Former Gator guard Teddy Dupay admitted he could have been a better free-throw shooter in college.
“I was a 90-95 percent free throw shooter in high school,” Dupay said. “In college, I was around 80 to 83 percent. Not good enough.”
Nowadays, shooting 80 to 85 percent from the line would be considered above average. But when Dupay helped lead UF to a Final Four in 2000, most college guards shot in that range.
Dupay will bring some attention to the lost art of free-throw shooting, while raising money for kids, in hosting a charity free-throw tournament this Saturday, Oct. 29, in downtown Tampa. The event will be held at the First Baptist Church of Tampa at 302 West Kennedy Boulevard. It will be open all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with different divisions for ages 6 and under, 7-8, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18, adults 18 and over and seniors 55 and over. It’s free to enter, but donations will be accepted to enter the event on behalf of the Teddy Dupay For Kids Fund. Managed by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward educational programs for children in the Tampa Bay area.
Last year, Dupay attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for 3-pointers in a 24-hour period. Though Dupay fell shot of the goal due to some injuries, he raised $60,000 for children in the Tampa area.
Of late, free-throw shooting has been an Achilles heel for the Gators. Last season, Florida was 12th in the SEC at 64.7 percent. Dupay said he feels the key to good free-throw shooting is getting reps up, and understands how college players can struggle from the line.
“You really need to spend 30 minutes, every day, on your own, just shooting,” Dupay said. “When you get to college, there are so many different things that are thrown at you, film study, adjusting to the speed of the game, working on your skill level, the weight room. It’s easy to neglect, but it’s something that you need to constantly work on.”
Dupay, who still holds the state high school record with 3,744 career points from 1994-98 at Cape Coral Mariner, is about to embark on his first season as a high school coach at Cambridge Christian Academy in Tampa. He’ll be leading his first practice at his new school next Monday.
“Unfortunately, my point guard tore his ACL playing football,” Dupay said. “We’ll have some freshmen and some sophomores that will learn and develop. We’ll take a few lumps but our best basketball is definitely ahead of us.”