Sports analysts say that many basketball games are won or lost at the free-throw line. For NBA players such as former Pacers star Reggie Miller, a career 88 percent mark from the charity stripe made the difference in critical contests.
Bob Owen, a Valparaiso insurance salesman and Merrillville High School athletics staff member, shoots free throws at 97 percent and believes the discipline behind that success has made him a winner in the game of life. On Oct. 5, the 66-year-old will be inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame at a ceremony in St. George, Utah.
Know as the “Bullseye Guy,” Owen has been a motivational instructor for more than 35 years. He’s trained NBA All-Stars and kids at local YMCAs. A winner of 40 World Senior Games medals, he said news of his pending induction came as a major thrill.
“The feeling is unbelievable,” Owen said. “I’m still in la-la land just thinking about it.”
Owen attributes his dedication to helping athletes succeed body, mind and soul to his early difficulties as a youth who was cut from several basketball rosters. Growing in his determination to succeed, he became an avid reader of the Bible. From scripture and other sources, he follows the mantra “shoot for perfection and you’ll reach excellence.”
“I was reading a science book about the way (people) think,” he said. “In that process — the way you think — there are actually 1,800 chemical changes that your cells go through.”
The five-time “Best Overall World Shooting Champion,” is also in the process of writing a book, which he plans on releasing as “Bullseye Guy Notes.” Until then, area residents can catch him motivating Merrillville athletes as a new addition to new boys basketball coach T.J. Lux’s staff.