Rockets Rookie Chinanu Onuaku Shoots Granny Style Free Throws (Video)


Chinanu Onuaku started shooting his free throws underhanded as a sophomore at Louisville at the suggestion of legendary coach Rick Pitino. As soon as he did so, his free throw percentage went up dramatically. So he stuck with it.

In June, Onuaku was drafted 37th overall by the Houston Rockets. However, it doesn’t appear that he has any plans to change his free throw technique just because he’s in the NBA. On Wednesday Ounaku got to the line during a preseason game between the Rockets and Pelicans in China, and he took both shots underhanded.

Take a look:

It’s unclear how much playing time Onuaku will actually get this year. But regardless, it looks like the NBA has it’s first granny style free throw shooter since Hall of Famer Rick Barry retired in 1980.

Of course, the term “granny style” is meant to be derogatory, which is why Shaquille O’Neal, a historically bad free throw shooter, has said that he’d rather shoot 0% from the charity stripe than shoot the ball underhanded. However, the simple fact of the matter is that the mechanics of underhand free throws work better for a lot of big men. And if improved free throw percentages means the end of hack-a-Shaq, it would be better not just for their teams but for the game as a whole.

Will Onuaku bring back the underhand free throw? Will we soon see Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan following suit? I’m sure Mike Budenholzer and Doc Rivers wouldn’t mind at all.

Hat Tip – [Deadspin]

Tags: Chinanu Onuaku, free throws, Houston Rockets, NBA, underhand free throws,