'Just make it:' Chapel Hill 7-year-old hits 102 free throws in a row
Posted August 26, 2020 7:00 a.m. EDT
Chapel Hill, N.C. — It's a feat most 7 year olds can't say they've accomplished. But, Reef Freeman has the video to prove it -- 102 free throw shots in a row.
"The Sunday before school started I told him, 'This is your last chance.' I told my wife Kerry, 'Get the phone out just in case," said Reef's dad, Barrett Freeman.
For the past several months, Reef has spent anywhere from an hour to three hours practicing free throws.
He only started playing basketball in 2019.
"The shooting wasn't the best, and then after the season he said, 'I want to shoot better,'" said Barrett Freeman. "It was just one of those things to watch a child decide 'I'm doing this.' Basketball became more than anything. He has learned math from it, history from it and all things."
In March, Reef's record was 19 in a row. Then, in July it was 60.
"I started out pretty bad, but then I've been working so hard. I kept on shooting, and I kept on making," explained Reef.
While working to perfect his free throws, Reef got a motivational message from his favorite basketball player, Nassir Little, a player for the Portland Trailblazers and former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heel.
One thing Little told Reef stuck out in particular.
"The hardest things are the most unlikely to get, but they're the best ones to achieve," he said
On Aug. 17, with his mom and dad recording the video, Reef started an attempt to beat his July record of free throws in a row.
For 11 minutes straight, Reef made shot after shot. He said there was one thing going through his mind.
"Just make it."
Reef and his dad said shared a moment right before shot 100.
"We laughed and started smiling," said Reef.
"I was so worried. I couldn't hold it. I was like, 'This is crazy,'” said Barrett Freeman. “I started laughing, and he looked at me, and he starting laughing, and he made 100."
When Reef’s run ended after shot 102, the whole family celebrated.
"My wife just screamed. The phone goes everywhere. It's super funny. We both went crazy," Barrett Freeman described.
Although Reef is continuing to try and beat his new record, he has other goals once his team can play again.
"I really hope I hit five or six points per period," said Reef.
Reef also has advice for anyone looking to perfect their free throw technique.
"I usually put my feet 6 inches apart, which has helped a lot. Then my toe points forward towards the basket. Then I just shoot my arch," he said.