The underhanded free throw made its triumphant return to the NBA Monday night thanks to Houston Rockets rookie Chinanu Onuaku.
In the closing moments of the Rockets’ 131-115 victory over the Phoenix Suns, the rookie forward was fouled and given two shots at the line. No big deal right? Well, not if you’ve been paying attention to Onuaku’s journey that started back when he was a freshman at Louisville.
He shot south of 50 percent from the charity stripe during his freshman season, so he made the switch before his sophomore year and debuted a new free throw technique reminiscent of NBA legend Rick Barry’s underhanded form. His accuracy shot up to nearly 60 percent, and he never looked back.
Onuaku was the 37th overall selection in last year’s draft, and showed off his unique style in the preseason, but spent the first part of the regular season in the D-League. However, following an injury to forward Clint Capela, the Rockets recalled Onuaku on Dec. 2o. He was finally given his chance at the line on Monday night, and boy did he deliver.
After years of speculation and opining that horrendous free throw shooters like DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond should give the underhanded method a try, the granny-shot advocates finally have their hero.
It remains to be seen how long Onuaku will stick around with the big league club, but if he keeps getting results like that then we may have an underhanded revolution on our hands.