The rule change, first implemented for the 1987-1988 high school basketball season, evoked reaction that was decidedly, well, muted.
Guards smiled, big men snickered, coaches pondered. Truth is, nobody really saw this coming.
What seemed almost a novelty turned into, most literally, a game-changing revolution and The Shot Heard Around the Basketball World.
Thirty years ago, the National Federation of High Schools green-lighted the 3-point shot, set the distance at 19 feet, 9 inches, and high school basketball would never be the same.
Here in 2018, the boys game mirrors what the NBA sired, what college basketball embraced and what young players today revere.
“It’s all about run the floor, get up and down and shoot the 3-point shot,” says Oxnard High boys coach and former Ventura standout Jeff Staniland. “The game has definitely changed. Kids come out to practice and that’s what they expect to do. Its how you win games.”
Westlake coach Kyle Kegley, also a former Thousand Oaks star, concurs.
“That’s the game the NBA plays and what happens at the highest level of the sport impacts how we play the game,” he said. “It’s the trickle-down effect. College basketball does it, and it’s what the high school game is all about. Kids want to play fast. That’s our game.”
Oak Park coach Aaron Shaw knows just how young the impact extends.
“My 8-year-old son comes onto the basketball floor and the first thing he does is stand at the 3-point line and shoot the ball,” Shaw says with a chuckle.