With technology becoming a constant factor in the way things are done these days, it’s no surprise that it’s making its way to basketball. When it comes to statistics, it’s not just a number you see in a newspaper or tv screen, but it’s an actual way to determine what needs to be improved. These are being used in a manner to help players increase their overall performance.
Admiral Schofield was in the middle of a very important workout before the NBA draft when he was introduced to a man who may have been the main reason why it was possible for his professional career. “Thank you,” he said to John Carter, the CEO of Noah Basketball. Every since the summer after his freshman year at the University of Tennessee, Schofield has been using Noah’s shot-tracking technology. Even though Schofield played at a high level, he gained even more knowledge of his shot by using the technology, which attached cameras to the baskets to calculate the angle and the ball’s position in the hoop. The interesting thing is that Schofield looked more to the technological input than his own intuition. He found his shot trajectory was 55 degrees, but it should’ve been more towards a 45-degree angle.
After taking this advice, Schofield put forth the effort over the course of the next few months to get a more precise shot. As a matter of fact, his 3-pointers percentage when from 30% as a freshman and 41% in the next three years. Due to his vast improvement by utilizing the technology, Schofield was able to score a multi-million dollar deal when he signed with the Washington Wizards recently. No longer is it about intuition and natural skill. Schofield is showing that scientific data can be used to help one make vast improvements in their overall game. He’s become a “new-age” athlete in this sense.
Carter stated, “The most common quote I hear; whether it’s a middle-school coach, high-school coach, college or NBA, is that today’s players will not argue with a computer.” This is certainly changing the game, because now the players aren’t just taking the advice of a coach. They would rather have the objective information of a computer who can give a more accurate reading of what they need to ultimately excel in their area of playing. It’s changing the way people approach the game.
This is not the only area of sports that utilize this type of data. In fact, tracking cameras in baseball stadiums for the MLB have valuable statistics. Players are using this to get an edge up in order to create the “perfect” swing. All of this is done so that they can get a few more home runs and raise their batting averages. It’s all become a perfect practice concept in order to finetune their skills. This is certainly the case with the way basketball is going as well.
Newer players are coming in with a stronger background in Geometry to improve their trajectory with each shot. This has been a way to evolve their playing skills. San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford stated, “If you can get young players engaged, it just becomes part of their game. As opposed to trying to change their habits mid-career.”
We’re definitely seeing this come about more with different technological advances in programs/apps, such as HomeCourt, RSPCT, and Noah being adopted in NBA practice facilities. It’s become a comprehensive record of someone’s shooting ability. In fact, a former college player named Rachel Marty Pyke, trained a machine-learning algorithm to find patterns in over 20 million shots. Even with a limited sample, it can still make reliable predictions. This has become quite valuable, because the three-dimensional point of view has become more accurate than simple statistics.
Some players, such as Nets Guard Joe Harris, have even invested in apps like HomeCourt. He not only uses it to monitor his shooting workout, but he truly enjoys the actual technology itself. Although, data doesn’t measure the full spectrum of talent, it’s a great assistant in helping a player reach bigger heights. Recently, HomeCourt announced a deal with the NBA and a backing from Bradley Beal, J.J. Redick, Sue Bird, and more of the world’s top shooters. Harris even said, “I would’ve used this everyday.”
It’s safe to say that this is only the beginning. Even if players didn’t need the technology to get into the NBA, it’s still a very useful piece of software that can give one a great tool to help improve their game.
Tabrez Ahmad is passionate about travelling whole the world and he shares their experience while travelling.