Ted McFaul hoisted his last hook shot in Hoopfest just a few weeks before his 80th birthday, though it was more of a ceremonial appearance, like Arnold Palmer teeing it up as an honorary starter at the Masters.
But he could really play in his prime. Like, say, at 73.
“Some teams just look at him as an old guy – until he throws that hook shot up,” said Greg McFaul, getting a breather from his old man during one of the family team’s coed division games in 1998. “But then they pay a little more attention to him because he’s pretty accurate with it.”
The hook shot is basketball’s answer to carbon-dating, but McFaul’s credentials were solid: he was on the first Gonzaga University team to score 100 points in a game, in 1943. And he was the scourge of the family’s after-church games for decades.
“I love the game,” he said that year, “and my daughter won’t let me quit.”
“The fact is, my mom isn’t crazy about him playing out here,” said Mary McFaul, “so I’m the scapegoat.”