Globetrotters' latest hoops innovation is 4-point shot

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Hitting a 4-point shot at 35 feet from the basket has become a new crowd-pleaser for Wun "The Shot" Versher and his fellow Harlem Globetrotters.

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As they cruise into Augusta on Friday, Versher said mixing new elements with traditional crowd-pleasers such as slam dunks and weaving plays keeps the game interesting for returning and new fans.

"It's not a natural shot for any player, but we can actually shoot it," said Versher with a laugh. "Adding new elements is something most Globetrotters love to do because we like to keep the show fresh."

An hour or more is spent before each of their 220 games per year perfecting shots and moves. Versher said in his 16 years with the team it's still amazing to see everyone hit their mark when it's show time.

"We want to make sure we're doing our absolute best," he said. "With so many games a year, you also have to pace yourself so you don't get burned out as a performer."

After coming out of collegiate play at Arizona State University, Versher said taking on the mindset of an entertainer first instead of a competitor was an easier transition once he saw the joy of the fans.

"I love making the audience smile and giving them an experience," he said. "When you go out there you're going out there with 85 years of history and I don't want to mess it up on my turn."

Although the 4-point shot is a new feature, Versher said he hopes the Globetrotters' innovation will trickle to professional and collegiate play.

The shot, taken 12 feet beyond the NBA's 3-point line, only comes into play during the last three minutes of each quarter.

"We definitely hope it will catch on. The Globetrotters have started the 3-point shot, the dunk and the 3-man weave, so naturally we would hope the 4-point shot would be integrated," said Versher.

Tip off friday

WHAT: Globetrotters vs. Washington Generals

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: James Brown Arena

TICKETS: $22 AND UP; georgialinatix.com, arena box office, (877) 428-4849


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