BRISTOL, Tenn. – Dylan Goodman and A.K. Abusaab live only 10 minutes apart on the North Shore of Long Island in a hamlet called Syosset.
Friday night, the 6-foot-2 seniors from the Long Island Lutheran High School basketball team put on a talent show 645 miles from home.
Goodman and Abusaab advanced to the finals of the Arby’s Classic 3-point shooting contest at Viking Hall.
“I just found about this Thursday after practice when my coach [John Buck] asked me if I wanted to compete,” Goodman said. “Shooters always have to be prepared.”
With textbook form, Goodman overcame a slow start to record 16 points en route to the first-place trophy.
“That first rack of balls is very nerve-wracking. You can feel your beat,” Goodman said. “But I calmed myself down and found some consistency. And the shots just keep falling.”
Goodman closed his performance by hitting a two-point money ball shot from the baseline.
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“That was a big one. I didn’t know if the ball was going in,” Goodman said.
Abusaab and Joltin Harrison from Volunteer both accumulated 15 points. Abusaab then defeated Harrison in a play-off for second place behind another 15-point effort.
“Dylan is like my brother, so it was very fun to compete with him out there,” Abusaab said. “It’s always a competition when we are in the gym.”
The Long Island neighbors have an afternoon routine, and it involves one art form.
“We get a lot of shots up,” Abusaab said. “Before practice, sometimes we will play a contest for fun. But to be honest, shooting is like work for me.”
When did Abusaab find out about the 3-point shooting contest? How about two hours before his first shot.
“That was nerve-wracking, but it’s just a jump shot and the game we love,” said Abusaab, who is considering several NCAA DivisionII schools for basketball.
Goodman credited an emergency shooting session with a Long Island assistant coach just before Friday’s conquest.
“That’s when I started to get into a rhythm,” Goodman said.
As for their roles on the nationally ranked Long Island Lutheran Crusaders team, just refer to Goodman and Abusaab as the “Syosset Shooters.”
“If our team needs someone to make shots, we’re always ready,” Goodman said.
Will Goodman use Friday’s triumph over Abusaab for hometown bragging points?
“Probably when we are older, but it’s all love with us,” Goodman said. “We’ve shot together every day the past four years, and this contest was a good opportunity.”
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