Champ Free-Throw Shooter Shows The Way

Ordinarily, when a basketball player misses a foul shot, it's no big deal.

But when Deb Remmerde of tiny Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, missed one last week, it marked the end of a remarkable run of 133 straight she had put through the hoop in games.

That's a record for any level of basketball, including the National Basketball Association.

Among the marks she shattered: 126 consecutive free throws, by Daryl Moreau of New Orleans de la Salle High School in 1978-79; the NCAA men's record of 94, by Northern Kentucky's Paul Cluxton in 1997; the NCAA women's record of 69, by Concordia-Moorhead's Jamie Visness in 2002-3, and the NBA's longest of 94, by Michael Williams of Minnesota in 1993.

Remmerde averages 31 points a game for Northwestern.

The Early Show put her shooting skills to the test Monday.

In the college's gym, with a large crowd cheering her on, Remmerde took free throw after free throw in a little less than two hours, and wound up sinking 580 of 585, including 256 in a row at one point (video).

What's her secret?

"I don't think there's a secret," she said on the show. "It's just kind of having a routine that works, and just having a lot of repetitions at it, and just practicing.

"I've been shooting free throws as long as I can remember; been playing organized basketball since fourth and fifth grade. So, it's been awhile."

She admitted, "There's always a little bit" of pressure at the foul line, "but I think I do a decent job of blocking it out and just stepping up to the line and concentrating and having that confidence that it's going to go in."

Once, in practice, Remmerde made 485 in a row.

"She's just got an incredible work ethic," says Earl Woudstra, the women's basketball coach at the small Christian liberal arts school. "She has a great routine she sticks with every time, and also just the ability to focus. It just makes her really stand out in the crowd with the ability to shoot the free throws."

Woudstra says Remmerde is "an outstanding player" on the court and off: "I'll tell ya, she's also … a great student, and what we really love about her is the fact she loves the Lord and wants to use her gifts to serve him. That's just a great opportunity for her to play, and she's got wonderful teammates. We're just really proud to have her be part of the Northwestern College basketball team."
  • Brian Dakss

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