A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 27, 2014
“If you can shoot, you can play” (basketball adage)

Basketball requires various skills, but shooting skill is always highly regarded. “If you can shoot, you can play” is a popular basketball adage.

“In Europe the first thing they tell you is if you can shoot, you can play this game,” New Jersey Nets player Drazen Petrovic (1964-1993) told the New York (NY) Times in 1993. It’s not known who originated the adage.


New York (NY) Times
PRO BASKETBALL; Petrovic’s Fluency Goes Beyond 1-2-3
By MIKE FREEMAN,
Published: March 2, 1993
Pucaj tricu. It is Croatian for “shoot the 3.” They are probably Drazen Petrovic’s favorite words in any language: Shoot the 3.
(...)
Petrovic first learned to shoot when he was 10 years old. In the United States, kids get a thrill when they first learn to dunk. For Petrovic, the farther away he was from the basket when he nailed a shot, the faster his heart raced. “In Europe the first thing they tell you is if you can shoot, you can play this game.”

Philly.com
Long-distance Operator Flc’s Coleman Got Help On His Launches
by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
POSTED: January 25, 1996
Every kid needs a helping hand.

For the young Eric Coleman, that hand belonged to Ronald Gibson and it did more than offer pats on the back.
(...)
“He coached the first team I was on, at age 13,” Coleman said. “He used to say flat-out, ‘If you can shoot, you’ll be playing.’ I never forgot that. I asked him to show me how to shoot the ball properly.”

5 April 2002, The Intelligencer Record (Doylestown, PA), “GA’s Walsh named first-team All-State” by Kevin Cooney and Lyle Fitzsimmons, pg. C4, col. 3:
“I haven’t played much at all since the (high school) season ended. I want to work on my shooting to the point where I’m a deadly 3-point shooter when I get there. If you can shoot, you can play in college.”
(Germantown Academy’s Matt Walsh.—ed.)

Google News Archive
5 June 2003, Rome (GA) News-Tribune, “Georgia assistant offers tips” by Joseph Myers, pg. 1B, col. 2:
“If you can shoot, you can overcome a multitude of sins. Just because you’re doesn’t 5-4 doesn’t mean you can’t play.”
(University of Georgia women’s basketball assistant coach Michael Shafer.—ed.)

Basketballs Best
14 November 2004
SHOOTING WORKOUT: BADEN BASKETBALL proudly presents the BASKETBALL DOCTOR, basketball’s #1 skills clinician!
If you can shoot, you can play - PERIOD! Learn how to shoot from Game Spots, Game Shots, and at Game Speed! Dozens of game shots, and game practice drills for game skills!

Yahoo! Sports
Ball Don’t Lie grades the 2012 NBA draft
By Kelly Dwyer
June 29, 2012 2:00 PM
(...)
He can shoot, and in the NBA if you can shoot, you can play. Simple as that.

Twitter
Hoop Dreams
‏@Hoopdreamscamps
Shooting might be the most underrated skill taught. If you can shoot you can play at any level. Yet...there are very few GREAT shooters.
6:38 PM - 1 Jan 2014

Twitter
ATL SWISH 16U
‏@ATLSwishHoops
Quote of the Day from the 2014 NBA Draft “If you can shoot, you have a shot”...
10:40 PM - 26 Jun 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, June 27, 2014 • Permalink