row.

Of all the shots in basketball, the slam dunk is the
closest to a sure thing. A player jumps high in the air LeBron James soars to the rim on his way
and then throws the ball down into the basket with to a thunderous dunk.
one or two hands. Players began dunking the ball in
the 1930s but rarely during games. It was considered bad sportsmanship. For many
years in college basketball, dunking actually was against the rules. By contrast, the
NBA found that dunking was a great way to attract fans.
In the 1960s and 1970s, stars such as Elgin Baylor, Connie Hawkins, Julius Erving,
and David Thompson played basketball “above the rim.” Baylor was never the
tallest man on the court, but he could usually jump the highest. When he had a clear
Sensational Shooters 39

Air Nera
Nera White (left) was the first true superstar in women’s
basketball. In 1958 White led a team of U.S. women to the World
Basketball Championship. She won ten amateur championships
as well.
White stood 6' 1" and thrilled fans with her soaring rebounds
and drives to the basket. She was a great scorer who had a deadly
hook shot and an accurate 25-foot jump shot. Another of her
specialties was sinking baskets from half-court. White also had
amazing leaping ability. Every so often, she would rise to the rim
and dunk the ball, bringing the crowd to its feet.

path to the basket, all opponents could do was watch him fly past them. Hawkins
had enormous hands. He could control the ball in one hand as he soared through
the air. In his first year in the ABA, Hawkins led the league in scoring and his team
won the championship. Erving also starred in the ABA. He was nicknamed Dr. J
because of the way he “operated” on the court. Erving could score from anywhere,
but his acrobatic dunks were the most exciting part of his game. Thompson stood
only 6' 4", but he could touch the top of the backboard. No wonder he was called
These players paved the way for the dunking specialists of the 1980s and 1990s,
including Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, and Larry Nance. Wilkins slammed
the ball down with tremendous force. He was a quick and powerful player who
loved to finish the fast break. Drexler was a silky-smooth scorer who made the
game look easy. His nickname was Clyde the Glide. Nance was long and lean. He
could bend and twist his body in the air and use his long arms to dunk from many
different angles.


Tim Duncan is one of the “kings” of the bank shot.

Almost every player currently in the NBA can dunk. One of the
best is LeBron James. When he sees an open lane to the basket, he
explodes toward the rim and jams the ball into the basket.

Bank shots have been around as long as there have been
backboards. Rather than trying to shoot the ball directly into the
basket, a player aims for a spot on the backboard, so that the ball
bounces off it and into the hoop. To understand the angles of
different bank shots, a shooter must practice from almost every part
of the court.
When basketballs had laces, bank shots were very popular. When
balls without laces were introduced, shooting directly into the basket
became much easier. However, a few players continued to use the
backboard on their shots.
Sam Jones and Rudy Tomjanovich were bank shot artists. Jones
was one of the top scorers on the Boston teams that won nine NBA
championships in the 1960s. Tomjanovich was a forward who played
for the Houston Rockets during the 1970s. More recently, center Tim
Duncan has proven that he knows all the angles too. His shooting
helped the San Antonio Spurs win three championships in five years.

When a player jumps away from the rim, the chances of making
a basket usually go down. Some players, however, are actually better
shooters when they “fade away” from the basket.
Karl Malone “fades away” against long-armed Scottie Pippen.

Sensational Shooters 41

The best at the fadeaway shot—including Elvin Hayes, Michael Jordan, and
Karl Malone—were great shooters to begin with. Hayes was one of the NBA’s top
scorers and leaders in the 1970s. Jordan and Malone followed him a decade later.
The ability to drift backward when shooting made these players even harder to stop.
All three were known for their desire to attack the basket. That meant that defenders
usually were ready to back up when guarding them. By fading away, Hayes, Jordan,
and Malone guaranteed they would have a clear look at the rim.

Many shooters use a turnaround jump shot to confuse a defender. The shot
is taken just as its name suggests. The shooter backs toward the defender and
then spins left or right to release the ball toward the hoop. If opponents can only
see the shooter’s back, they can never be sure when a shot will be
launched—or which way a shooter will turn.
Making a turnaround jumper takes strength, balance, and agility.
A player spinning in midair must be able to locate the basket,
estimate its distance, and then take the shot in less than a second.
The first great turnaround jump shooter was Joe Fulks. In the
1940s, while some players were experimenting with jump shots,
Fulks could spin left or right, spring into the air, and launch the
ball toward the basket. During the 1950s, George Yardley was the
master of the turnaround jumper. He became the first NBA player
to score 2,000 points in a season.
Another NBA star with a great turnaround jump shot was
Bernard King, the league’s scoring leader in 1984–85. When King
had the ball with his back to the basket, his defender tried to guess
which way he would turn. If his opponent guessed wrong, King
Bernard King spins and shoots before three defenders can react.



