At No.72, Jerry Lucas dedicated his life to education after decorated basketball career – The Athletic


Welcome to NBA 75, The Athletic’s countdown of the 75 best players in NBA history, in honor of the league’s diamond anniversary. From November 1 to February 18, we’ll be revealing a new player to the roster every day of the week except December 27-31, culminating with the man chosen by a panel of Athletic NBA staff as the most great of all time.

Jerry Lucas played his first game of basketball when he was in fourth grade. In Middletown, Ohio, his elementary school only had a sixth-grade team, so Lucas played. But he didn’t play much, mostly training with the team.

Finally, he found himself on the ground for the last 15 seconds of the last game of the season.

“I loved it,” Lucas told The Athletic. “I was excited about it. And I wanted to be the best player I could be. “

So, once the season was over, Lucas developed his method of shooting, based on the acronym DAD, which stood for “direction, arc and distance”. He tried to take about 5,000 hits a day. For Lucas, each shot had a purpose, working through the three elements he envisioned.

He would train for hours, getting kicked off public basketball courts in a Middletown park by older people who wanted to play.

Lucas said he was never given instructions on how to shoot and no one gave him rebound drills when he was young. He has developed drills on rebounding, dropping the ball and more.

“I got to a point where in my shot I imagined there were the clock digits above the rim, and I would fire 25 shots trying to do that by touching the inside of the rim. n ° 3 on the rim, etc. ., all of those numbers, ”Lucas said.

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