The son of basketball's most legendary underhanded free-throw shooter is copying his dad's form at the NCAA tournament

Emmett Knowlton
Canyon Barry Florida

Ron Irby/AP


NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry may have scored over 25,000 points during his legendary basketball career, but the single skill Barry remains most famous for to this day is the underhanded free-throw. A cool 90% career FT shooter during his NBA tenure, Barry mastered the unorthodox style with aplomb — even if it subsequently fell out of basketball fashion. 

That is, anyway, until his son Canyon Barry came along. 

On Thursday, Barry's son showed off the Barry family technique during the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Canyon Barry is a senior guard for Florida, who are a 4-seed in the tournament and facing East Tennessee St. in the first round. During the first half, the young Barry went 3-of-4 from the free throw line — all of which he attempted underhand. 

This season for the Gators, Barry is a 89% FT shooter. He also broke a Florida school record for most consecutive free throws made (42). Still, he's the only player in college hoops to opt for the granny-style shot. (Chinanu Onuaku, a rookie on the Houston Rockets, also uses it, and did last year for Louisville, too.)

Earlier this season, Sports Illustrated noted that the father and son do not actually have an identical technique from the charity stripe. From SI: 

"It’s subtle, but Canyon’s technique is not the same as his father’s. For one thing Canyon has modernized the stroke by moving his hands forward so that the ball doesn’t snag on his shorts, which are longer than the kind Rick used to wear. And unlike Rick, Canyon doesn’t dribble. When he was first learning to shoot this way, he decided to ditch the dribble to maximize the efficiency of his practice time. But none of that matters in the short P-I-G game. Rick, ever the competitor, blanks his son, 3–0."

Considering how poorly so many basketball players continue to shoot from the free-throw line, it remains something of a mystery that more players haven't adopted the underhanded shot. There's certainly something of a stigma surrounding it, but come on — what would you rather have, a goofy-looking shot that goes in 90% of the time, or one that barely goes in half the time? 

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