The U.S. handball team didn't qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but that's not stopping coach Javier Garcia Cuesta from trying some new recruiting techniques for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On Tuesday, Cuesta told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore that LeBron James would only need six months of preparation to become the best handball player in the world.
"He has everything," Garcia said. "When you see him playing, your mouth drops."
One of the best athletes in the world, James has the ability to succeed in most sports. But his basketball skills would translate seamlessly to handball.
Handball requires lots of jumping and passing, two movements that basketball is based on. In handball, each team has seven players on the court, including a goalkeeper. Players pass the ball to each other, working to create an open throw into the goal.
A handball court is similar to a basketball court, measuring 66 feet wide by 131 feet long (a basketball court is 50 feet wide and 94 feet long). Like basketball, handball rules limit the number of steps you can take. A player can run with the ball, but he must stop every three steps and not move for three seconds before moving again.
Handball is practically made for basketball players. Passing to get a ball into a goal is the object of both sports, but the handball goal looks more like a hockey goal—it's at floor level—than a basketball hoop. Both sports have fast breaks. Getting into an open space in handball is similar to when a basketball player gets into the open floor for a breakaway drive to the basket.
Like basketball, handball requires a plethora of skills, including court vision, passing and agility. Basketball players like James were made for this game.
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