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Best in Ohio…Second in the Nation!

Caldwell’s Bede Lori Not Only Set the OHSAA Career Free Throw

Percentage Mark, but He’s Now Second All-Time in the NFHS Record Book!

By Jeff Harrison

We’ve all heard the sayings: Do your best! Be the best you can be!

Caldwell’s Bede Lori can now say that he truly IS the best free throw shooter in history of Ohio boys’ basketball!

Lori became Ohio’s all-time leader in career free throw percentage, making an incredible 714 free throws in 764 attempts for an eye-popping 93.45%. That mark surpassed Coshocton’s Dave Brown who had the previous standard of 91.71% set from 2006-2010.

Taking it a step further, Lori’s accuracy from the “charity stripe” vaults him into second place in the all-time NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) record book. That’s right – SECOND IN THE NATION!

That national standard is owned by Seth Colclasure of Decatur Belmont High School in Indiana who made 519 of 554 free throws from 1999-2002 for a mark of 93.6%.

TWO MORE! That’s how many made free throws Lori needed to be standing at the top of the mountain. Two more made free throws would have put him at 93.7%!

Lori was caught completely unaware of his national ranking.

“I’m very surprised,” he replied. “I had the state record as one of my goals, but never really thought about what the national record was so it’s pretty awesome.”

A four-time All-Ohio selection and a finalist for Ohio’s “Mr. Basketball” award this past season, Lori said it’s been a long, continuous process to become a free throw “machine”.

“A lot of made reps,” he said. “During the summer, I would shoot until I got 100 makes a day in the summer for about 80 days, so at least 8,000 makes during that time and sometimes I’d do it twice a day so probably over 10,000 makes…plus a lot more during the school year and at practices during the season.”

Not only is the number of “reps” key, but also doing each shot the same way for a long, long time has made a difference.

“I’ve had basically the same three throw routine since I was five years old,” he said.“I’ve always been good at free throws (even at that age on a shorter hoop) so I’ve never changed it.

“It’s very detailed,” Lori pointed out. “My right foot is always forward and just left of the nail (on the floor) so my elbow is in line with the basket.

“I’ve always worn No. 3 (he’s a big fan of former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade), so my routine also includes three dribbles, three spins (of the basketball), three more dribbles and a deep breath,” he added.

In addition to his father, Roman, he’s also had top-notch instruction from Peter Patton, currently the shooting coach for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks who is married Noble County native Stacey Crum.

Lori – who received a full ride scholarship to Mount Vernon Nazarene University – also works with trainer Drew Lavender, who played hoops at Columbus Brookhaven High School and in college at Oklahoma and Xavier, who he credits for teaching him how to get his body into the right position to get the “and-one” to create more scoring opportunities.

That obviously paid off since 30 percent (714) of Lori’s 2,330 career points (the 27th best career total in OHSAA history) came on free throws.

For the most part, Lori expects to make every shot, but there was one point where he felt the pressure.

“When I broke the streak,” he said, referring to his Ohio record of 69 consecutive free throws made, “I had to go all summer with that in the back of my mind because it carried over to the first game of the next year. I got it (the streak), but then I missed the very next one so I could breathe again!”

You’ll find the name Bede Lori plastered throughout the OHSAA and NFHS record books.

In addition to the career percentage mark, here’s where ranks in Ohio:

–The top two marks in single-season free throw percentage (207-216 for 95.83% as a junior in 2021-22 and 180-188 for 95.75% as a sophomore in 2020-21) and he’s also 20th (178-194 for 91.75% as a freshman in 2019-2020). He just missed making it 4-for-4 as his senior totals (149-166 for 89.8%) fell two-tenths short of qualifying.

–Four of the top five all-time marks for consecutive free throws made, topped by his state-record of 69 which began on January 20, 2022 and extended until the first game of the next season on November 26, 2022. He’s also third, fourth and fifth on the list with streaks of 64, 62 and 62.

–Second all-time in career made free throws list with 721, trailing only the mark of 760 set by Luke Kennard of Franklin (2011-2015).

–18th all-time in season free throws made with 207 (2021-2022)

In the Nation (NFHS), besides the No. 2 spot for career free throw percentage:

–His 69 consecutive free throws rank 10th.

–His 714 made free throws rank 12th.

–His single season marks of 95.83% and 95.75% rank 5th and 6th, respectively.

Two lessons should be learned from all of this:

  1. Practice does make (nearly) perfect!
  2. DON’T FOUL Bede Lori!!!



1 Comment

  1. Bill morland on May 31, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    Always friendly when we see him at his families restaurant in our hometown here in Caldwell. We are very proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in the future.!!!

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