Skip to main content

Owen L. Johnson: Clutch shooter

Owen is becoming somewhat of an athletic phenom. I honestly don't know where he gets it. When I was growing up we had a basketball hoop that my dad installed in our driveway. However, during the summers I'd spend my days playing with Legos in my room while the neighborhood kids would play 4-on-4 outside my window. They'd knock on the door, ask my dad if they could play, and see if I'd like to come join them. I always declined and I'm sure a little piece of my father's hopes would die each time :)

Owen on the other hand begs me to play "down-set-hike" every day in the yard. If it's not running post routes in the front yard, he wants to shoot hoops in the back yard with the volleyball and recycling bin. Every Saturday he plays soccer, and the coach gazes on with tears in his eyes as Owen out-sprints the other kids, slide tackles with abandon, and "sells out" for every loose ball.

Our latest bonding activity is going to the Caltech gym and shooting hoops on the "real basketball hoop." I use a regulation ball and Owen uses a volleyball. He can make about 1 out of every 3 shots these days. Here's a video of his second day on the court. His first day out, he was barely able to shoot the ball half way to the hoop. About an hour in he was reliably hitting the bottom of the net. By the time we left, he had sunk 8 shots in 30 minutes.

What's especially amazing to me about Owen is his persistence. His dedication to practice is something I didn't learn until I was in college. But he'll practice shooting hoops for an hour and a half, stopping only to catch his breath and grab some water from the fountain. Who's kid is this?!

Comments

Amy Pousson said…
He's got more b-ball skills than Auntie Amy does!!
blissful_e said…
Fantastic!! :) I love how he runs up and gives the ball a bounce before launching it into the air.
Megan said…
Awesome! Take that kid down to the Y and sign him up for youth basketball! :)

Popular posts from this blog

On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I started by downloading a stock photo of J.J. from NBA.com, which I then loaded into OpenOffice Draw:


I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…

The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

\begin{equation}
x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)
\end{equation}

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…