No, I think there’s a practical aspect to that. It’s hard to grip a basketball. I mean, that’s another physical challenge. I have pretty small hands, and one thing I had to train myself to do, which I couldn’t do at the start of this project, is palm a basketball. So that involved fingertip push-ups, to get the tips of your fingers much stronger. It involves, while hanging out and watching television, trying to palm a basketball for as long as you can. You want to get into a quick, full sprint, and you want to be able to grip the basketball as you go up to jam it. So doing those things can be a challenge. That’s partly what’s behind people doing the alley-oop-type things or throwing it up off the backboard. In some cases, they simply can’t grip the ball on the way to the hoop, so their solution is to throw it in the air, catch it, and try to bring it down.
There's another twist that will really make you reconsider all that you have just witnessed, somewhat akin to the final revelation in Terry Gilliam's 12 MONKEYS. Apparently definitive at first, the ending proves considerably more ambiguous the more it sinks in. Initially introduced as a potential Savior, a paragon of good if not virtue, Stevens has transformed into more of a devil this time, showing his true colors once he has entrapped a defenseless soul in the spider's web of his omnipotent mind. The "message" seems to be that, in the not too distant future, evil rules simply because we have stopped believing in concepts like good and evil, allowing free reign to the strongest and worst of the two. The key to understanding SHOCK lies in one of the most memorable movie lines from THE USUAL SUSPECTS as Kevin Spacey's unforgettably named Verbal Kint suggest that "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist." I rest my case. Over to you...
A more accurate method would be to use a Jump Tester (like these here.) The problem with these, obviously, is that they are way too expensive. In fact, the only scenario in which I recommend using one of these is if you’re a coach, trainer, or athletic director who is purchasing it to test a large number of athletes over time and who needs as accurate of a number as possible for scouting purposes.
A second, more efficient and correct method is to use an infrared laser placed at ground level. When an athlete jumps and breaks the plane of the laser with his/her hand, the height at which this occurs is measured. Devices based on United States Patent 5031903, "A vertical jump testing device comprising a plurality of vertically arranged measuring elements each pivotally mounted..." are also common. These devices are used at the highest levels of collegiate and professional performance testing. They are composed of several (roughly 70) 14-inch prongs placed 0.5 inches apart vertically. An athlete will then leap vertically (no running start or step) and make contact with the retractable prongs to mark their leaping ability. This device is used each year at the NFL scouting combine.
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