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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Appalachian State center explains his infamous missed free throw and reacts to newfound fame

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Brian Okam (Appalachian State)

In the two days since Appalachian State center Brian Okam attempted the most comically off-target free throw in recent college basketball history, video of the now-infamous foul shot has spread quickly via social media.

The most common response has been to raise the obvious question: What happened?

To answer that question, I reached out to Appalachian State on Monday to see if Okam had any interest in explaining how his high-arcing foul shot landed in a teammate's arms 10 feet shy of the rim. The school declined to make Okam available because he is studying for fall semester final exams this week but a spokesman did release a few comments attributed to the backup center.

"I hit the first shot and on the second, it was just one of those crazy things where the ball slips out of your hand," Okam said. "Obviously a lot of folks have seen it and it's gotten a lot of attention, but I'm just focused on moving ahead with final exams this week and getting back on the winning track."

To say Okam is correct his gaffe has gotten plenty of attention is a gross understatement.

[Also: Cincinnati president will shave head if team beats Marshall]

Video of the missed free throw on YouTube had amassed nearly 5 million page views as of late Monday night. The footage appeared everywhere from "SportsCenter" and "Pardon the Interruption," to college basketball blogs across the web, to the websites of newspapers both in the U.S. and abroad. CBSSports.com even described its story on the free throw as the most-shared link on Twitter in site history.

How has Okam taken the unexpected attention? To his credit, with a sense of humor.

Said Okam, "You look back at it and laugh a little bit for sure, but it's not something that
will be in my mind the next time I step to the free-throw line."

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