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Jack Davidson On Breaking An NCAA Free Throw Record


Jack Davidson is in the record books. The sophomore at Wabash College in Indiana hit his 95th free throw in a row last Saturday in a 13-point win over Oberlin, and he established a new all-time, all-divisions NCAA record for consecutive free throws. And then he missed his next free throw. Jack Davidson joins us now from the team bus. Thanks very much for being with us, Mr. Davidson.

JACK DAVIDSON: For sure. Thanks for having me on.

SIMON: Well, congratulations. What did it feel like to make that shot?

DAVIDSON: Yeah, it was a great feeling. Just to have the crowd's support behind you and my teammates and coaches supporting me, it was a great feeling.

SIMON: So you must have known it was coming up, right?

DAVIDSON: Yeah. We knew before the game I was at 92, and we knew it was just three more to get the record. My parents were definitely really nervous about that. And my mom actually said she had some trouble sleeping the night before because how nervous she was.

SIMON: Yeah.

DAVIDSON: But I tried to stay calm and just try to win the game and let the record take care of itself.

SIMON: So I have to ask, what happened on the next shot?

DAVIDSON: Yeah, that's what everyone keeps asking. But honestly, I just missed it. I left it short. It is what it is. And I'm glad I could make the 95th and just miss the next one.

SIMON: I gather your record - 22-year-old record that was set by Paul Cluxton of Northern Kentucky.


SIMON: Have you heard from Mr. Cluxton?

DAVIDSON: Yeah. He did - he actually reached out to me the other day and texted me and congratulated me, which was pretty awesome. And also, Darnell Archey, who had the Division 1 record at Butler, gave me a call, and then we had a nice conversation. So it's been really nice - the outreach of everyone congratulating me. And that's been really cool.

SIMON: I did a little research. Paul Cluxton is now running a car dealership.

DAVIDSON: Is that right?

SIMON: Yeah. So what do you see in your future?

DAVIDSON: It's hard to tell right now. I'm just trying to get a good education and see where that takes me.

SIMON: Want to play basketball in the pros?

DAVIDSON: Yeah, that's definitely a dream of mine. To play overseas somewhere would be pretty awesome. And so I'm always going to work towards that. But for right now, I'm just not really sure what I'm going to do after college. But just trying to live each day and then try to get better in every aspect.

SIMON: There are people all over America - well, all over the world - who practice free throw shots in gyms and backyards. Any tips, since you're kind of the ranking expert?

DAVIDSON: Yeah. I'd just say try to keep your routine simple. Don't do anything too crazy to distract you from just making the shot.

SIMON: What do you think about those people that do it underhand?

DAVIDSON: If that works for them - you know, Rick Barry obviously had a lot of success with that.

SIMON: Yeah.

DAVIDSON: But it's definitely, I think, probably more difficult. But if you can master that, then do what you please. But it's definitely been easy for me shooting overhand.

SIMON: Yeah. You do have two more years to break your own record, you know?

DAVIDSON: Yeah. It would be tough to make that many in a row again, but it sure is something I could strive for to do the next two years. And that'd be pretty crazy if I got that done.

SIMON: Yeah. How many consecutive do you have now?

DAVIDSON: I think it's just seven or eight. I missed one last game...


DAVIDSON: ...In the middle of the game, and then I finished by making seven or eight in a row.

SIMON: OK. Well, we'll keep an eye on it, all right?

DAVIDSON: Sounds good.

SIMON: Jack Davidson, Wabash College basketball player, thanks so much for being with us.

DAVIDSON: Yeah, thanks for having me on.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.