When attempting to surpass a world record, you might expect the challenger to have practiced the feat already. Not Harlem Globetrotter rookie Corey “Thunder” Law.
During Guinness World Records Day in November, the 24-year-old High Point University graduate was invited to break the world’s longest basketball shot. He surpassed it by 5 feet.
“I’d never attempted the shot until I made it,” he says. “I got a call from the (Globetrotters’) PR guys – ‘Do you think you can make a shot from 100 feet?’ I’d seen a couple guys from the NBA make a 94-foot shot.”
He made a couple of practice shots at US Airways Center in Phoenix before the cameras started rolling. “But I’d never attempted it until the day I made it,” he says.
Law and the rest of the Globetrotters squad (which includes four other Carolinians) return to Time Warner Cable Arena Saturday afternoon, where fans might get to see Law try to duplicate the record shot during the Fans Rule World Tour.
Fans can actually vote for new rules before the game at www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule. The players don’t even know which one will be selected.
“I’m prepared for anything,” Law says, “but the Trick Shot Challenge – that’s the one I could use.”
If instituted, each team will get a chance to attempt three trick shots. If they make it, their team gets 5 points; if they miss, the other team gets the 5 points.
Other possibilities that could become rules include Make or Miss, where players file in and out of the game depending on if their teammates make or miss shots; a chance for a player wearing the Hot Hand Jersey to earn double points; and rules that put two balls in play or create a six-on-five situation.
Law was aware of the Globetrotters at a young age, even before he started playing basketball at age 9.
“I couldn’t believe it was real,” he recalls. “I thought all those guys had magic, superpowers.” He watched veterans like Scooter Christensen and Big Easy on television.
By the sixth grade, he could dunk. After years of perfecting that ability, Law caught the eye of Globetrotter scouts during a college slam dunk contest last spring, and he was drafted in June. He began training in September.
Since making his court debut, he’s visited seven countries in three months. And now Scooter and Big Easy are his teammates.
Law is still getting used to the notoriety that comes with his new job, and the effect he can have on kids.
He recalls a time when he paid a surprise visit to a boy in Houston who was dying of cancer.
“I shot a video with his class because he wasn’t able to attend school,” Law says.
When the boy’s mother showed her son the video at home, he was shocked to see “Thunder” hanging out with his classmates on the screen.
Then his mother gestured, and the boy got an even bigger shock: Law was standing right behind him.
“People come up to me and tell me I’m their hero and changed their life and made them want to be great,” Law says. “I never saw myself hearing that from someone and someone thinking that much of me.”