As we were setting up for the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, I was pulled away from carrying cases of water to storage and told I was going to be part of breaking a world record. That upgrade is job status seemed way too good to be true, but it was. Dave Hopla, some may know him by “The Shot Doctor”, was going to attempt to break the world record of 26 free throws in one minute, with one ball, one passer, and one shooter. An important note, I wasn’t his rebounder, I was his “passer”. The only way it is considered to be a rebound is if you miss, and Dave Hopla simply didn’t miss. So that is why I was his “passer” and not rebounder during this process.
Anytime there was an empty court from teams coming in and out from gameday walkthroughs and shootarounds, Dave would call me over to practice. This guy literally wouldn’t miss, in a practice session, he would consistently make over 50+ shots in a row. Over the period of the next two days, I was the passer for over a thousand shots for Dave Hopla, and I lost a thumbnail in the process. During practice, we reached the mark of 26 made free throws in 1-minute multiple times.
Seen above is a picture from live action from when I was passing for Dave Hopla during halftime of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic. The pressure of being a passer is very high when one drop of a ball could cause 9,000+ fans to go into a BOOOing frenzy. How do you think I did? You can be a judge when you see the video. Unfortunately, we didn’t break the record and ended up making 26 free throws, which is one short of the record. Regardless that is still pretty amazing if you ask me.