What would you do if two minutes from now, you raised $25,000 for your favorite charity? We'd be pretty impressed! And that's exactly how we felt earlier this month when former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal did just that for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Shaq teamed up with Tupperware's CEO Rick Goings and the two sparred in a "kitchen faceoff" to find out who could nail a better shot. But Shaq wasn't the one shooting hoops! A self-claimed "expert at making cereal and turkey sandwiches," the super tall basketball star was in the kitchen using Tupperware's latest cooking gadgets to expand his skills and whip up fresh-fruit smoothies, while Goings shot free throws. At the end of two minutes, their numbers were tallied (smoothies and baskets made), three zeroes were tacked on and a check was written to Boys & Girls Club, a charity that Shaq was a part of himself while growing up in a rough area of New Jersey. Before Goings started draining free throws though, Shaq gave him a few lessons on how to shoot that perfect shot (despite Shaq's own troubles at the line, we'd say he's got more insider knowledge than us!). Here's the tips we nabbed so you can be a superstar next time you hit the courts, too:
- Toe the line. Step up to the free throw line and place your lead foot directly in line with the center of the rim, which will make it easier to nail a straight shot.
- Hand position is key. If you're a righty, place your left hand on the side of the ball, and center your right directly in the middle. Keep your palms flat and wrists relaxed.
- Bend your knees. As you prep to let the ball fly, make sure there's a good bend in your knee and keep your body centered toward the hoop. Tuck your elbow in so that it's directly above your knee.
- Put a spin on it. Every shot needs some backspin to help it accurately get over to the net and through the hoop. When you shoot, let the ball roll off your hand all the way through your fingertips. As it's leaving the fingertips, snap your wrist forward (toward the hoop) to give it that much-needed push.
And a bonus tip from us: visualize the ball. Before you let go, imagine that ball floating smoothly through the air and effortlessly sinking into the net. Positive thinking never hurts, and you never know what could happen! Happy shooting!
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