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After 900 tries, Dude Perfect hits 854-foot basketball shot at The Strat

Updated May 22, 2023 - 11:49 am

They said it was impossible.

But in Las Vegas, nothing is impossible.

The gentlemen at Dude Perfect have made the world’s highest basketball shot, from 854 feet high, off The Strat’s 108th-floor SkyJump platform.

The shot landed April 20, taking more than 900 attempts, on the third day of a three-day YouTube shoot by Dude Perfect.

The quintet of former college roommates have spent the past 14 years executing trick shots.

But this was more than a trick.

“It was a miracle shot,” said The Strat exec Brad Goldberg, chief marketing officer of hotel operator Golden Gaming Entertainment Inc. “I was like, are you kidding me? There seems no chance in hell you would make this shot.”

The renowned Dude Perfect team is Tyler “Beard” Toney, twins Cory and Coby Cotton, Garrett “Purple Hoser” Hilbert and Cody “Tall Guy” Jones. They set up the shot on April 14, and began firing off the SkyJump platform on April 18. The team inflated 200 balls for the effort, spending the balance of three days attempting the record.

NASA engineer Mark Rober, appearing in the YouTube video of the event, called it “basically impossible, and dubbed the shot, “one in a million.”

Yet it happened, all because the resort agreed to stage the stunt — provided it was safe, which it was, far away from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Goldberg arranged the troupe’s Vegas visit. Despite the very long odds of making a shot from near the top of the tower, he wagered it would happen.

“We actually had an internal bet, and I bet that they would make it, because I was one of the people behind this whole stunt.” Goldberg said. He won the “gentlemen’s bet” against fellow Strat exec Steve Arcana.

The YouTube video shows the attempts were usually far off-target, with the balls veering as wind swept across the tower. Fewer than five attempts were even within 10 feet. None hit the rim. Finally, at 2:33 p.m., a shot curved toward the hoop and dramatically banked in (even though the team did not call glass).

Watching it all unfold is truly amazing. For further perspective, the team shattered the existing record by almost 200 feet. That mark of 660 feet was set in 2018 from a waterfall in Lesotho Africa, by YouTube star Derek Herron.

Dude Perfect set the record previously from a 530-foot tower in Oklahoma City in 2016.

The Dude Perfect founders, who attended college together at Texas A&M and are based in Frisco, Texas, contacted officials in several cities for the record-breaking attempt. They sought towers in Houston, Arches National Park in Moab, Utah; Glen Canyon Dam Bridge in Arizona; Washington Monument in D.C.; buildings in Miami and Chicago.

“We got a zillion ‘No’s,’ before we finally found a ‘Yes,’” cotton said, “and that’s the place that is known for all the craziness.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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