Can you imagine bringing all of those dumbbells to the court, and then you get overshadowed by a grandpa hitting free throws?
Well this guy sure can imagine that because it happened to him!
It’s very hard to think that the guy in the background is not Dave Hopla. The best free throw shooter of all time. This is Dave’s take on himself and his achievement!
Dave Hopla isn’t impressed with himself. But he sees kids increasingly becoming more and more distracted, and he knows that his incredible shooting ability could go unmatched for a long time.
“As much time as kids spend playing video games,” Hopla said, “if they spent that time playing the actual game, they’d be on the video game.”
This is Dave in his younger days, if that is him in the background.
He may sound a little irritated, but this is one 53-year old that young basketball players should pay attention to. It’s a safe bet that nobody on the planet can shoot a basketball better than Dave Hopla. And he has proof.
From the age of 16, Hopla has written down the result of every single shot he’s taken. Anymore, they’re mostly makes.
Consider the personal records he’s constantly striving to beat, records he says “keep me motivated.”
- He once made 1,234 free throws in a row without a miss.
He once made 211 high school 3-pointers in a row without a miss.
He once made 181 college 3-pointers in a row without a miss.
He once made 78 NBA 3-pointers in a row without a miss.
Overall, Hopla makes more than 98 percent of the shots he takes. In 2007, he made 11,093 of 11,183 shots he took–a 99.19 shooting percentage. He always does shooting demonstrations at various camps he works, and oftentimes he goes the whole day without a miss. At a 2007 camp in Los Angeles, for example, he made all 272 shots he took.
Though the numbers disagree, Hopla insists he is nothing special. He’s devoted his career toward showing players of all levels that his remarkable gift isn’t a gift at all–it’s a skill that anyone can learn.
“If you want to be the greatest shooter in the world, there are two things you have to do,” Hopla said. “Number one is shoot the ball correctly with correct shooting form.
“The second part is why nobody wants to be the greatest anymore: You have to shoot it more times than anybody else the correct way.”
Building the Skill
Hopla says he wasn’t that great of a shooter when he was a teenager–his elbow stuck out and he had side spin on his ball, among other harmful quirks.
When he was 16 years old, he went to a camp that had three coaches breaking down the mechanics of shooting.
That camp changed Hopla’s life.