Nothing is a sure thing in high school sports, but Eric Garcia at the free throw line might be the closest thing to that in 2012-13.
As noted by USA Today, Garcia is currently more than midway through his senior season with one of the best career free throw percentages of all time. As of this writing, Garcia has hit 91 percent of the free throws he has attempted. Clearly, he’s the guy teams need to shut off late in games when Garcia’s Aurora (Colo.) Grandview High squad is nursing a lead.
According to the Federation of National High School Athletic Association’s (NFHS) that’s just 2.6 percent off the all-time national prep record set by onetime Decatur (Ind.) Bellmont High star Seth Colclasure.
Garcia’s 91 percent puts him at sixth all-time in the high school ranks, though he’s just decimel points off fifth place and could move even higher by season’s end (though closing a 2.6 percent gap seems either unlikely or outright impossible).
Garcia’s career free throw percentage is better than the top all-time NBA career percentage -- Lakers point guard Steve Nash currently holds that mark alongside former Cleveland Cav Mark Price at 90.4 percent -- and would rank fifth all-time in the NCAA ranks, right behind Dukie turned Magic guard J.J. Redick.
By pure statistical measures, 2007 Missouri State graduate Blake Ahearn is the best free throw shooter of all time with a career percentage of 94.57 percent.
Needless to say, anyone in the top-10 of any of these lists is a remarkably focused athlete. Garcia is no different. The senior, who will play college basketball at Wofford, is much more than a one-trick pony, but his best trick is awfully good.
Good enough, in fact, to stand up among the best of all-time, at any level. That’s one impressive accomplishment for a teenager.