If you have no idea what a granny shot is and you try googling it, the chances are, you will come up with an extraordinary array of porn images featuring elderly women. Well that is not what I am talking about. If you keep scrolling down the display of unusual erotic images, eventually you will come to a photograph of an athlete taking a basketball shot in a most unusual way. That is the granny shot I am referring to!
A granny shot is a basketball term for a shot at basket that is taken underarm, with a hand on either side of the ball. With fully extended arms, the arms are raised upward and the ball is released at around waist height. Granny shots, are very rare in basketball but when they are used it is usually from the free-throw line.
Why would anyone use a granny shot?
Some sports experts have argued that, potentially anyway, the granny shot, if taught properly, executed properly and practiced properly, can be just as accurate as a conventional basketball free-throw action on account of the additional ball-spin and height of trajectory that this shot can provide. Despite these views, few players have persevered with the action long enough to either prove or disprove the theory.
One of the greatest (and strongest) basketball players of all time, Wilt Chamberlain, went through long periods in his playing career when he shot poorly from the free-throw line. To rectify his problems as a free-throw shooter he tried several less conventional shooting techniques including the granny shot. There is no statistical evidence that the granny shot made much difference to his problems. Oddly enough, in practice, Chamberlain was a much more accurate shooter from the half way line than he was from the free-throw line indicating that at least part of his shooting problems centred around his being unable to hold back and control his natural power.
Another time when you might see a “granny shot” in a basketball game is when a disrespectful arse-hole from a team that is in the process of murdering a weaker team is sent to the free-throw line. You occasionally see pricks who want to rub the ineptitude of their opponents into their faces by showing them that his or her team doesn’t even have to bother with trying to shoot properly at the charity stripe to win the game easily. I, personally, think that arse-holes like this should be tech-fouled for unsportsmanlike behaviour but few referees would agree with me.