Markelle Fultz's Trainer Says 76ers PG Had the Yips Last Season

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz, right, in action against Miami Heat's Justise Winslow, left, during the second half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 130-103. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Drew Hanlen, basketball trainer to the stars, has taken on a new client in Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz

And on a recent episode of the Talking Schmidt Podcast (h/t PhillyVoice.com's Kyle Neubeck), Hanlen explained Fultz had a case of the yips last season that contributed to his wonky jump-shooting mechanics. 

"With Markelle, obviously he has one of the most documented cases of kind of the yips of basketball in recent years, where he completely forgot how to shoot and had multiple hitches in his shot," Hanlen said. "So for me it was, 'Hey listen, how can I get this kid that was No. 1 in last year's draft back rolling and get him to the point where he was before, if not better?'"

Hanlen explained that the two have been hard at work in the gym this summer and that he thinks Fultz's jumper will eventually be "perfect": 

"We've been working hard every day, working on rewiring his body and getting a kind of smooth stroke back into his shot. We're way ahead of pace where I thought we were going to be, I thought it was going to take me at least six weeks before we had kind of a serviceable jump shot, and we're already starting to shoot with a jump in week two.

It's not perfect yet, but I think by the end of the summer it will be perfect, he'll be back rolling and he'll show people why he was the No. 1 pick. Even though I still give him trouble on a daily basis and tell him and remind him I still believe Jayson Tatum was the best player in that draft."

Speaking to reporters Friday at the Sixers' post-draft press conference, head coach Brett Brown explained that, based on what he's seen, Fultz appears to be on the right track, per Neubeck: 

"His development of his shot is looking great. The progress of his shot is looking great. His body, we all see him like with his shoulders and his arms and his wingspan...He's not doing much playing right now, the effort has been his shot...it's back to foundational-type stuff. And to like expedite that worries me a little bit as it relates to Summer League. It does. He's in a good place."

Fultz, who missed 68 games because of persistent shoulder problems, averaged 7.1 points per contest as a rookie, and 72 percent of his total field-goal attempts came within 10 feet of the rim, per Basketball Reference. 

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