[nfb-talk] Blind Hoop Shooter

Michael Bullis bullis.michael at gmail.com
Sun Apr 1 15:23:56 UTC 2018

AP Wire Service

10:21 AM, April 1, 2018

Date-line Boston

Blind Hoop Shooter

When Mark Danford heard that Fred Newman had shot 20,371 free throws without
a miss and that 88 in  a row blindfolded it sounded like a challenge.
Everyone in basketball knows the mystery of shooting free throws.  Really
good college or nba players seldom shoot better than 75 percent while
others, not necessarily good at dribbling or blocking, can shoot without
missing over and over again, thousands in a row.


Advocates have been arguing for the past twenty years that the National
Basketball Association should allow for a designated free throw shooter so
people like Shaquille O'Neil wouldn't regularly have to embarrass
themselves.  The NBA has always refused, that is, until Mark Dunford came
along.  You see, Mark is blind and he's one of the world's best free throw
shooters, ranked 2nd in the world with 14,321 in a row.  But, because he's
blind and there isn't yet an audible basketball that's regulation weight and
size, he can't be on a team.  But, man, can he shoot.  


For years the NBA wouldn't listen, so finally, Mark sued the NBA for
violating the American's with Disabilities Act.  Yes, that's right.  He
argued in federal court, in a case that went all the way to the Supreme
Court that the NBA had an obligation to provide him with the reasonable
accommodation of being a designated free throw shooter.

In a nine to zero decision, the NBA lost, an tonight, after twenty two years
of trying, on April 1st, 2018, Mark Dunford will play in his first NBA game
between Boston and Milwaukee.  

Mark says, "Some people thought this was just a joke, but, tonight they'll
see the truth.  This date will always live in my memory and I'm so glad it's
an easy date to remember.  I can't wait to shoot that first free throw."


So, basketball fans, whether blind or sighted, take heart, you too might
remember this date as well for its significance to free throw shooters and
nonfree throw shooters alike.  



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