Sam Healy recently spent 40 minutes on a Chicago basketball court, recreating some of the most famous shots in college basketball history. By himself. In the pouring rain. Which is kind of weird.
But that isn’t even the weirdest thing on the list of Healy’s college basketball hobbies! That prize goes to the weekly podcast he co-hosts about American University basketball. Which is especially weird because he didn’t grow up in Washington, and he didn’t go to American, and he has no connection to the Eagles’ athletic department. So why does he co-host a weekly podcast about American University basketball?
“Your guess is as good as mine, man,” Healy told me on Wednesday.
Sometimes when you love college basketball, you really love it. The 30-year-old hoops junkie grew up in New England, went to school at Virginia Tech, and then spent seven years in D.C., where he worked for the Department of Defense and as a social worker for homeless veterans, and started going to AU basketball games with Jake Lloyd, a local sportswriter who also didn’t go to AU. Eventually they teamed with a third person, who went to business school at AU, to record weekly podcasts about the Eagles.
“In unrelated news, I’m single,” Healy noted.
He recently moved to Chicago and became a copywriter, and he also decided to finally follow through on something he had considered for five years: recreating some of college basketball’s most famous shots. Why?
“I think anybody that’s a basketball fan, no matter how old you are, you go out and mimic those shots you remember as a kid,” he said.
This year, with iMovie making it ever easier to splice your own footage with YouTube clips, Healy decided to finally make his video. He got a friend to film him, and they headed to a gym in a downpour. Healy has also done some stand-up, and his comedic sense now kicked in, telling him maybe this video would be even better if it was filmed as he got soaking wet.
Of course, this also meant his friend had to get soaking wet, so they hurried through the list of shots. In retrospect, he thinks his Kemba Walker step-back was kind of weak, and he wishes he had bellyflopped on the court like Bryce Drew. He also had to strike the Tyus Edney length-of-the-court dash from his list of shining moments.
“I couldn’t dribble the ball in the puddles,” he explained. “So I just did the ones where I didn’t have to dribble.”
Healy’s current job is set to end soon, and he is looking for further jobs in advertising, so he thought this video might be something to show to future employers. But mostly, he just wanted to run around for 40 minutes in the rain while pretending he was T.J. Sorrentine and Drew, Ali Farokhmanesh and Walker, Christian Laettner and Tate George and Drew Nicholas. Yes, he’s 30. Whatever.
“When I’m in the gym by myself, I just run up and down the court, I throw up fadeaways, I celebrate. I’m sure the gym members are probably a little freaked,” Healy told me. “As you get older, you’re supposed to become more serious. But even in my 30s, when I’m shooting around, I just picture this stuff: the calls, the shots, the reactions.”
This video will expose his basketball junkiness to the world, but he doesn’t do it for the fame. He does it for the game. And next winter, he seems likely to become the first Chicago resident ever to record a season’s worth of podcasts about American University basketball.
(And if you’re interested in a very intense and yet lighthearted podcast about AU and the Patriot League, here’s the link.)