Rick Barry played 14 seasons in both the ABA and NBA before being inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. Part of his legacy was his unusual technique of shooting free throws underhanded, which had him finish his career third on the all-time list at a mark of 90 percent.
Barry has tried to impart his wisdom to players over the years, especially big men like Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard who often times struggled to shoot north of 50 percent for an entire season.
They had no interest because they felt the style was embarrassing, but Barry’s youngest son, Canyon Barry, now a player at the College of Charleston, has no such inhibitions about using the underhanded shot to his advantage.
“It’s logic. If you have one of the greatest free throw shooters of all time, why wouldn’t you do it like that?” Canyon said on Tuesday.
Barry had five sons, but Canyon is the first to make the full-time move to shooting underhanded free throws.
“I always wanted to do that,” he said. “But it wasn’t until junior year of high school when I made the switch. The main problem is that you have to have big enough hands to grip the top of the ball. Why not give it a try, it was only a matter of time until my hands were big enough.”
And it’s working: a staff member at Charleston said Barry makes between 87 and 88 percent of his free throws.
Canyon Barry redshirted last season, and the video was taken from an exhibition played last November. It’ll be interesting to see the reception he gets from fans on the road, but as long as the shots continue to fall, it’s hardly going to matter.