Half-court heaves are propelling former Xavier guard Brad Redford to an iconic status in the electrifying world of media timeout contests.
"Shooting a half-court shot without any practice shots in a shirt and tie with penny loafers on puts me in a level with few others," Redford said (tongue-in-cheek).
Few can master the art the way Redford has, hitting half-court shots during two straight Xavier home games.
"I would say other than myself I could only see a couple other people achieving such a feat. Possibly Chris Mullens or Rik Smits. That’s probably about it," he continued.
As a senior, Redford averaged 7.6 ppg, shooting 44.6 percent from three. This season, he serves as the MC of all Xavier home contests, running events during media timeouts.
His now infamous one is the Penn Station Hot Shot Contest, in which Redford grabs a student from the stands to take a half-court shot. If the student misses, Redford said he usually gives it a shot.
After missing on his first two tries of the season, Redford is finding his groove.
So, what is the key? Practice?
"I don’t really practice shooting from half court," Redford said.
Nix that idea – just messing around is about as much as he has done.
But there has to be some strategy, a secret to this awe-inspiring success.
"Visualize yourself making the shot before. Lean with whatever shoulder you shoot with and try to work it in a straight line," Redford advised. "Toss that thing up there, put a little spin on it, and say a little prayer beforehand."
Boy, he makes it sound so easy.
Maybe it’s because he has been in the pressure cooker before. Last year against a ranked Memphis team, Redford nailed a three with about a minute to go to give Xavier a one-point lead. Back in high school, he remembers catching fire from three to open his senior season, hitting 11 of 13 attempts in a game.
"The half-court shots are right there with those," Redford joked.
Legends come and go. Their fame and prominence can be fleeting.
Has Redford reached his zenith? Will he ride into the sunset or go for an unheard of three straight makes?
"That decision has yet to be made."
Authentic suspense, folks. Xavier’s next home game is Wednesday against DePaul.