Much hoopla about Hopla

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

After yesterday's workout, Raptors' shooting consultant Dave Hopla spent about an hour practising what he preaches. Hopla, who was hired this season to help the team with its free-throw shooting, calmly drained 550 consecutive foul shots before he had to relinquish the floor to a photo shoot.

When the cameras came out, happiest guy in the room was assistant coach Jim Todd, whose eyes had begun to glaze over as he tossed the ball back to Hopla after each basket. Hopla normally shoots until he misses and had the floor been available, he might still be shooting. He says his personal record is 1,234 straight baskets without a miss.

"This is supposed to be a light day and here I am out here rebounding for this knucklehead," said Todd, rolling his eyes. Lest you get the wrong impression, Todd and Hopla have been friends and occasional business partners since the 1980s.

With flawless form, Hopla got into a rhythm, a human metronome, averaging one shot every six seconds.

Once into the flow it looks as if he is in some sort of Zen-like state.

"I don't know what state he's in," said Todd. "He says he's from New Jersey."

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