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“The Mikan Drill”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on September 20, 2005

George Mikan died in early June of this year. I never met him, as far as I know never was even in the same room or gym with him (maybe at an NABC dinner at a Final Four). By all accounts, he was a decent, fun-loving, hard-working, very tall man…a very tall man who is memorialized by not only his Hall of Fame status but by a drill named for him. For the past fifty years, every budding player everywhere on the basketball planet has practiced the Mikan Drill. It is a drill designed to help the player become adept at shooting a short half-hook with either hand while jumping off the correct foot near the basket. The rhythm and comfort and confidence of ambidexterity near the hoop.

Starting just beyond the front of the rim in the center of the lane, step to the right with your left foot, jump, driving your right knee into the air. While jumping, hold the ball comfortably with two hands bringing it up your right side, on an angle away from your right hip, as if to keep it away from your left shoulder. Shoot a half-hook off the backboard. Wait for the ball to nestle through the net, then step with your right foot, jump, driving your left knee up and shoot the lefty half-hook off the backboard on the left side of the hoop. Wait for the ball to nestle through and repeat on the right side. Do a hundred in a row. Don’t dribble. Don’t repeat if you miss a shot, just go to the other side. See if you can make ten in a row without hitting rim.

George Mikan, the next hundred makes are for you.

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