Richard Thomas couldn't believe the number.
That's how many shots former Golden Valley teammate Alex Fletcher took every day.
"At first I thought he was crazy," Thomas said. "I tried to learn a lot from Alex. He told me to become a good shooter you have to shoot at least 500 shots out of practice a day.
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"I thought Fletch was already trying to do an NBA thing. It was such a big number. Then I started thinking if he can do it, why can't I?"
To become a good shooter it takes a lot of work and a lot of repetition.
It's a lot of hours of chasing your own rebounds in the driveway or backyard.
Thomas and teammate Justin Wootten have definitely put in that time, along with Merced senior Otis Caery.
All three may play key roles if their teams are going to stick around in the playoffs.
Looking at the stats, it may seem odd to think Caery could be a big factor in Merced's playoff success.
The senior, who is listed generously at 5 feet, 9 inches on the roster, is Merced's smallest player on the floor.
He's fourth on the team in scoring at 7.6 points per game.
However, he's Merced's top outside threat with 35 3-pointers this season.
When Caery is on, it opens up Merced's offense.
"If I'm making shots, I draw people out to me," Caery said. "That opens it up for our post players to do their work in the paint. I can be a factor if I hit my 3s."
Being labeled as a shooter is new to Caery. Coming up through the Merced program he was more of a ball handler and a distributor.
That was until he moved up to varsity last year, where the ball was in Allen Huddleston's hands most of the time.
So Caery went to work in his backyard to become a better threat from outside.
"Most shooters spend a lot of time over their career just shooting the basketball," said Merced coach Marcus Knott, whose team opens up the playoffs tonight at home against Kennedy.
"He's definitely a kid we count on to make a big shot."
Caery's also a kid Merced can count on for some laughs.
During a tournament in Vacaville, Caery surprised one of his teammates by tossing some ice in his bed while he was sleeping.
"He's very fun to be around," Knott said. "My kids absolutely adore him, especially my son."
Caery isn't the only shooter with some personality.
Wootten does a pretty good impersonation of Golden Valley coach Keith Hunter, and will often break it out at practice when Hunter's back is turned.
"He even has coach's little dance down when he's mad," Thomas said.
Like Caery, Thomas and Wootten aren't GV's top scorers, but their ability to knock down shots from long range bring a much-needed dimension to the offense.
It's a dimension Golden Valley will need in tonight's first-round game at Sacramento Burbank.
"When those guys are on, we have the potential to score in the 60s and 70s," Hunter said. "The other night we hit 10 3s and they probably had six of them. That's a tremendous boost to our offense."
Thomas leads the team with 46 3-pointers and Wootten is third with 34.
Thomas says there is nothing like the feeling when you're on.
"It feels like throwing rocks in the ocean," Thomas said. "It seems like you can throw up anything and make it. When I played Buhach Colony at Buhach, I felt like that. I think I made four 3s that night."
Wootten has been GV's most consistent player down the stretch.
The senior is averaging 12.4 points in the last six games, including a career-high 24 points in the regular-season finale against Atwater.
"I've just been more aggressive, taking the ball to the basket" Wootten said. "When you get to the rim, you go to the free-throw line more. When you make a couple easy free throws the rim looks wider."
This trio is hoping to be looking at some wide rims for at least a few more weeks.