WNBA fans watch Lisa Leslie fire a turnaround jumper.

dribbled to the basket for a layup or dunk. If he guessed
right, King’s turnaround jumper was still good enough to
go in.
The turnaround jump shot is also a good weapon for
big men who play close to the basket. Kevin McHale and
Patrick Ewing used their long arms and great body control
to make the turnaround jumper an unstoppable weapon.
The turnaround is a very effective shot in women’s
basketball too. Many centers use the shot after they
receive a pass with their back to the basket. In the WNBA,
Lauren Jackson and Lisa Leslie have scored many of their
baskets this way.

One of the most graceful shots in basketball is the finger
roll, which a player takes very close to the basket. Players
with long fingers and great jumping ability are especially
good at this shot. The shooter stretches out toward the rim
and flips the ball up and into the basket with the fingers.
Two masters of the finger roll were Wilt Chamberlain
and George Gervin. During the 1960s, Chamberlain
used the finger roll instead of the dunk when a defensive
player was in his way. He simply jumped toward the rim,
reached out over his opponent’s head, and dropped the ball
through the hoop. In the 1970s and 1980s, Gervin used
the finger roll on his drives to the rim. He would hold the
Wilt Chamberlain towers above defenders as he rolls the ball into
the basket.

Bill Laimbeer has no way of blocking Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar’s “sky hook.”

ball out and wait until a defender tried to swat it
out of his hand. At the last moment, he would
flick the ball over his opponent’s hand and into
the basket.

What is the best way for a shooter to keep
an opponent from blocking a shot? By using the
body to shield the ball from the defender. That
simple idea led to the hook shot. A player flips
a soft shot with an arching movement over the
defender’s outstretched hands—and into the
One of the first great hook shooters was center
Neil Johnston. He used the hook to lead the NBA
in scoring in 1954–55. A smaller player known for
his hook shot was Cliff Hagan. He played in the
same era as Johnston. With his running hook, he
could score against opponents who were much
taller. During the 1970s, Bob Lanier used his big
body to move close to the hoop. He then dropped
short hooks right into the basket.
No one had a more famous hook shot than
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He stood over seven feet
tall and had long arms. Abdul-Jabbar released his
shot so high that he could shoot down at the rim. He retired in 1990 as the NBA’s
all-time leading scorer.


The free throw (or foul shot) is “free” because no one is
allowed to defend against it. That does not mean it is an easy
shot. When standing at the free throw line after being fouled,
a player’s heart is pounding, and the body is aching. Making a
free throw takes great composure and focus—especially when
a game is on the line.
Two of the best free throw shooters were Bill Sharman and
Dolph Schayes. Both were all-stars in the 1950s. Sharman was
a perfectionist. He practiced this shot hundreds of times a day.
Schayes could shoot from anywhere on the court, but he had a
lot of practice from the “charity stripe” because he was fouled
so often.
Rick Barry, the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1966, shot
his free throws underhanded. While young fans thought this
looked weird, older fans remembered that almost everyone
shot underhanded until the 1940s! One of the best free throw
shooters was Calvin Murphy, a star in the 1970s who was also
one of the smallest players in history. That was an advantage at
the foul line, because his shorter limbs made it easier to have a
consistent shooting motion.
Barry prepares to shoot
Many of the NBA’s tallest players, in fact, have been poor Rick
a free throw underhanded.
free throw shooters because of their long arms and legs. But
that’s not the case for Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki—two of the tallest players in
the NBA today. When Yao was a teenager in China, he practiced free throws every
day. Nowitzki, who grew up in Germany, learned his smooth shooting style when
he was a young guard. By the time he unexpectedly grew to seven feet, he had
already perfected his free throw shooting motion.
Sensational Shooters 45

A three-pointer is on its way, courtesy of Reggie Miller. When Miller retired in 2005, he held the
NBA record with 2,560 three-point shots made.

In recent years, Steve Nash has been one of the NBA’s best free throw shooters.
He was named the league’s Most Valuable Player twice. When the game comes
down to free throws, Nash is the player teammates want on the line.

