CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina sophomore guard Nate Britt answered more than six minutes worth of questions on Thursday about his decision to change his shooting hand from left to right. The questions went something like this:
Why did you decide to make the change?
Do you have statistics that show how its working out so far?
Why did you shoot left-handed until now?
Do the mechanics feel better right-handed as opposed to left?
Did anyone tell you youre crazy for doing this?
And on they went. Britt made the decision to change shooting hands after he shot 36.7 percent from the field during his freshman season. He made 25 percent of his 3-pointers. Shooting right-handed, which he has been doing during summer workouts, isnt new to him.
Growing up, Britt shot with both hands. Hes a natural lefty, but does a bunch of things right-handed like throwing a baseball, for instance. In tennis and ping-pong, though, he primarily uses his left hand. Britt said he and his father used to have conversations often about which hand to shoot a basketball with.
So its always been like an idea or thought for me to switch back to my right hand, Britt said.
So why did he shoot left-handed to begin with? Well, he is left-handed. And, early on, he said, his coaches wanted him to focus on just shooting with one hand. So the left won out.
Until it didnt anymore. Britts shooting motion with his left hand, at least has always featured a slight hitch. Its not a fluid motion. And he didnt shoot particularly well during his freshman season.
Shooting right-handed feels more natural, he said. He has a smoother release. Britt said he has noticed improvement, though its difficult to quantify that during summer workouts.
Mechanically, it does feel a whole lot more natural, Britt said. The mechanics, Ive been told, look a whole lot better. I think Ive always kind of felt like the right hand felt a little more natural, because even from when I first picked up the basketball, my natural instinct was to shoot with my right hand. Even though I was left-handed.
Britt shoots a lot with UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis, and said he tries to make at least a couple hundred shots per day.
Britt played an average of about 20 minutes per game last season, and hes likely to play a prominent role again in UNCs suddenly crowded backcourt. Marcus Paige, an All-American candidate, can play either point guard or shooting guard. Joel Berry, a heralded point guard from outside of Orlando, Fla., will be in the mix, too.
Did anyone tell him he was crazy to change shooting hands after his freshman year of college? Yes, Britt said. That happened.
Those are all people who didnt watch me growing up, though, Britt said. Everyone whos seen me play with both kind of felt like that wasnt a big deal.