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Background on McGary’s unicycling
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 8, 2013 @ 3:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
John Foss is 51 years old and isn’t much of a college basketball fan and, aside from the fact his mother is a Michigan grad and he grew up near Detroit he doesn’t have much of a connection with the Michigan basketball team that is playing for a national championship tonight in Atlanta.
Oh, except this — he and the breakout star of the NCAA tournament, Michigan freshman center Mitch McGary, are expert unicyclists.
And it doesn’t surprise Foss, who is 6-feet-nothing and 180 pounds, that McGary, who is 6-10 and 250 pounds, would be known for being more skilled and graceful than your average young basketball behemoth.
“Doesn’t surprise me one bit,” says Foss, who lives in Carmichael, Calif., just outside of Sacramento, and is the former president of the Unicycling Society of America. “Unicycling is something that would help anyone become more agile and graceful, whether it’s a big guy or any guy.”
McGary has said he got his first unicycle when he was 12 and fell on his face a few times and busted up his knees and elbows but eventually got quite good at staying aloft on the one-wheeled contraption – good enough to jump curbs and even fill in on a friend’s paper route.
This tells Foss, who fixes phones and computers for a living, several things about McGary, who after playing most of the season as a role player has averaged 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in four NCAA tournament games and has been wowing observers with his passing, his footwork, his midrange shooting and his overall agility.
“90% of people who try unicycling don’t stick with it,” Foss says. “And they go through the rest of their life thinking it’s impossible. But it’s something you can learn how to do.
“Basically, you’re moving around on top of a wheel and you’re manipulating the wheel to keep you balanced. If you’re zigzagging, you’re very aware of your center of mass and so you have to aim your mass to stay … [For more on Background on Michigan star Mitch McGary's unicycling talent, click here.]
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