Oklahoma’s Buddy Heild is, if we may, the college equivalent of Stephen Curry. If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this: Heild made 127 3-pointers during the 2015-2016 regular season, tops in the country. In total, he took 274 3’s in the regular season and made 46% of them, making him one of the most efficient long-range shooters in college basketball history.
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It is not surprising, then, to learn that Heild, who has guided the Sooners into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and is widely expected to win the John Wooden Award for best player in the country, spends a lot of time honing his craft—so much time, in fact, that his pregame routine has taken on a life of its own in Norman, Oklahoma. Heild spends four to five hours before a Sooners home game getting up shots—3-pointers, midrange jumpers and everything in between. This can result in upwards of 400 shots, and sometimes as many as 700.
With so many shots to get up, it’s almost routine for Heild to hit 30 or 40 3’s in a row, as Mike Houck, Oklahoma’s assistant athletic director, witnessed earlier this season. A report has circulated that the Bahamas native hit 79 out of 80 during one such session. Even on days when the Sooners don’t have a game, Heild gets in the gym a few hours early to shoot around before a full team practice. Heild says he tries to take at least 500 shots per day, an exhausting number just to think about.
Heild is such a creature of habit that he feels unprepared when he can’t perform his normal routine before a road game—though that hasn’t hindered him this season. In fact, Heild has taken and made more 3’s on the road than he has at home. As dedicated to his routine as Heild is, his performance on the court should surprise no one.