A’s fight spring monotony with shooting contest on Warriors Ct

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 3:40 AM

Before playing their preseason finale against the Giants at the Coliseum, the A’s made the brief walk over to the adjacent arena and spent some time shooting around on an NBA court.“We attempt to do something every spring to mix it up a tiny bit,” said manager Bob Melvin, who added the idea came from visiting clubhouse manager Mike Thalblum.

A’s fight spring monotony with shooting contest on Warriors Ct

The A’s marked the winding-down of spring training with a fun team-building exercise Saturday morning: A three-point and free-throw shooting contest interior Oracle Arena, residence of the Golden State Warriors.

Before playing their preseason finale against the Giants at the Coliseum, the A’s made the brief walk over to the adjacent arena and spent some time shooting around on an NBA court.

“We attempt to do something every spring to mix it up a small bit,” said manager Bob Melvin, who added the idea came from visiting clubhouse manager Mike Thalblum. “It was an simple one, particularly with what goes on in that building now.”

Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt won the three-point contest, while minor-league reliever Ryan Brasier, a non-roster invitee in the A’s camp, was the free-throw shooting champion.

“Bassitt is a basketball player for sure,” Melvin said. “He dunks beautiful simple and moves around pretty well.”

Bassitt, who's listed at 6-foot-5, said he played point guard at his high school in Clay, Ohio, and that “We were really good.” He seldom plays anymore, though, because of the opportunity of a freak injury.

“It’s definitely my love,” Bassitt said. “I like basketball. But I’ve been holding myself far from it.”

Bassitt said he made 7-of-9 three-point shots over three rounds and bested infielder Chris Coghlan in the finals. His prize was an autographed Klay Thompson jersey – a kind touch for Bassitt, who played with the Golden State guard’s younger brother, Trayce Thompson, in the White Sox minor-league system.

“I’m a Thompson family guy,” Bassitt said. “I like the Thompson family.”

Brasier doesn't share Bassitt’s basketball background: Brasier said he didn’t play in high school and before Saturday hadn’t shot a basketball since having Tommy John surgery in two thousand-fourteenth. But he made four straight free throws in the final circular and claimed a jersey signed by MVP Stephen Curry.

“Getting Steph is beautiful cool,” Brasier said. “Me and my buddies, we’re Mavericks fans. But it’s fun to look what Steph can do.”

Shooting wasn’t Ltd to the contests. Reliever John Axford was filmed making an underhand shot from several rows deep in the stands. And several people said outfielder Josh Reddick channeled a Curry pre-game routine by making a shot from interior the tunnel leading to the Warriors locker room.

“First shot,” Bassitt said. “Of course, Reddick made it, so we’ll never hear the finish of it.”

Melvin, who's previously talked about his admiration for the defending NBA winner Warriors, said he didn’t obtain on the Ct himself. But he said the morning was a excellent team-bonding experience.

“You discover out who the athletes are,” Melvin said, “and who the athletes aren’t.”

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