So…loyal readers may recall the storylet about SM East’s annual Free Throw Derby we ran yesterday.
“Sounds like kind of an interesting fundraiser. Maybe we’ll swing by and get a couple pics to run on Monday,” we thought. “It’s a bunch of kids shooting free throws. No big whoop, right?”
It turned out to be a big whoop indeed.
Because by departing early, we missed the opportunity to witness a showcase in free throw excellence the likes of which we, at least, have never seen.
Let me just tee this up for everyone: Senior standout Vance Wentz – who is committed to playing D1 ball at Montana State next year — was the second most successful free thrower of the day, knocking in 262 shots in 20 minutes. Sophomore Akshay Dinakar was right behind Wentz in third place with 255.
And the top performer?
That would be freshman Davis Morrison who made — wait for it — THREE HUNDRED AND ONE free throws in 20 minutes. That’s nearly 40 more than Wentz knocked in, and a remarkable 15 shots per minute.
“I didn’t know what the record was or anything,” Morrison said. “As I was shooting, they’d yell out when I hit a big number, like 100, and 200. I was hoping to get to 300, and hit it with about five seconds left.”
Morrison’s parents say basketball is his first love. He’s been practicing nearly every day for years. Davis said he typically spends an hour and a half or so each day shooting free throws in the driveway of the family home off 83rd Street in Prairie Village.
“I know he can shoot — I definitely know that,” said his father, Andy Morrison. “But, honestly, I didn’t think he would win.”
And although the Free Throw Derby title is nice, Davis still has a goal he’s striving for.
“My dad told me he’d give me $50 if I ever hit 50 free throws in a row,” he said. “I got up to 42 once. But I haven’t hit it yet.”