The three-point shot has been a part of pro basketball since the 1960s and in
college ball since the 1980s. The distance on a three-point shot is different in the
NBA (just under twenty-four feet) and men’s college basketball (just under twenty
feet). The same is true in the WNBA (just under twenty-one feet) and women’s
college basketball (just under twenty feet).
Since the ball travels farther on a three-pointer, a shooter’s motion must be
perfect and the body must be lined up exactly right. Three-point specialists over
the years have included Louie Dampier, Mark Price, Byron Scott, Dale Ellis, Jeff
Hornacek, Reggie Miller, Peja Stojakovic, Michael Redd, and Ben Gordon. All were
excellent all-around players too. Opponents often backed off them because they
could also drive to the hoop. When that happened, it was usually bombs away!



Longest, Shortest,
Weirdest, Wildest


ow many ways are there to make a basket? Just when fans think they have
seen it all, a player does something that no one has ever done before. One
of basketball’s most famous shots took place way back in 1908. The University of
Chicago and the University of Wisconsin were tied 16–16. Pat Page had the ball for
Chicago with time running out. A much larger defender trapped him. Page hooked
the ball over his head, hoping to pass to another Chicago player. Instead, the ball
swished into the basket to win the game.
Chicago fans were still talking about that shot when the University of Pennsylvania
came to town a short time later. During a scramble for a loose ball, Page grasped
it with two hands but could not straighten up because of the Pennsylvania players
surrounding him. He looked between his legs and saw an open teammate. Page
“hiked” the ball like a football player. His desperate pass sailed over his teammate . . .
and went right into the basket. Chicago won the game 21–18.
In the century since Page’s famous shots, a lot of strange things have happened
on the basketball court. Sometimes, good luck plays a part. In a preseason NBA

game in 1969, Donnie May of the New York Knicks did not see a pass coming
from a teammate. The ball bounced off his head and landed right in the basket.
Sometimes, bad luck leads to 2 points—for the other team. In a 2007 NBA game,
Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers lost his grip on the ball after grabbing a
rebound. The ball popped in the air and went into his own basket.
Luck wasn’t involved in the weird shots Rod Hundley made. He spent as much
time practicing trick shots as he did regular ones. In the 1950s,
when his college team was way ahead, Hundley liked to put on a
show for the fans. Sometimes he shot free throws with his back
to the basket, and sometimes he shot from his knees. In the
NBA, Hundley also made free throws with a hook shot. When
Hundley was on the floor, fans stayed in their seats hoping to
see what Hot Rod would do next.
Sometimes, a seat for a basketball game should come
with safety goggles. In the days when backboards were made
of glass, slam dunks could get messy. Big, strong players
slamming the ball into the basket would occasionally shatter
the backboard. What a mess! Pieces of glass would shower
the court—and anyone sitting nearby. The first NBA player
to destroy a backboard was Chuck Connors of the Boston
Celtics. He did it during warm-ups before the team’s first game
in 1946.
NBA star Gus Johnson shattered three backboards during
“Hot Rod” Hundley shows
one of his unusual shooting
his career. During the 1960s, Johnson made the windmill dunk
famous. He would cradle the ball as he drove to the basket
and then whip his arm in a circular motion over his head before dunking. Charlie
“Helicopter” Hentz also liked to swing his arms when he dunked. He destroyed
two backboards in one game in 1970.


Darryl Dawkins takes it easy on this dunk.

Spencer Haywood, another star of that era, smashed a
backboard in his first college game. The arena had no replacement,
so Haywood’s team was declared the winner. Darryl Dawkins
shattered two backboards in 1979. He was very pleased with
himself, but the NBA was not happy. After Dawkins broke the
second backboard, the league installed new collapsible rims and
threatened to fine players who tried to repeat Dawkins’s feat.
One of the strongest players—and dunkers—in history was
Charles Barkley. Though he stood only 6' 5", Barkley was a great
leaper with a powerful body. Sometimes when Barkley wanted to
dunk, he jumped too high. In one
game, he had three dunks waved off
by the referees. Each time the ball
bounced off his head—which was
right under the hoop—before it went
through the net and then popped
back out of the basket. The rules say that a basket does not
count until the ball goes through the bottom of the net.
Michael Jordan usually had no trouble dunking the
ball, though he did get help on his most famous slam.
At the end of the movie Space Jam, Jordan tries a gamewinning dunk from half-court. When evil aliens stopped
him, computer animators stretched his arm the rest of
the distance so he could make the shot.
Although fans love to watch players dunk, the most
exciting shots are desperate, last-second tries from far
away. One of the most famous long shots came during
Charles Barkley completes a powerful dunk.

