Strange But True: Swish!

The date was April 6 1935. At 7:00 in the evening Harold “Bunny” Levitt stationed himself at the foul line at one end of the basketball court in Chicago’s Madison Street Armory. While some 4,000 spectators watched, Levitt began to pop in foul shots. He used the old-fashioned style of shooting–two hands on the ball and an underhand toss. It was almost midnight when he finally missed one. He had sunk 499 in a row.

The spectators thought Levitt was ready to quit, but he was far from finished. Once again he began to swish the ball through the net. By 2:30 in the morning he had sunk an additional 317 shots in a row. At that point the janitor told Levitt to go home because he was about the close the armory.

After that Bunny Levitt toured with the Harlem Globetrotters. There was a standing offer of $1,000 to anyone who could beat Levitt in a contest of 100 foul shots. Many tried, but no one ever got the best of him. The closest challenger sank 86 out of 100. Levitt’s worst effort was 96 out of 100.

Yet Harold Levitt was never a star player, either in college or the pros. After all, he was only 5-foot-4.

From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

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