Free Throw Shooting: Stats, Trivia and Records

Want to break a free throw shooting world record? This page will list all NBSA free throw shooting world records.

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2009 Season:  

Div. I Men Average - 69.1%

Div. I Women Average - 68.78%

All-Time Best Div. 1 Men: Team Average %-- 
Individual Career--Blake Ahearn, Missouri St. 2007  94.6%

All-Time Top Div. 1 Women: Team Average-- 

Individual Career--Adrienne Squire, Penn St. 2006  96.4

All-Time Most Consecutive Free Throws:  John Wooden played for Purdue in the 1930's and had a consecutive streak of 134 made free throws.


2009 Season: League Average—

Players-- Jose Calderon, TOR 98.1%, Ray Allen, BOS  95.2%, Steve Nash, PHX 93.3%

All-Time Best: Mark Price 90.39% career; In 1980-81, Calvin Murphy had the highest free throw percentage in NBA history for one season. He made 206 out of 215 free throws (95.8%), while making 78 consecutive free throws in one stretch; From March 24 to November 9, 1993, Michael Williams, of the Minnesota Timberwolves, netted 97 straight free throws and set the NBA record for the longest free throw streak ever.

Team Highest free-throw percentage, season: Boston, 83.2% - 1989-90


2009 Season:  League Ave.—

All-Time Best: Stacy Frese  91.7% career; Eva Nemcova owns the WNBA consecutive-free-throw record. She shot 66 in a row and set the WNBA free-throw season percentage record, making 62 out of 63 for .984%. She missed her first free-throw attempt of the season and made the rest. The following season, she continued the streak and made four more, ending the run at 66.

High School

2009 Boys Average %:

2009 Girls Average %:

             Guinness Book of World Records – Free Throw F.Y.I

                                     *Honary Member NBSA   **Founding Member NBSA

Ted St. Martin* is the Guinness world record holder for consecutive made free throws - 5,221. He did this on April 28, 1996.  Ted's record was not a speed record. He did it in 7 hours and 20 minutes, but that is just because he was not dribbling the ball every time, just catching, focusing, and shooting.

Fred Newman* is the holder of five recognized free-throw Guinness records: 1) Highest percentage for 24 hours (98.2%), 2) Most free throws made in 24 hours (20,371), 3) Most free throws made in 10 minutes using two balls (388), 4) Most free throw made in-a-row blindfolded (88), 5) Most free throws made in an hour (1,639), done recently on a live Japanese television show. (His one-hour record isn't even his highest. When he was younger, he made over 1,800 in an hour, during an NBA all-star game.) Fred also can be seen on YouTube making 209 three-point shots in a row – a world record.* In San Antonio, he made 2034 free throws in one hour, while shooting about 90%, during the All Star Jam Session.

*Dave Hopla claims to have made 211 3-pointers in a row, but as yet we have no date or documentation.

Bunny Levitt made 499, missed then made 371 (not 373) before they made him quit to close the gym.

Dr. Tom Amberry’s* consecutive-free-throw record is 2,750 ending on a make; it took 12 hours to accomplish, with five-minute breaks every hour.

Bob Fisher** 1-minute World Record 50 made shots, 2010.  2-minute World Record 88 made shots, 2010.

Rick Rosser** Former world record holder for 2-minutes with 69 made shots, 2010.

Ed Palubinskas** World Record in 2004 for most free throws made in 1 hour – 1,265 shots attempted and 1,206 made.  This record was broken in 2007 and Ed will attempt to set a new world record when he shoots in China summer, 2010.