the 1957 NBA All-Star Game. Bill Sharman of the Celtics heaved the ball from 70
feet and swished it at the buzzer. His teammate, Bob Cousy, had made a 79-foot shot
in a game three years earlier. That was the NBA record for many years. Norm Van
Lier of the Chicago Bulls
broke it with an 84-foot
shot. Later, Baron Davis of
the Charlotte Hornets made
The player best known for his long shots
an 89-foot shot.
was Meadowlark Lemon (below), the star of the
Harlem Globetrotters in the 1960s and 1970s. The
Of all the long shots in
Globetrotters are not part of any professional
history, the most remarkable
league. They travel around the
may be a 60-footer by Jerry
world playing exhibition games.
West of the Los Angeles
The Globetrotters thrill fans with
their comedy and tricks, but there
Lakers. It came during the
was nothing tricky about Lemon’s
1969–70 NBA Finals and
shooting. During each game, he
sent a hard-fought game
would try a hook shot from halfinto overtime.
court. Over the years, Lemon made
far more than he missed.
The NBA did not have a
The best half-court shot in recent
three-point rule back then,
memory came during a game
but the ABA did. During
between the Los Angeles Clippers
and Cleveland Cavaliers. While
the ABA’s first season, Jerry
the players were taking a break at
Harkness of the Indiana
halftime, a member of the Clippers
Pacers heaved a 92-foot shot
Spirit dance team swished a shot
at the buzzer with his team
from 45 feet with her back to the
basket. The crowd cheered longer and louder for
behind 118–116. The ball
her than any player that night, including superstar
banked into the basket for
LeBron James.
three points and an amazing
victory. Despite his heroic
effort, Harkness was later cut from the team. The reason? He did not have a good
outside shot!

Long Shots







elieve it or not, a basketball rim actually has enough space inside to fit two balls.
That does not mean that scoring a basket is easy. It takes years of practice, plus
great skill and imagination. And when another player is trying his hardest to keep the
ball out of the basket, making a shot can seem like the most difficult thing in the world
to do.
During his long career, Michael Jordan made fewer than half the shots he tried.
Yet no one in history scored more remarkable baskets. Fans first saw his amazing
talent during his freshman year in college when he helped the University of North
Carolina win the 1982 NCAA Championship. That was just the first chapter in the
legend of Michael Jordan.
A few years later, Jordan was doing amazing things in the NBA. He was the league
scoring champion ten times. Many of those points came on baskets that people are
still talking about. During the 1985 NBA playoffs, Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
faced the Boston Celtics. In the second game of the series, Jordan took control.

He made long three-pointers and spectacular dunks—and every other kind of shot.
When the final buzzer sounded, he
had scored 63 points!
In 1991 Jordan and the Bulls
won their first championship.
During the NBA Finals, he made a
shot that stunned the players and
fans. Jordan drove to the basket for
a right-handed dunk. Sam Perkins
of the Los Angeles Lakers rose to
block his shot. Just as Perkins tried
to swat the ball, Jordan calmly
switched the ball from his right
hand to his left hand as he hung in
the air. Then he banked in a layup
for two points.
A year later, Jordan was at it
Michael Jordan and his Chicago teammates celebrate one of
their six NBA championships.
again. This time the Bulls were
playing the Portland Trailblazers
for the NBA championship. In the first game, Jordan let the Blazers know who was
in charge. He scored 35 points in the first half, including six three-point shots. After
making his sixth long bomb, he turned to the crowd, shrugged his shoulders, and
smiled. Even Jordan was amazed by his own shooting.
Jordan was not the first player to make an unforgettable shot while playing for
a championship. During the 1980 NBA Finals, Julius Erving of the Philadelphia
76ers made a basket that still has the Lakers shaking their heads. Erving drove
down the right baseline and lifted off for one of his famous dunks. He had just
one problem: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar moved in front of the basket to block his shot.


Erving simply glided past the 7' 2" center—and then past the rim—before reaching
around the opposite side and spinning
a shot off the backboard and into the
basket. Magic Johnson of the Lakers
remembers thinking, “Should we [keep
playing,] or should we ask him to do
it again?”
The Lakers had their fair share of
great scorers. When they played in
Minneapolis, their star was George
Mikan. He stood 6' 10" at a time when
most players were barely over six feet.
Teams were always looking for ways to
stop Big George. Even the NBA tried.
The free throw lane used to measure
just six feet across. The current lane
is twice as wide. The NBA made the
change to keep Mikan from standing
too close to the basket. In 1948 the
Lakers played the New York Rens in
the finals of the World Professional
Basketball Tournament. The Rens had
a great defense, but Mikan scored 40
points in an exciting 75–71 victory.
Ten years later, Bob Pettit had a
memorable game when his St. Louis
Hawks played the Celtics in the NBA
Finals. In the final game, Pettit attacked
During the 1950s, George Mikan was an
unstoppable scorer in the NBA.

