The basketball hoop is broken now.
Growing up, though, Douglass High School junior Landon Boone remembers honing his shooting skills with his dad using the hoop he had in his front yard.
“I’d be out there using that hoop with my dad all the time,” Boone said. “It didn’t matter whether it was hot or cold out. We’d always be out there.”
Boone’s interest in basketball stemmed from watching the game a lot on television. While he didn’t acquire a favorite team or player, he did develop enough interest to start playing organized basketball at Lange Middle School.
“I played basketball as far back as elementary school, but I’m not sure how organized that actually was,” Boone said with a laugh. “I definitely love the game, though. It’s pretty fun out there.”
These days, Boone must walk a little further than out his front door to shoot around.
“I still make sure I practice on my own time,” Boone said. “I like to go down to Blue Ridge Park near my house a lot.”
Boone’s practice was rewarded Friday at Smithton High School when he scored 22 points in the Bulldogs’ 65-52 victory over the visiting New Bloomfield Wildcats (4-15).
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 13-6.
“We’re fighting for the second or third seed in the district playoffs, so Coach is depending on me to make shots,” Boone said.
If Douglass coach Lynn Allen was depending on Boone Friday, he wasn’t disappointed.
“He really got going out there,” Allen said. “He can score in a variety of ways. We’d like to see him drive a bit more rather than shooting long, arcing 3-pointers because sometimes they can get us in trouble.”
Boone made two of those long, arcing 3-pointers Friday night. When he missed, however, his teammates were usually able to pull down the long rebounds.
“We did a better job of rebounding those shots tonight,” Allen said. “His best shot, though, is when he drives and then pulls up in the lane.”
It’s a shot that was probably practiced countless times on that hoop.