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That's a Hoffarber by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
That's a Hoffarber

    We’ve got a new word for the basketball season – the “Hoffarber.”
The word, Hoffarber, is synonymous with amazing basketball shot. That’s because Blake Hoffarber shoots these amazing shots and makes them as the clock is running out.

    Whenever you see a guy lying flat on his back practicing a game winning or tying shot, he’s doing a Hoffarber. Whenever you see a guy catch an 80 foot pass, turn around in less than a second, loft and hit the shot, sort of like Christian Laettner, he’s doing a Hoffarber. From now on, all improbable basketball shots will be called Hoffarbers. 

    One of the shots Blake made won him an ESPY. An ESPY is the ESPN award voted on by fans every year. Blake won this ESPY In 2005, when he was a sophomore playing basketball for the Hopkins High School Royals in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The Royals were in the State basketball tournament when with time running out and his team trailing by two points Hoffarber finds a loose ball in his hands after he had been knocked to the ground. While sitting on the floor he launched an 18’ shot that went in sending the game into the second overtime. The Royals won and Blake’s shot won ESPN’s Top Play of the Year. Blake also repeated this shot on the Today Show and made it.

    But last Saturday, with his Minnesota Gopher team playing Indiana, Blake’s catch of an 80’ pass and turnaround with one second left was even more amazing.  More amazing because the high school shot while lying on the floor wasn’t a designed play. It was a fluke that the ball happened to bounce into his hands. But on Saturday, in the Big Ten Conference tournament against Indiana, Minnesota’s coach, Tubby Smith, with 1.8 seconds left actually drew up a football type pass to Blake standing near the top of the key with Blake’s instructions being “Do not dribble. You’ll only have time to turn and shoot. Make it.” 

    Blake said “Of course!” Because what’s a turnaround and pop when you are used to winning games while sitting on the floor. What are last second heroics to you when you’re the guy who won an ESPY?  If you think Blake Hoffarber makes these shots because he is lucky, you’re wrong. Blake Hoffarber is one of the better shooters in college. After he made the “lying-on-the-floor-shot” Hoffarber had excellent junior and senior high school years losing only five games in his three years. He was named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball. As a freshman in the Big Ten, he leads the conference in 3-point percentage and is in the top three in percentage nationwide. The guy can make shots, even the improbable ones.
That's a Hoffarber by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    “I’m trying to get past it,” Hoffarber says, whenever the on-the-floor tournament shot is brought up. “I want to make people realize I’m more than the kid who shoots from the ground.” Was it crazy for him after he made that shot? Duh! More like a whirlwind. Win the state title. Shot ends up on Sports Center. Two days later he’s in New York on the Today show and, unannounced, Matt Lauer walks him outside to find a basket and a ball and Lauer tells him if he makes one of three shots, they send $ 10,000 to a charity.  Can you say pressure? Lying down on the Rockefeller Center sidewalk, not exactly a basketball floor, and yet Blake sinks it. Do YOU want to play H-O-R-S-E against this guy? If you had the chance to pick anyone you want to make one of those half-court million dollar shots, would you pick someone else? And if you’re a coach trying to win a last second game and all you have to say is “Want to make them forget your lying down shot Kid?” who else would you have shooting? I’d have the guy unbelievable shots are named after…  unless someone else thinks they can do a Hoffarber.

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