the basket again and again. He scored 50 points, including the winning basket with
15 seconds left. No one has ever scored more points
in a championship game.
Scoring in the playoffs is a lot harder than
scoring in the regular season. Teams play extra-tight
defense, and the pressure is incredible. One of the
best playoff scorers was Jerry West of the Lakers.
His nickname was Mr. Clutch because he loved to
take (and make) his team’s most important shots. In
the 1965 playoffs, West averaged 46 points a game
against the Baltimore Bullets. In the 1969 NBA
Finals, he shot so well against the Celtics that he was
named the Most Valuable Player—even though his
team lost!
Another player known for his scoring in the
playoffs was Isiah Thomas. He was often the smallest
man on the court, but when he got hot, no one could
stop him. During the 1988 NBA Finals, Thomas
scored 25 points in one quarter against the Lakers.
In 1984 against the New York Knicks, Thomas
exploded for 16 points in 93 seconds.
The Knicks also had their hands full with Reggie
Isiah Thomas drives to the basket against
Miller of the Indiana Pacers. He was a great scorer
the Lakers.
who saved his best for the fans in New York. During
the 1994 playoffs, Miller scored 25 points in a quarter against the Knicks. One year
later, he scored 8 points in the final 9 seconds to produce a win over New York.
Bill Walton dominated Memphis State University in a similar way during the 1973
NCAA Championship game. Walton played center for the University of California


Wilt Chamberlain leaps high above the Knicks for a
loose ball. They could not stop him the night he scored
100 points.

at Los Angeles (UCLA). He was a great passer
and shot blocker. Against Memphis State, he
was also a scoring machine. Walton took 22
shots and made 21 of them, plus two free
throws. He finished with 44 points, and his
Bruins were the kings of college basketball.
A great scorer does not have to take all of
his team’s shots. Two of the best shooters in
history were great passers too. Rick Barry was
the top scorer in college basketball, then in
the NBA, and finally in the ABA. He always
thought of himself as a playmaker who helped
his teammates get good shots. Pete Maravich
was also proud of his passing. However, most
fans remember him for his amazing scoring
records. Pistol Pete averaged more than 40
points a game as a college sophomore, junior,
and senior during the 1960s.
No one has ever had a higher scoring
average than Wilt Chamberlain. During the
1961–62 NBA season, he averaged 50.4 points
per game for the Philadelphia Warriors. During
that unforgettable season, Chamberlain also
became the first (and only) player to score
100 points in an NBA game. The Warriors
were playing the Knicks. The big center was
Fabulous Feats 55

unstoppable that night. After three quarters, Chamberlain had 69 points. The
crowd started yelling, “Give it to Wilt! Give it to Wilt!” His teammates did just that.
With 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, he scored
his 100th point.
Two college players have scored 100 points in a
game. The first was Bevo Francis, who played for Rio
Grande Junior College in Texas. Francis was very tall
and had a very good shot. In 1953 he scored 116 points
against Ashland Junior College—including 55 points in
the final ten minutes! In 1954 Francis scored 113 against
Hillsdale College. Hillsdale used three players to guard
Francis, but he was just too tall and too good.
The second college player to score 100 points was
Frank Selvy of Furman University. During a game
against Newberry College in 1954, Selvy’s teammates
kept passing him the ball. The game was on television
in Selvy’s hometown, and his coach wanted to give the
young man a night to remember. Instead, Selvy gave
the fans an unforgettable night. He made 41 of his 66
shots and 18 free throws to finish with 100 points. Selvy
scored his last 2 points on a long shot just as the final
buzzer went off.
Scoring 100 points is a remarkable feat at any level—
not just in college and the pros. Lisa Leslie and Cheryl
Cheryl Miller drives to the hoop during
her days as a college star for the
Miller did it while playing in high school. No one was
University of Southern California.
surprised when they became two of the greatest players
in the history of women’s basketball. NBA stars Dajuan Wagner and Drazen Petrovic
also scored 100 points. Wagner did it in high school. Petrovic did it while playing for


