Given he grew up in England, it's not surprising that Gustavo Angel Tamayo has dubbed soccer his exclusive sport.
"That's all I do," he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Touching a ball with his hands? Not on your life. A senior at Bryan College, a Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee, Tamayo doesn't even handle throw-ins for his soccer squad.
But when it was his turn in a basketball shooting challenge at Bryan on Monday, Tamayo put aside the fact that he had “zero basketball experience” — not to mention a broken finger on his left hand — and just let the roundball fly.
Tamayo's first shot was easy — a mere layup.
Then things got progressively more difficult, starting with a free throw — which he almost missed.
And then a frantic jumper from beyond the 3-point arc, which looked hopelessly like a goner at first but then bounced true and finally through the net.
As students in the gymnasium went wild over the British transplant making it this far, Tamayo sprinted toward the half court line. Only a couple of ticks remained in his 30-second time limit when the 23-year-old launched his long-distance shot.
Funny enough, this one bounced directly off the backboard and through the net with no trouble — and the buzzer sounded and students flooded the court and practically piled on an ecstatic Tamayo.
"It's just an amazing feeling," he said later, noting that he had observed basketball players' techniques and tried hard to concentrate.
"I'm not sure there's a tougher contest," Don Rekoske, Bryan's basketball coach, told the Times Free Press. "He had to go four for four, and you have to be hurried to make it within 30 seconds. It's a very tough contest to win, but when you win you get paid for it."
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