World record loses its Magic

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The Independent Online


When Iain McKinney broke the world record for the longest scoring basketball shot, the 23-year-old university post-graduate who plays for the Sheffield Sharks thought he had beaten one of the sport's greatest names - Magic Johnson.

The 6ft 1in McKinney dropped his shot in the basket from 90 feet 63/4in at Ponds Forge on Monday and the event sponsors, Sony, claimed he had smashed a record set by Johnson, of the Los Angeles Lakers, by four and a half inches.

"I don't think so,'' the Lakers spokesman, Matthew Fleer, said. "If Magic had ever scored from over 90 feet, we'd remember it. Jerry West scored from 60 feet in a play-off game in the '60s, but that's the longest by a Lakers player.''

McKinney will go in the Guinness Book of Records - but ousting Christopher Eddy, a Pennsylvania high school player who set the previous record in 1989, does not have the same buzz as blocking Magic Johnson.

McKinney's shot was hardly a fluke. With his previous effort he took the British record by scoring from 86 feet to beat Anthony Hylton's 77ft mark at Hemel Hempstead, on an earlier stop on Sony's UK tour to promote their NBA computer game.

McKinney said: ``It was incredible enough when the first one went in. Team-mate Chris Finch told me to have another go for the world record, but I told him lightning doesn't strike twice.''

Unfortunately McKinney has no record of his glory. Incredibly for one of the world's communication giants, Sony did not have so much as a hand-held camcorder at the event.