a professional team in
Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
Part of the fun of
Few players did more for women’s
is knowing that a
basketball than Carol Blazejowski
(right). A star in the 1970s and 1980s,
player or team can set
she often scored 40 points a game.
a scoring record at
Her thrilling drives to the basket made
any time. During the
her the most exciting player in college
1983–84 season, fans
basketball. In 1977 more than 12,000
fans bought tickets to watch her play in
in Denver watched
New York’s Madison Square Garden.
their Nuggets wage an
Blaze scored 52 points that night.
exciting duel with the
Detroit Pistons. After
48 minutes, the score
was tied 145–145. The teams played three overtime periods before the Pistons won
186–184. It was the highest-scoring game in NBA history. In 1992 no one could
believe their eyes when they saw the score of the game between Troy University
and DeVry Institute. Troy won the game 258–141.
The fans at that game probably would have fallen asleep during a 1950 contest
between the Lakers and Pistons. This was in the days before the shot clock, and
the Pistons thought the best “defense” against the Lakers was to keep the ball for
themselves. The strategy worked. The Pistons held the ball for minutes at a time
and won 19–18.
By 1973 the NBA had the 24-second clock. However, college games still had not
adopted a shot clock. That year the University of Tennessee and Temple University
played a game of “stall ball” that ended with a score of 11–6. Tennessee won on
the strength of four free throws in the second half. Neither team scored a basket
in the final 20 minutes. Tennessee’s players had so much energy afterward that they
decided to stay in the gym and play an intrasquad game!

Blaze-ing a Path

Fabulous Feats 57



For the



ou may have heard the old saying that records are “made to be
broken.” As of 2008, these are the records that the top men and
women in the pros will be shooting for.

Most Points

In a Quarter
George Gervin (left)
Wilt Chamberlain
In a Half
Wilt Chamberlain
In a Season
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
In a Career

Most Points in a Game
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center



Kobe Bryant
Elgin Baylor
Wilt Chamberlain

1969–70 to

Most Points in a Playoff Game
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center


Michael Jordan
Elgin Baylor (top right)
Wilt Chamberlain


Highest Season Scoring Average
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center


Michael Jordan
Rick Barry
Wilt Chamberlain


Highest Career Scoring Average
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center


Michael Jordan
Elgin Baylor
Wilt Chamberlain

Best Season Shooting Percentage
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center


John Stockton (bottom right)
Cedric Maxwell
Wilt Chamberlain

Best Career Shooting Percentage
By a Guard
By a Forward
By a Center


Most Three-Pointers
In a Game

In a Season
In a Career
In a Row



Maurice Cheeks
Bobby Jones
Artis Gilmore

1978–79 to 1992–93
1974–75 to 1985–86
1971–72 to 1987–88

Kobe Bryant
Donyell Marshall
Ray Allen
Reggie Miller
Brent Price
Terry Mills

1987–88 to 2004–05

For the Record 59

Most Free Throws

In a Quarter
In a Game
In a Season
In a Career
In a Row

Vince Carter
Wilt Chamberlain
Adrian Dantley
Jerry West (top left)
Karl Malone
Micheal Williams

1985–86 to 2003–04
1992–93 to 1993–94

Most Points
In a Game
In a Season
In a Career


Highest Scoring Average
In a Season
In a Career


Katie Smith
Diana Taurasi (bottom left)
Lisa Leslie

1997 to 2006

Diana Taurasi
Seimone Augustus

2006 to 2007

Highest Shooting Percentage
In a Season
In a Career


Tamika Raymond
Alisa Burras

Best Free Throw Percentage
In a Season
In a Career


Most Three-Pointers

In a Game
In a Season
In a Career




1999 to 2003

Eva Nemcova
Eva Nemcova

1997 to 2001

Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi
Katie Smith

1999 to 2007


Crystal Ball

The Future of Shooting

hen you see an NBA star shoot, you are watching a sort of “history
lesson.” Everything that player does is based on the successes and
failures of one hundred years of experimenting. A player from the early days of
basketball would be amazed by today’s shooters. A century ago, the best shooters
made only one of five shots they tried. In the first years of the NBA, the best
shooters were lucky to make one out of three. Now the top shooters make more
than half of their shots.
Like the best athletes in any sport, basketball players are always trying to improve.
Every day in practice, they work on their dribbling, passing, and rebounding. Of
course, they also work on their shooting. Usually, they experiment with tiny changes.
When they find an adjustment that helps, they stick with it. If other players think
the same change can help them, they try it too.
How well will players shoot in the future? The answer depends on another
important part of basketball: defense. No matter how well players shoot, good
defenders can usually stop them. A player who makes ten jump shots in a row
during warm-ups might not make two in a row with a defender trying to bat the
ball away.
For shooters to keep improving, they will have to learn new ways to find open
shots. That means running faster and jumping higher. It also means learning new

