Noah's computerized camera, voice helps shooters find their groove
Geez-whiz science helps players from Redmond's Bear Creek School measure the ideal arc of shots.
Seattle Times staff reporter
REDMOND — Bear Creek athletic director Chad Pohlman floated a free throw in the school's gym.
When the shot fell through the net, a computerized voice announced a number, 46.
The voice belonged to Noah, the Grizzlies' newest training toy, a machine that brings NASA technology to the basketball floor. The number "46" was a measurement of the shot's arc.
The machine, which looks like a big stereo system speaker, was set up on the sideline, with its camera trained on the rim. With each shot Pohlman took, Noah recorded information. The audible arc number is a message to the shooter. Detailed data, including the shot's distance, is charted on a computer screen.
"We try to give the kids every tool possible," Bear Creek coach Scott Moe said.
The optimal arc on a shot is 45 degrees. Noah helps train muscle memory to get shooters consistently closer to that mark. There is instant, unbiased feedback. It's one thing to be critiqued by a coach, but it's hard to argue with a computer.
"This is something we found and we thought, 'Hey, if this truly can help ... Last year we got third in state. Maybe, if we had that last year, that would be the difference,' " Moe said.
The Grizzlies (10-2) are the first high-school program in Washington to purchase the system, which sells for $5,599 at www.noahbasketball.com. The technology is being used in the NBA and by Division I universities, including Kansas, Gonzaga and Washington State.
Noah is set up in the Bear Creek gym every morning so players can get extra practice.
Erik Domas, a 6-foot-6 post player, said the system helped him with both shooting and confidence. He hit about 57 percent of his shots from the free-throw line last season. Now, as a senior, he is sinking about 72 percent.
"Now that I know what to do with my shot, I can actually work on it," Domas said. "Now that I know the science behind it, it helps me to be able to adjust my shot if I have to. It makes it a whole lot easier to sink my free throws.
"I can step up to the free-throw line with confidence and just nail all my shots."
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com
Trending on seattletimes.com
Most viewed photo galleries
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog
Your Opinion Matters
Take our survey and enter to win $100. Enter Now!