Tracking a shooting star

By George Schroeder Published: June 14, 2007
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Rotnei Clarke's shooting regimen isn't unique — except in volume and consistency. Started in the fourth grade, it gradually evolved into something extraordinary.

Each day, Clarke spends several hours in the Verdigris High School gym. With his iPod blasting Christian rock, the 6-foot, 180-pounder races through a variety of shooting, ball-handling and passing routines.

Among the shooting drills:

Catch and shoot: Aided by a rebounder who fires quick passes, Clarke catches and shoots, catches and shoots, catches and shoots, catches and shoots — moving to a different spot between shots. The drill doesn't end until he's made between 250 and 300 3-pointers.

Bryce Drew drill: With one ball and a rebounder, the shooter is challenged to make 100 3-pointers as quickly as possible. Former Valparaiso star Bryce Drew's standard is 100 in 6 minutes, 55 seconds. Clarke's best is 100 in 7:45 — after a two-hour practice.

80/40: The shooter is challenged to make 40 3-pointers in 80 attempts. Clarke once made 40 in 45; another time, he made 69 of 80.

Free throws: Clarke makes at least 100 every day. Sometimes, Clarke adds sprints as punishment for misses.

Running jumpers and floaters: Clarke works on his mid-range game and shooting off the dribble by making 25 shots right-handed, then 25 left-handed, from several different spots and angles until he's hit about 150 shots.

Many days, Clarke comes back after dinner. And does it all again.


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