When Laurie Koehn was playing for Kansas State almost a decade ago, she'd wake up at dawn six days a week, drive her Honda Civic to Bramlage Coliseum and start her day by attempting a few hundred shots.
The only reason she didn't do it seven days a week was because her coach forced her to take a day off.
"All through high school and junior high, I'd shoot every day," Koehn said. "My freshman year I had to redshirt because I had stress fracture injuries. They definitely saved my career and prolonged my career by being strict about taking a day off."
Some of Koehn's peers undoubtedly thought her dedication was borderline crazy, but the perseverance has certainly paid off. Koehn, who spent last season with the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, pulled off a feat few if any players could match this week, sinking 132 of 135 rapid-fire 3-point attempts from the top of the key in a five-minute span.
The inspiration for the incredible shooting performance was a video Kansas State coach Deb Patterson sent Koehn showing another player using two balls and sinking 118 threes in five minutes. Koehn is always seeking new challenges to keep her shooting practices from getting monotonous, so she set out first to exceed 118 and second to see how many she could hit.
The first time Koehn tried the drill, she sank 115 threes. On her second try, she eclipsed 118. Only a few attempts later came the 132 out of 135, a feat that had her beaming and hugging her rebounder afterward.
"I really hadn't done a drill like that before, so it was a fun challenge," Koehn said. "I'm always looking for new drills because when you do the same thing over and over again, it can get tedious and you get to the point where you kind of master a drill. It's so important to keep challenging yourself to get better, and to do that you've got to keep adding new drills."
That Koehn could hit 132 threes in five minutes might be eye-opening to most people, but those closest to her probably weren't surprised.
Since there weren't too many other elite female basketball players in her hometown of Moundridge, Kansas, Koehn would spend hours every day shooting by herself in her driveway. Koehn finished her Kansas State career with 392 3-pointers, surpassing former NCAA all-time record holder Erin Thorn of BYU by one in 2005.
Though video of Koehn's 132 of 135 shooting performance earlier this week has spread quickly on social media, she believes she's had better efforts in the past.
I've made 127 threes in a row before and I've been over 100 in a row numerous times," Koehn said. "The thing that was unique about that drill is I've never tried to do it with speed before. When I've done it before, I'd be in a rhythm. This drill takes away your rhythm and fatigues your arms a lot more than you would think."
Koehn is not planning to play in the WNBA this coming season, but she intends to return to Australia in the fall to play another professional season over there. That means she'll be doing more shooting drills almost every day to make sure she's prepared.
"Someone like me, I'm limited by natural ability and athleticism, so shooting is my niche," Koehn said. "I want to make sure I give my all to this game because it's my passion."
- Sports & Recreation