“SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH” by: Mohamed Bah

It flies in the air for about two seconds, and when it drops, all you hear is “swish.”

That sound has fundamentally changed and revolutionized basketball in the last three years.

It began with NBA superstar Stephen Curry, who is known be the best shooter to ever play basketball. Curry is reforming how basketball is played and it is beginning to be a popular trend.

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has taken note of this trend. “Curry is setting a standard for players around the league,” said Conley. Conley, who can also shoot the ball, is amazed at how the game has changed and the impact that it is having on the youth.

In Southaven, MS many basketball coaches have taken this trend into mass effect.

Vincent Boyler, a coach for the 14-year-old boy’s team for Brown Baptist Church, says all his players do is shoot 3’s.

“At practice, we tend to focus more on shooting drills, and we go from there.”

Boyler’s team is ranked No. 1 for their age group and constantly studies film on how to move the ball to get open 3’s. “ We watch Golden State Warriors film, and see how they move the ball around, and we impute that in our game.”

The best player on the team, Tradell Clark, averages 12 points per game and shoots 46% from three. Clark’s favorite player, no coincidence here, is Stephen Curry.

“I idolize him and really want to be like him but I know it would require me to put in a lot of work,” said Clark. Clark has attempted 116 shots throughout the tournament, and they ALL have been three-pointers.

“I’m not going to say I’m addicted to shooting 3’s, but when I watch Steph play, that’s most of what I see and I like that.”

Cameron Scott, who coaches the 17-year-old group, has also seen a rise in three-point shots this season.

“Last year a lot of our players took 3’s, but this year, that’s all I see the kids do. It’s crazy.”

Scott grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and company and has noticed a change in the way basketball is being played, predominantly in the younger generation.

“Our team is more mature than some, but sometimes we don’t play like it. We tend to mimic Curry’s moves than to win an actual game.”

Almost all of the kids who are playing in the tournament are fans of Stephen Curry; in fact, most of them arrive for game day wearing Stephen Curry gear.

“It’s so nice to see how one man has such an impact on SOOOO many people,” said Dondrell Taylor.

Taylor has two sons who play in the tournament, and they have only been playing basketball for a couple of months.

His youngest, Austin, plays for the 10-year-old group. Austin, just like Stephen Curry, is in love with shooting the long shots. Austin averages usually around 6 three point attempts a game, but his accuracy is revolting.

“I know I can’t shoot like Steph, but I will keep trying to until I am like him,” Austin said.

Taylor’s oldest son, Randy, plays for the 17-year-old group and is coached by Cameron Scott.

“Coach Scott makes us do catch and shoots 3’s, spot up shooting, and dribble pull-up shots,” Taylor said.

Taylor, who has also noticed the trend, says it’s really helping their team.

“We are very athletic and quick with our shots. It helps us in the long run because we make the other team tired.” Taylor said.

There’s a saying in the basketball world, you live and die by the three, which means if your 3-point shots aren’t falling, you won’t have a good game.

“If I miss my first couple of jump shots in the game, I’m not saying I’ll lose confidence, but it will play mind games with you,” said Mike Conley.

Conley wants all children out there to play like their best player, but not to get attached to how they are playing.

“You can try to be like Steph all you want, but you’ll never know if you are a good basketball player until you play like yourself,” said Mike Conley.

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