Debbie Antonelli has always preached that aspiring basketball players shoot until their arms fall off to improve their shot. Antonelli uses that figuratively, of course, but this weekend may put it to the test.
The former three-year starter at N.C. State and current basketball analyst for ESPN and CBS will make 100 free throws at the top of every hour for 24 hours straight beginning on Saturday and finishing Sunday.
Antonelli’s feat is organized to raise money for Special Olympics South Carolina. The cause is especially important to Antonelli who as a Unified Athlete trains and competes alongside Special Olympics athletes, including her son, Frankie, who is a multi-sport champion.
“I’m uniquely positioned and motivated to attempt this physically and emotionally challenging marathon,” Antonelli said. “I’ve been training like my college days.”
The all-day event tips off with a ceremonial first free throw at the new Mount Pleasant Town Hall gym at noon on Saturday. There will be food trucks, live music, raffles and free-throw challenges to win prizes and autographed sports memorabilia, while Antonelli continues to shoot hour after hour.
Chris Singleton and College of Charleston men’s basketball coach Earl Grant will speak on Sunday, as will Frankie Antonelli, at the Breakfast of Champions beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tickets to the catered breakfast are $20. By noon on Sunday, Antonelli will have made 2,400 free throws.
There are several different ways to contribute. Donation levels begin at one penny per free throw and range upwards. Visit the 24 Hours of Nothing but Net with Debbie Antonelli website to donate online and for more information on the schedule of events. Contact BETripleB@yahoo.com to purchase tickets to the Breakfast of Champions.