By Jim Biery
I know this is an infamous phrase Allen Iverson once uttered, but I feel there is a real necessity to live by these words.
Unless you’re a diehard NBA fan, most of us have moved on from “How in the world did South Carolina make it to the Final Four?” to the fact that there is really no reason to follow basketball on any level right now, unless you’re caught up in the “Where is Romeo Langford going to college?” sweepstakes.
So, what should a true basketball fan and player do during this down time? Well, my advice is to begin working on your game, and a big part of that should be improving your shooting technique. As we know, the game is a lot more fun when you know how to score points. Allow me to introduce to you Charlie Wallace, who has invented The Qube, a training aid that is beneficial to any aspiring basketball player of any age, skill level, or gender.
Charlie attended Seneca High School in Louisville, played football, basketball and baseball. He was an all-state first team football player who went to Western Kentucky to play football and baseball. After two seasons, he transferred to the University of Kentucky. After graduating, he worked in sales with the fitness equipment company Cybex until he opened his own fitness company called Magna Fitness Center in St. Louis. Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Mark McGwire were among those who trained at his fitness center.
In 2006, Charlie moved back to Louisville to be close to family – both of his sons played football and graduated from Ballard High School – and became involved with The Basketball Academy. While working on shooting techniques with kids of all ages, he had an idea. Instead of seeing a round ball in his hands, he envisioned a square cube. He then designed a cube that was the same weight as a basketball. He consulted with many high-level basketball players who loved the idea and asked how they could help.
Charlie spoke with the people he had worked with while he was the strength and conditioning coach for the St. Louis University basketball team about The Qube he designed. Everyone said that this was something that could benefit any player regardless of size, age or gender. Once Charlie added the German national wheelchair team as a client, he realized The Qube could change and revolutionize how we shoot a basketball.
We all grew up learning how to shoot based on whom we watched shooting at the time. Most of us shot the ball from our hips because we weren’t strong enough to get it to the basket otherwise. Then we emulated who we saw on TV. For me it was Jay Shidler, the Blonde Bomber from Kentucky. The Qube takes it to a whole other level.
The key to the design of The Qube is to have hand, wrist and elbow alignment in the same path and motion,” Charlie said. “Conceptually, the most important thing about shooting a basketball is to make sure it goes straight with proper arc. If a player is missing left or right, their shot is flawed.
“The Qube helps you maximize your chances of making shots by teaching proper form and technique. By placing your thumbs and fingers in the right place, you will allow the ball to go straight as opposed to left and right if your thumbs are in the right position,” he explained. According to Charlie, data has come in from all levels of competition showing that nearly anyone can improve shooting percentages using the The Qube. Success stories have come from Ballard, as well as schools from around the country and the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany.
Charlie hopes to continue to improve on manufacturing The Qube and introduce it to AAU circuits, basketball camps and clinics and, ultimately, the “Shark Tank” team.