Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is the biggest surprise on the U.S.’s 19-man preliminary roster for the Basketball World Cup.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote an article on the 33-year-old three-point specialist on Tuesday, and it contains a wild anecdote about his offseason fitness routine.
In 2013, Korver started doing a once-a-year Japanese purification ritual called “misogi.” As part of the ritual, he does an extreme fitness challenge every offseason.
This year, he and a few friends did an underwater 5k while holding a 85-pound rock.
“Each participant would dive down, find the rock, run with it as long as he could, and drop it for the next guy to find. Those waiting their turn wore weight belts and tread in water between five and 10 feet deep.
“It took five hours. ‘We were honestly worried about blacking out,’ Korver says. They were also worried about sharks.”
At an age when most players are declining, he has been getting better. Based on win shares, the last two seasons have been the second- and third-best seasons of his career.
Last year Korver paddled 27 miles on a stand-up paddleboard as his misogi challenge.
P3 Peak Performance Project, the fitness company Korver works with, posted a bunch of pictures of the paddleboard excursion, writing:
“Kyle attributes the NBA record he set for most consecutive games with a made 3-pointer on December 6th to the inner strength and insight he gained from this day on the ocean. This is what the Misogi is intended to do!”
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