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Champion KCK athlete doesn’t let age throw off his free throw game

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- It measures 15 feet in length, but it seems like a mile to many.

Free throw shooting is no problem for one basketball champion from the metro, who's landed a prestigious international award. Father time is no match for this shooter.

If basketball is a science, then the gym is a laboratory, and Duane Shaw is the resident Ph.D.

“About 22 percent of points scored in basketball games are free throws,” Shaw explained on Wednesday.

70 years of basketball have led this foul shot fanatic to a world championship. In early October, the KCK resident won basketball gold for free throws at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah. Shaw, 78, is the oldest to win senior gold in basketball.

“I just enjoyed sports. I just got hooked on basketball,” Shaw told FOX 4 News.

Shaw spent 12 years as athletic director at KCK Community College, long after playing a year of college hoops at Kansas State in the 1950s.

“I'm very fortunate. I've worked hard and it's paid off,” Shaw said.

Free throws are a fascination for Shaw. In one round at the Huntsman World Games, he was a perfect 25 for 25.

“It's an awesome experience,” Shaw said.

During 15 years of going for senior gold, some of his competitors have been 20 years younger.

“That's probably due to his always-on-the-go attitude. He can't sit around for five minutes without being bored. He gets up and it's hard to sit him down in front of a television,” Danny Shaw, Duane’s son, said.

“At that level, if you don't make 97 to 98 percent, you're not going to compete,” Duane Shaw said.

Duane nearly swept those World Games clean. During the competition in October, he took 127 shots from the free throw line, and made all but three of them. His accuracy proves a person's age doesn't always hit the mark.

“He likes to be the best at what he does. Right now, he is the best at what he does,” Danny Shaw said.

“It gives an old man something to keep doing -- to keep me busy,” Duane Shaw laughs.

He has the hardware to prove he's at the top of his game -- no matter what his age may be.

Shaw practices his shooting every day, often in the varsity gym at KCK Community College. At 78 years old, he says he challenges himself to make 90 percent of his shots -- from behind the three-point arc.