December 21, 2011 Marysville Advocate
by Julie Perry
An orange, a slice of bread spread with peanut butter and a cup of coffee
was Bob Fisher’s breakfast for a champion Saturday morning.
“Normally I have two cups of coffee or more, but in the flow of last-minute
preparations, I forgot the second cup”, the 54-year-old survey technician
for NRCS, Seneca, and Centralia resident said.
Preparations for breaking more Guinness Book of World Records free-throw
marks resulted in the biggest one-hour mark he has pursued since September 2010
and had attempted four times before Saturday.
The hour record, which Perry Dissmore, Hartford, Ill., set on a television
show is 1,968 free throws. Dissmore set the mark Sept. 14, 2010, in New
York. It will stand till Guinness verifies the 2,371 Fisher sank.
Documentation for the record will be sent by Fisher’s wife, Connie, who
stood to his left during the hour stopping the balls that rolled down a
chute. She watched her husband average 39 makes a minute, hit 1,501 free
throws with his right hand and 870 with his left in front of about 20
witnesses. She was there, as always, as constant encouragement.
Along with that record, Connie will submit two others that will bring
Fisher’s total of Guinness Book of World Records to 13 made since Jan. 10,
2010. After the hour mark, Fisher paired with Dana Kramer, a Wetmore High School junior, and they set a record for most free throws made in one minute by a coed pair. This is a new Guinness record, and he topped the day by breaking the most free throws made blindfolded.
Of the 13 Guinness records Fisher has set, only one has been broken: most
free throws made in a minute using two balls, which at the time Fisher had
made 21. Ohioans, Brian Kathmann and Greg Spreen, canned 22 in April.
Fisher and Kramer combined to make 32 free throws and a blindfolded Fisher sank 22 free throws in one minute, which bested the 17 Michael Campbell, Bayonne, N.J., made Nov. 16, 2010.
The records Fisher has are 33 free throws made in 30 seconds; 50 made in one minute; 88 made in two minutes; 366 made in 10 minutes; 35 made in one minute while shooting with alternate hands; 62 made in two minutes using alternating hands; 28 free throws made underhanded in one minute; 49 made in one minute while standing on one foot; 29 made in one minute as part of a pair with unlimited basketballs; and then the three that are pending approval. Those submissions usually take four to six weeks for Guinness to verify.
Of all of the records Fisher has breaking the one-hour mark is the most
satisfying, he said.
“It has been by far the most challenging,” Fisher said. “There has been only
one person to ever get over 2,000 free throws in an hour and that was Fred
Newman with 2,034. To do something that has never been done in the history of basketball means something to me. To make 2,371 in one hour takes speed, accuracy and stamina. It has been my Everest, so to speak.”
Fisher knew he could break the hour-long record because he had made 2,006 in practice the week before. His other attempts were at 1,905 on Nov. 20, 2010, a day he set four records; 1,764, 1,885 and 1,665.
Using five different shooting techniques Saturday, Fisher said he
concentrated on spreading around the fatigue he felt. The releases he used
were from the middle and ring finger; an elbow-under style and three others
that are unconventional, he said. Those others center on muscles in the arm,
shoulder and wrist, he said.
Fisher took four breaks during the hour, none of them longer than 20
seconds. During the first 30 minutes of the record attempt, he concentrated
“I remember being somewhat disappointed in my left hand accuracy-wise,” he said.
In the last 20 minutes, he slowed down when shooting left handed to improve his accuracy.
“When I asked how much time was left the first time and was told 27 minutes,
I was surprised it was that much,” Fisher said. “By that point it seemed
like I had been shooting for a long time.”
Fisher did not know he had the record until Brenda Bergman, a Centralia
teacher and friend who was one of the counters, told him as he neared the
last nine minutes.
“My initial thought was surprise,” he said. “On both times that I had
surpassed the record in practice, I did not surpass 1,968 until the very
last minute so I was surprised that I passed it so early.”
The adrenaline he felt at the time helped to carry him to the end. In the
last minutes he sent up a flurry of shots.
“I was extremely fatigued by that point and it was all I could do to get the
ball up to the rim,” he said.
Fisher went into the morning not 100 percent convinced he would break the
“Things can go wrong,” he said. “I have experienced times when my muscles
cramp or another time when I lost feeling in my fingers about 20 minutes
into the record attempt. My primary concern was to do my best. I knew if I
performed to my potential that I would break it easily, but we don¹t always
perform to our potential.”
Fisher practiced at least two hours almost daily to build his stamina. In
the process his left-hand shot improved, arm size increased and he did
“The repeated failures (record attempts) made me respect the record more,”
he said. “I did not take it lightly because I knew what a challenge and feat
it was to make that many shots in one hour.”
The support he has had from his wife, friends and people in the communities of Centralia and Vermillion mean a lot to Fisher, “who has run out of records to go after in the free-throw category,” he said. The one record
left is Ted St. Martin’s 5,221 free throws made consecutively.
“It is too soon for me to go after that one,” he said. “I promised Connie I
would clean up our basement and garage after this was over. I would like to
teach shooting at the college level once I retire. It amazes me that
football can have quarterback, line and back coaches and baseball can have
pitching and hitting coaches, but basketball teams do not hire shooting
coaches. It makes absolutely no sense.”