By Mason Kelley
Washington football players gathered around the free-throw line at Marv Harshman Court. The Huskies left just enough room for basketball coach Lorenzo Romar to stand in the middle.
Romar had been asked to give the football players pointers, to provide shooting tips before the start of a team free-throw contest.
“I love Husky football, so it was easy,” Romar said when asked about helping the football program.
Standing at the line, Romar did more than share secrets. He put on a show. He said he would make 8 out of 10.
He missed the first, so the Huskies heckled the coach. The louder they got, the more Romar enjoyed the experience. He made the second. Then knocked down the third. He kept making them until he did exactly what he said he would – make 8 of 10.
“They got involved, started to make noise and taunt me, which made it even more fun,” he said.
After Romar’s performance, the players were impressed.
“We were all like, ‘Coach, you can’t shoot free throws,’ receiver Kasen Williams said. “Then he hits eight in a row. It was pretty dope, because he said he was going to go 8 out of 10.”
Romar said the football and basketball programs have worked well together since his days as a point guard for the Huskies.
“(The relationship) is awesome, and it’s always been that way,” Romar said. “It was like that when I was a student athlete here and, since I’ve been here, I know we’ve had a number of different football coaches, different staffs, but they’ve always been great.”
Williams added, “It just shows the unity of the athletic department. If the basketball team wanted to do 7-on-7, then coach (Chris) Petersen would be out here coaching them up the exact same way.”
Once Romar wrapped up his demonstration, it was the football team’s turn.
“My jumper is so broke it’s unbelievable,” tight ends coach Jordan Paopao joked. “It didn’t go so well.”
But, while it was a struggle for some to sink shots like Romar, the exercise wasn’t about skill. It wasn’t even about crowning a winner – although Williams said his team was victorious. It was simply an opportunity for the Huskies to bolster their bond through an activity that had nothing to do with football.
“It’s pretty funny to watch, pretty funny to see everybody’s talents outside of football,” Williams said. “It just brings everyone together.”