By Travis Haese | Staff Writer
Those who don’t play basketball might find difficulty in its easiest shots: free throws, three-pointers and the like. A trick shot, however, requires skill that practice alone can rarely supply. But a very small number of people are able to generate that swoosh from unfathomable distances and angles. Junior Cody Dunlap is one of those talented ‘trick shooters’. Don’t believe it? Check out his Youtube channel, where Dunlap lobs a ball over his house to land a smooth bank shot, amidst a dozen tricks he performs with a talent discovered by chance.
“A friend and I were playing a game of horse, and I won by making a shot from my roof. That was my first trick shot,” Dunlap said.
People would think that Dunlap spends every waking hour perfecting his art, but Dunlap assures us that this is far from the truth.
“Trick shooting isn’t something you can practice,” Dunlap said. “There’s nothing you can do to prepare for this one-of-a-kind activity. It is something that you have to go out and do. But I do stretch before I shoot.”
Similarly, some doubt that the shots that make his online reels are actually attempted in the continuous manner in which they are presented. Dunlap admits that he usually requires some practice; though not as much as skeptics might believe.
“A single shot usually takes me one to two tries on a good day and three to four tries on a bad day,” Dunlap said.
An exciting result of his efforts has been a feature on ESPN’s Sports Nation segment. Watching his videos play out for a national audience left Dunlap elated.
“Seeing yourself on television is always a thrill, and being featured on ESPN was a dream come true for me,” Dunlap said. “I always knew I would end up on ESPN.”
Since his televised debut, Nike, Adidas, and other advertising companies have been made aware of his unusual abilities. Today, Dunlap is sponsored by The Rock Basketball.
“The Rock Basketball actually sends me balls and T-shirts once every few months,” Dunlap said. ”I’ve also received a signed basketball from Dick Vitale, and might get to be in one of The Rock Basketball’s commercials during the 2011 Final Four.”
From its happenstance conception to today, Dunlap’s legacy as a sports exhibitionist has had a fan following- on the home front and in the wider world.
“The encouragement from fans on YouTube-and just knowing kids look up to you- is very inspirational,” Dunlap said. “However, I’d have to say the fun that hangin’ with my boys in the Texas heat brings me is what really keeps me going.”
And to the haters – Dunlap really couldn’t care less if his shots seem too good to be true.
“No matter what you do or where you go in life, there will always be people that try to bring you down,” he said. “When I see people disrespect my shots with negative comments, I choose to disregard their remarks. I dream that one day everyone will be able to enjoy my videos in a positive manner.”
Check out one of Dunlap’s videos on YouTube.