More Free Throw Record Trivia…

Most made basketball free throws in one hour

The record for most basketball free throws made in one hour is 2371, by Bob J. Fisher at Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas, on December 17, 2011
Perry Dissmore - 1968 on September 15, 2011

Most underhanded free-throws in one minute
The most underhanded free throws in one minute was 28 by Bob J. Fisher (USA) at Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas, USA, on 10 June 2011.
NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry - 24 free throws

Most wheelchair basketball free throws in one minute
TIE NWBA players Trooper Johnson (Golden State Warriors) & Jeff Griffin (Utah Wheelin' Jazz) - 25

Most free throws made in one minute (male)
Bob Fisher** - 50 free throws Ja. 9, 2010

Most free throws made in one minute (female)
1. Ashley Graham (plays for a Ukrainian team) - 39 free throws July, 2010

2. WNBA Player Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) - 38 free throws

Most free-throws made in one minute while blindfolded
The record for most blindfolded basketball free throws in one minute is 22 by Bob J. Fisher at Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas on December 17, 2011
Justin Kittredge (USA) 16 July 14, 2009
Ed Palubinskas** - 17 free throws July, 2010

Most free throws made backwards in one minute
TIE NBA Mascot Harry the Hawk (Melvin Banks) & Nicole Joseph Dumas (NBA Jam Session spectator) - 3 free throws

Most free throws made with alternating hands in two minutes
Bob Fisher** - 62 free throws November, 20th, 2010

Most free throws made with alternating hands in one minute
Bob Fisher - 35 free throws November, 20th, 2010

Most free throws made in one minute by a pair (with two balls)
The most basketball free throws in one minute by a pair using two basketballs was 22 and was achieved by Brian Kathmann and Greg Spreen (both USA) at the dunnhumby offices, Ohio, USA, on 8 April 2011.
Bob Fisher** and Garrett Steinlage - 21 free throws Nov. 20, 2010

Most free throws made in one minute by a pair (with unlimited balls)
Bob Fisher** and Garrett Steinlage - 29 free throws Nov. 20, 2010
2. Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown (LA Lakers)  - 26 free throws Apr. 2010

Most free throws made in one minute by a coed pair
The record for most basketball free throws in one minute by a coed pair is 32 by Bob J. Fisher and Dana Kramer at Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas, USA, on December 17,2011 (pending).

Most free throws made in 30 seconds
Bob Fisher** - 33 free throws on June 5, 2010

Most free throws made in 2 minutes
Bob Fisher** - 88 free throws on March 7, 2010

Most free throws made in 10 minutes
Bob Fisher** - 366 free throws June 5, 2010


For all the World Records of Consecutive Shots Made, go to this site:

More Free Throws In The News

Published: March 3, 2009

Basketball in the United States has changed in myriad ways over the decades, but one thing has remained remarkably constant: the rate at which players make free throws.

Since the mid-1960s, college men’s players have made about 69 percent of free throws, the unguarded 15-foot, 1-point shot awarded after a foul. In 1965, the rate was 69 percent. This season, as teams scramble for bids to the N.C.A.A. tournament, it was 68.8. It has dropped as low as 67.1 but never topped 70.

In the National Basketball Association, the average has been roughly 75 percent for more than 50 years. Players in college women’s basketball and the W.N.B.A. reached similar plateaus — about equal to the men — and stuck there.

Coaches admit to baselines of acceptability for their players and teams. The average, apparently, is about 75 percent in the N.B.A. and 69 percent in college basketball. When numbers slip, time is devoted to improvement. When they rebound, the game’s other facets take precedence.

“A lot of coaches don’t want to spend time on it in practice,” said Blake Ahearn, a former Missouri State player who is the N.C.A.A.’s leader in career free-throw percentage (94.6) and now leads the N.B.A. Development League as a guard for the Dakota Wizards. “They want to work on defenses and offenses and schemes.”

But even practice has never made perfect. The general rule is that players, in games, shoot 10 percentage points below their practice average. The difference is pressure and fatigue, hard to replicate in an empty arena.


by Jonah Lehrer,
March 11, 2009

Why can't players learn to make their free throws? After all, it's an uncontested shot; you can take as long as you need. Nobody is defending you or thrusting a hand into your face. It's just you, a ball and the basket.

The very ease of the shot is why it's so difficult. Because players are alone at the line with their self-conscious thoughts, they tend to think too much. The luxury of time turns out to be a curse. They remember all those pieces of advice from the shooting coach and start focusing on keeping a rigid wrist and holding the ball in the right place and making sure to follow through. And that's when their shot falls apart. This is the perverse irony of free throws - trying to fix your shot just might destroy it.