Kyle Korver: ‘Don’t Shoot It To Shoot It, Shoot It To Make It’

May 18, 2019, 12:47 PM
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)...
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

OMAHA, Neb. – Utah Jazz guard Kyle Korver gave the commencement address to the 2019 graduates at Creighton University, his alma mater.

Korver started the speech by breaking the ice about how the University invited him to speak around the time the NBA Playoffs started.

He told Father Hendrickson that May 18 is during the Western Conference Finals.

“Yeah, you know, we looked at that. It appears you have Houston in the first round and if you win you’ll probably play Golden State, the Warriors in the 2nd round. I mean, I’m ok with penciling you in,” he told Korver.

Looking In The Past

During his address, Korver went down memory lane from his time at Creighton.

“Our basketball team went to four straight NCAA Tournaments,” Korver said. “I was even able to set a few school records. But like I said, nothing stays the same. Some guy named Doug McDermott swooped in and wiped out most of them. Don’t worry it’s okay, I’m not stuck in the past… I’m over it, I swear. Except for when I guard you next, Doug. Come get an NBA record, Doug,” he added.

McDerrmott currently plays for the Indiana Pacers and is in his fifth season in the NBA. He averaged 7.3 points per game this past season. Meanwhile, Korver is ranked fourth all-time in NBA history in three-pointers made, only behind Stephen Curry, Reggie Miller and Ray Allen.

Copy Machine Value

When Korver moved to the advice part of his speech, he gave advice that is typical of a player like Kyle Korver.

“My best advice. How… to shoot a basketball,” he stated. “There is no perfect shot. But for me, the whole goal in shooting is to make your shot as strong and compact as possible. So when you catch the ball, catch it strong. Try to catch the top of the ball, so that you don’t have to turn it. That little bit of movement can take away some of your power. You don’t need to jump high. Take it from me!! But you need to jump powerfully. Your power doesn’t come from swinging the ball up, it comes from your hips and your feet! At the end, remember to hold your follow through. Finally, this is maybe the most important… Don’t just shoot it to shoot it. Shoot it to make it,” Korver added.

Korver went on to tell the story about his draft day experience. He was in his dorm room at Creighton with his friends when the 50th pick in the draft went by. He noticed his name scroll across the bottom of his television screen after the commercial break as the 51st pick to the New Jersey Nets.

“I found out shortly after that I had been traded to Philly,” said Korver. “I’m not sure if TRADE is the right word. I was more or less sold. For an undisclosed amount of money. I later found out they used the money to pay the entry fee for their summer league team… and…this is true … They spent the leftover money on a new copy machine! What’s your trade value? Mine was apparently…a copy machine! It’s okay. A few years back, that copy machine broke… and I’m still playing,” he added.

Finding Out Who He Was

An inspirational part of Korver’s speech was when he was 23-years old in the NBA, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. He talked about waking up one morning and being in the shower for over an hour because he was miserable and didn’t like the person he was seeing in the mirror.

“Sitting on the floor that day in the shower, I didn’t have any good answers,” he said. “But something shifted in my heart when I realized something was missing from this dream I was chasing. I’m 38 years old now and I’m still searching and redefining who I want to be and the impact I hope to have outside of basketball,” Korver said.


Check out the full transcript HERE.

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