CBN.com A few years ago a man was playing basketball in his driveway, trying to teach his daughter to shoot better free-throws. That led to an idea now being used by the best players in the world.
These four guys from California may not be famous now, but their invention could change that. Meet NOAH - a sideline coach for the 21st century. Like Noah from the Bible, this machine helps to build the perfect arc.
The arc is the angle that the ball goes into the basket, and it can make or break your shot. If it comes in flat, that's zero from the top, that's ninety. Those are impossible, but after seeing me shoot
Noah had me targeting an arc between 40 and 50. Could I improve? We'll find out. But first, the brains behind NOAH and I do mean brains.
"Eventually I came up with getting out my physics book and trying to decide what is the perfect arc for somebody that was my daughter's height," says Alan, a.k.a. 'The Physicist.'
"The equations governing the arc of a basketball are very much the same as the equations that govern the flight of any kind of aero-space vehicle," adds Tom, a.k.a. 'The Aero-Space Engineer.'
Ridge, a.k.a 'The Computer Scientist' chimes in, "From that information we calculate a Parabala and from that we can get all the information we need about the shot."
Jervis, a.k.a. 'The Marketing Guy' has to put in a word. "There is now technology to help shooters shoot better, which has not been the case, ever."
Right on Jervis, that I understand. Here's how NOAH works. Just touch your name, the type of shot you want to practice, and the repetitions you want to take. After every shot NOAH gives you feedback on your arc, and charts every shot. Its that simple.
"The free throw shooting percentage in the NBA has been stuck at 75% since 1958," Alan points out.
That's why pro teams hire men like Gary Boren. Gary is the free throw shooting coach for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks players use NOAH in practice.
"NOAH is a new invention," Gary explains. "It's a combination of a camera, a computer, and a speaker, and it sits off to the side of the practice court, unobtrusive. But it provides something that no basketball player in the history of the game has ever had before, which is the ability to know exactly what his arc was."
Does it work? In a playoff game last year, the Mavericks shot 50 free throws, and made 49! But can it help an average hack like me?
I took my place at the foul line and thought I had a nice stroke, but according to NOAH, my shots looked more like torpedoes. I made a few, but it was pretty ugly.
That didn't even catch rim.
After studying NOAH's chart of my performance, I realize that I may as well have been shooting with bricks.
All right, after input from NOAH, it was back to the line. NOAH won't change your shot overnight, but I was catching on. It felt awkward shooting the ball so high, but it was nothing but net.
I'm not ready for pro ball, but after about a half-hour my shot really improved. Again, it takes lots of practice, but once I got my arc near fifty, I was a better shooter.
Whatever success NOAH brings these guys, they're sure to stay grounded. Their company is named "Pillar Vision," based on the book of Exodus in the Bible.
"We started the company with a culture that was biblically based," Alan explains. "And we drew from the Ten Commandments; don't lie, don't use God's name in vain We drew from the New Testament as well, the fruit of the Spirit, patience and joy. If you just have that context for doing business, it just makes life a lot more fun."
So get ready, the next generation of shooters may be like we've never seen before.
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