“I don’t get too excited about shots I make because I’m supposed make them. I’m more perplexed when I don’t make it.” - Jesus Shuttlesworth.
Once an afterthought in basketball, the art of shooting has become one of the games most interesting subjects to study. From Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Larry Bird and Stephen Curry all have different shooting mechanics in a sense but they all have been extremely effective from beyond the arc.
One thing about the art of shooting is clear though: there is a method to the madness. For those shooting savants, TheDribbleDrop has started a new feature series called “Respect The Shooter.” Each article will discuss the ins and outs of shooting.
Next up is The Hun School guard Kennedy Jardine. The sensational shooter has averaging 3.2 three pointers made per game thus far. Jardine has hit four or more threes in nine games this year.
TheDribbleDrop: In your opinion, who are the top three shooters all time?
Kennedy Jardine: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are two that come to mind. James Harden may be a natural overall scorer, but Harden can really shoot the ball as well.
Curry is special to me because I see him as more than your standard shooter. He can be a stand still knockdown shooter, but he can also hit shots off the screen on the move and create shots off the bounce and hit them from deep as well. His range is crazy. Klay can do a lot of those things as well.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me two or three drills you do to improve your shooting?
Kennedy Jardine: I work with a trainer on the weekends. We do a bit of stationary shooting, but we also do a lot of shooting on the move. We spend a large majority of time focusing on the move and getting my body accustomed to hitting shots when I’m fatigued. In games you’re not going to always be in ideal situations so you have to practice in simulations that are similar to the game.
TheDribbleDrop: Best piece of advice you got from someone teaching you how to shoot or from a fellow shooter?
Kennedy Jardine: One great piece of advice that I got was to shoot with confidence. No matter whether you are having a great game or an off day, you have to leave the last shot in the past. Every shot you must shoot with confidence.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s more important: a quick release, foot placement or arm form?
Kennedy Jardine: I think arm form is the most important. I think it goes back to what I was saying before about ideal shooting situations. It’s not always going to be a clean pocket catch and shoot situation. You will have to shoot on the move or have people running you off the line. You must focus on keeping your form consistent though.
TheDribbleDrop: Would you say shooting more about your arms or legs when extending your range?
Kennedy Jardine: I would say it would say it’s my arms. I may not get crazy lift, but I work very hard on my upper body and condition myself so I can get the proper lift and release point when I shoot.
TheDribbleDrop: Which rock are you guys shooting with: Wave ball or Evolution?
Kennedy Jardine: We shoot with Wilson.
TheDribbleDrop: If I were new to shooting a basketball, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give me?
Kennedy Jardine: I would tell a new shooter to focus and keep your eyes on the rim. Focus on the ideal spot, which is right over the edge of the rim when I shoot.
TheDribbleDrop: Anything else you want to share about shooting?
Kennedy Jardine: I think shooting is very important skill to have and it’s where the game is going. It’s an equalizer. You may not be the biggest kid and teams can load up in the paint, but if you can shoot, you can maneuver a defense and control a game.
Also, my journey on how I started playing basketball was interesting. I remember getting my first plastic little basketball hoop when I was 3 or 4 and I loved it. Then in the third grade, everything changed. My moms’ boss saw me playing basketball in his backyard. He was the former mayor of Los Angeles (Richard Riordan,) so he knew a lot of people. He reached out to Coach Sherri from GBL, a team based out of Inglewood in Los Angeles. I went to a practice and after that I was invited to join the team. All of the girls were older than me, way better and more experienced than I. I was really intimidated, but within a year or so I learned so much, and my level of play changed like night and day. I got very close with the girls on my team and playing with GBL. I really proved myself and gained the respect of my teammates and coaches. Playing with GBL under Coach Sherri for the following 4 years was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I learned all the fundamentals and grew into a competitive player. I can’t thank Mr. Riordan enough for seeing the potential in me, simply shooting around in his backyard with no prior basketball experience at all. I also want to thank my mom, who has been so dedicated to my growth through it all. Even when we moved to Orange County, she would drive through the 2 hour traffic every week to get me to my GBL practices.