The origin of A Shot For Life
The genesis for A Shot For Life began in 2010 when Mike Slonina’s mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a potentially malignant tumor with a tough prognosis. What followed was the path that so many cancer patients face when they are diagnosed with their life-threatening illness. Life as you know it can change quickly. Often cancer patients and their families struggle to gain control of a diagnosis that has an outcome beyond their control. Mike needed to fight back.
Basketball had always been a safe haven for Mike and this situation was no exception. “The thought that my Mom might not get to see me really grow into a man was too much for me to handle for a while. Basketball is my life and I leaned on it in that time
On April 9th, 2011 Mike became the first and only person to shoot a basketball for 24 consecutive hours from all over the basketball floor. Injury was not something that would stop Mike on his mission. He started the 24 hours with a nerve damaged ankle. In the second hour he cut his middle finger on his shooting hand, and in the fourth hour he tore his shooting wrist. In total Mike shot 73.2% from all over the floor with a majority of shots taken from the mid-range and three-point area.
Despite the fact that beyond hour four Slonina could not bend his wrist, an ability every player knows is necessary for shooting a basketball, his confidence and determination never wavered.
An ESPN Boston story was published days before the 24 hour event, the story was picked up nationally. As the press of Mike’s story spread he started to hear from cancer patients, survivors, and those directly impacted in other ways from all over the world. Once Mike saw the level of excitement and passion from the cancer community, there was no going back from the road that was taking shape.
That event was called A Shot For Life and became the inspiration for the 501C3 organization that has grown to be a force in sports fundraising.
Mike Slonina is a recognized World Record Holder on RecordSetter.com.
On April 10th, 2011; standing at center court, after 24 grueling hours, Slonina had made history.
There have been extraordinary individuals who have shot free throws over a 24-hour span; there have been people who have taken three pointers over a 24-hour span. But none of those people moved around the floor thus forcing their jump shot to adapt constantly. For a shooter, especially an elite shooter, getting a rhythm and making shots from one spot is exponentially easier than making shots from all around the floor and from many different distances.
From an athletic standpoint, Mike wanted to prove a point in April 2011 by making the shooting as difficult as possible for himself and he did, however, the cost was that his record would be unrepeatable and therefore unable to be recognized on some world record databases. According to Mike, "It doesn't bother me that some of the sites neglect the record, I understand why. It was really secondary to everything else we were trying to accomplish that day and if we could do it again, we would have tracked where I took each shot from in a more exact way. I appreciate that Record Setter has validated my record, and some others have as well. The reality is that records were meant to be broken and I know mine won't stand forever, but I'll always be grateful to God for allowing my body to be the first to accomplish that." No one has ever accomplished what Mike accomplished that day, and given the specific circumstances he endured, no one ever will.
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Mike's determination started in 2011 and it laid the foundation for what would transition from "A Shot For Life" the one-off event to "A Shot For Life Inc." the well-rounded organization that is growing consistently on an annual basis. You can support our work at the button below!