ways to break free from good defensive
players. If shooters can stay a “step ahead”
of the defense, they will continue to get
What today’s young basketball
better and better.
players see on television will play a
Will players ever make all (or almost all)
big part in the future of shooting.
How do we know this? Because that is
of their shots? Probably not. To understand
how many current NBA stars learned
why, just look at the shot clock. With so
the game. They grew up during the
little time to shoot, a team does not always
1980s and 1990s watching highlights
get a wide-open look at the basket. Even
of dunks and three-point shots on
TV. In turn, these were the shots that
the best shooters find themselves holding
young players practiced as kids. The
the basketball with time running out. They
next generation of basketball players
have no choice but to heave up a poor shot
is now doing the same—only they are
before the buzzer goes off. A good shooter
watching the game’s greatest stars on
high-definition widescreen TVs. Their
will make some of these attempts, but never
crystal-clear view of the game will help
all of them.
them become even better shooters.
Will there ever be a superscorer in
basketball—someone so
much better than everyone
else that he or she smashes all the records? It has happened once,
so it could happen again. In the 1960s, Wilt Chamberlain had
the athletic skill of players six feet tall, but he stood 12 inches
taller. He could outrun and outjump all the players big enough
to guard him. He scored 40 or more points almost every game.
Picture a player Chamberlain’s size with lightning-fast moves,
great leaping ability, and an accurate shot from anywhere on the
court. Who could stop him? Maybe no one—except someone
else with similar size and skill. Basketball fans have not yet seen
such a player. But that does not mean they never will.

TV Time

LeBron James says he learned to shoot by watching videos of Michael
Jordan. Are tomorrow’s shooting stars learning from James today?


Basketball Hall of Fame
The official site of the Basketball Hall of Fame features information on the greatest players in basketball history,
including their biographies and statistics.
The Web’s most comprehensive biographical sports site features profiles of the top NBA and WNBA players,
plus a daily list of their birthdays.
The official site of the National Basketball Association features information on teams and players, plus statistics,
NBA history, and the official NBA rules.
The official site of the National Collegiate Athletics Association features information on both the men’s game
and women’s game, including statistics and historical facts.
The official site of the Women’s National Basketball Association features information on teams and players,
plus statistics, WNBA history, and the official WNBA rules.


DK Publishing. Basketball. New York: DK Children, 2005.
DK Publishing. Basketball’s Best Shots. New York: DK Publishing, 2002.
Dunning, Mark. Basketball: Learn How to Put Speed in Your Step, Do the Drills, and Master All the Moves.
New York: Sterling Publishing, 2003.
Editors of Sports Illustrated. The Basketball Book. New York: Sports Illustrated, 2007.
Hubbard, Jan, and David J. Stern. The Official NBA Encyclopedia. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Kennedy, Mike. Basketball. Danbury, CT: Franklin Watts, 2003.
Kramer, Sydelle. Basketball’s Greatest Players. New York: Random House, 1997.
Rutledge, Rachel. Women of Sports: The Best of the Best in Basketball. Minneapolis: Millbrook Press, 1998.
Smith, Charles R. Rim Shots. New York: Puffin Books, 2000.
Stewart, Mark. Basketball: A History of Hoops. Danbury, CT: Franklin Watts, 1999.
Taragano, Martin. Basketball Biographies. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1991.

Resources 63


Page numbers in italics refer to illustrations.
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, 37, 44, 44, 52, 58
Allen, Ray, 37, 59
Archibald, Nate “Tiny,” 38
Arenas, Gilbert, 37
Arizin, Paul, 36
Augustus, Seimone, 60
Barkley, Charles, 49, 49
Barry, Rick, 45, 45, 55, 59
Baylor, Elgin, 39, 58, 59, 59
Bellamy, Walt, 38
Belov, Aleksander, 20, 21, 21
Berenson, Senda, 9
Bing, Dave, 37
Bird, Larry, 34, 34, 35
Black, Jimmy, 22, 23
Blazejowski, Carol, 57, 57
Bryant, Kobe, 36, 37, 58, 59
Burras, Alisa, 60
Carter, Vince, 60
Chamberlain, Wilt, 37, 43, 43, 55, 55, 56, 58, 59,
60, 62
Charles, Lorenzo, 24, 25
Cheeks, Maurice, 59
Collins, Doug, 20, 21, 21
Connors, Chuck, 48
Cooper, Cynthia, 38, 39
Cousy, Bob, 50
Crawley, Sylvia, 30
Cunningham, Billy, 37
Dampier, Louie, 46
Dancker, Eddie, 18, 19
Dantley, Adrian, 37, 60
Davis, Baron, 50
Dawkins, Darryl, 49, 49
Drexler, Clyde, 24, 40
Duncan, Tim, 41, 41
Ellis, Dale, 46
English, Alex, 37
Erving, Julius “Dr. J,” 14, 16, 39, 40, 52
Ewing, Patrick, 22, 43
Francis, Bevo, 56
Fulks, Joe, 42
Gates, “Pop,” 12
Gervin, George, 43, 58, 58
Gilmore, Artis, 59
Ginobili, Manu, 4
Gordon, Ben, 46
Grant, Harvey, 29
Grant, Horace, 28, 29, 29
Greer, Hal, 37
Hagan, Cliff, 44
Hamilton, Richard, 37



