Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2001

The Gun” triggers better shooting

New THS equipment targets efficiency

November 14, 2001

Tonganoxie High School basketball teams welcomed an extra player to the team on Nov. 2.

The participant stands about 11 feet tall when outstretched and likes to stand under the basket.

Its name is The Gun and it is a machine that focuses on receiving and shooting the ball.

The Gun includes a net that rises above the basketball goal and a base that pumps basketballs back to players with a mechanical arm. The device comes from Shoot-A-Way, a sports equipment company in Sandusky, Ohio.

As many as eight players can participate in a drill at once. The Gun can rotate the ball to different locations or focus on one shooter. It has one- to five-second delays between passes and can propel the ball 30 feet.

To help with shooting, the net above The Gun's base requires an arc of 14.3 feet, which mathematicians determined as the ideal arc on a basketball.

THS girls' coach Leslie Foster said the device would help with practice drills.

"It's going to enable us to work on shooting more," Foster said. "We'll have more touches on the ball and it will free up a person occupying the passing position."

Foster said the machine might also be used to pass balls from the outside to the post position near the basket.

The machine, which cost $3,500, was purchased through fund raising by the THS basketball teams. Players and coaches sold trash bags, a moneymaker the booster club has sponsored for some time.

Booster club president Debbie Breuer said the players were important in acquiring the machine.

"Without their manpower and sales generated, we couldn't have allowed this distribution of funds," Breuer said. "This was made possible by coaches and players' enthusiasm."

Chieftain boys' coach David Walker credited the booster club as well.

"We appreciate the booster club giving us the opportunity to earn some things here and there," Walker said.

The basketball teams have also raised money for summer league basketball, a children's basketball clinic in December and a soup kitchen drive in February.

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