Harkness, Jerry, 50
Hatchell, Sylvia, 30, 31
Havlicek, John, 37
Hawkins, Connie, 14, 14, 39, 40
Hayes, Elvin, 42
Haywood, Spencer, 49
Heinsohn, Tom, 37
Hentz, Charlie “Helicopter,” 48
Hill, Grant, 26, 27, 27
Hornacek, Jeff, 46
Hundley, Rod “Hot Rod,” 48, 48
Iverson, Allen, 38, 38
Jackson, Lauren, 43
James, LeBron, 39, 41, 50, 62
Jeannette, Buddy, 19, 19
Johnson, Gus, 48
Johnson, Magic, 36, 53
Johnston, Neil, 44
Jones, Bobby, 59
Jones, Sam, 41
Jordan, Michael, 22, 22, 23, 23, 28, 32, 32, 33, 33,
42, 49, 51, 52, 52, 59
King, Bernard, 42, 42
Kondrashin, Vladimir, 20
Krzyzewski, Mike, 26
Laettner, Christian, 26, 26, 27, 27
Laimbeer, Bill, 44
Lanier, Bob, 44
Lemon, Meadowlark, 50, 50
Leslie, Lisa, 43, 43, 56, 60
Lewis, Guy, 24
Luisetti, Hank, 35
Malone, Karl , 32, 41, 42, 60
Maravich, Pete, 38, 55
Marshall, Donyell, 59
Maxwell, Cedric, 59
May, Donnie , 48
McAdoo, Bob, 37, 37
McDermott, Bobby, 34
McGinnis, George, 35
McHale, Kevin, 43
Mikan, George, 38, 53, 53
Miller, Cheryl, 56, 56
Miller, Reggie, 46, 46, 54, 59
Mills, Terry, 59
Mullin, Chris, 36
Murphy, Calvin, 45
Naismith, James, 7, 8, 16
Nance, Larry, 40
Nash, Steve, 46
Nemcova, Eva, 60
Nowitzki, Dirk, 45

Olajuwon, Hakeem, 24
O’Neal, Shaquille, 38, 39
Page, Pat, 47
Paul, Chris, 38
Paxson, John, 28, 28, 29, 29
Paxson, Jim Jr., 29
Paxson, Jim Sr., 29
Perkins, Sam, 22, 52
Petrovic, Drazen, 56
Pettit, Bob, 15, 53
Pippen, Scottie, 28, 41
Price, Brent, 59
Price, Mark, 46
Raymond, Tamika, 60
Redd, Michael, 46
Reed, Willis, 37
Rice, Glen, 36
Robertson, Oscar, 35, 35
Robinson, David, 38
Russell, Bill, 37
Russell, Bryon, 32, 32, 33, 33
Schayes, Dolph, 45
Scott, Byron, 46
Selvy, Frank, 56
Sharman, Bill, 45, 50
Skoog, Whitey, 36
Smith, Charlotte, 30, 30, 31, 31
Smith, Dean, 22, 23, 23
Smith, Katie, 35, 60
Stockton, John, 32, 59, 59
Stojakovic, Peja, 46
Taurasi, Diana, 60, 60
Thomas, Isiah, 54, 54
Thompson, David, 14, 31, 39, 40
Thurmond, Nate, 37
Tomjanovich, Rudy, 41
Unseld, Wes, 37
Valvano, Jim, 24, 24, 25, 25
Vandeweghe, Kiki, 36
Van Lier, Norm, 50
Wagner, Dajuan, 56
Walton, Bill, 54, 55
Walton, Luke, 48
West, Jerry, 36, 50, 54, 60, 60
White, Nera, 40, 40
Whittenburg, Dereck, 25
Wilkins, Dominique, 40
Williams, Micheal, 60
Worthy, James, 22
Yao Ming, 45
Yardley, George, 42


• Who was the first NBA player to shatter a glass backboard
while making a slam dunk?
• What player with the Los Angeles Lakers scored two points
for the opposing team in 2007?
• Who was the first female basketball superstar?


ead all about the longest, shortest, weirdest,
and wildest scoring attempts in Swish: The Quest

for Basketball’s Perfect Shot. From game-winning buzzer
beaters to profiles of top-scoring players, this book is
packed with fascinating facts for every basketball fan!