WeissCrax: Nothing But Net

Forbes Bainou, Ben York and Grant Schroeder will take their basketball hoop just about anywhere to make trick shots for their videos.


The story you are about to read here is true. The names have not been changed.

These are real kids. Doing real things.

You won’t believe it. Not even after seeing their incredible work.

More on that later …

But first, here’s the 4-1-1 on these three amazing young dudes:

Age 16 … DP Soph … GPA: 4.4 … sports: cross country and baseball … 2010 highlights: played varsity baseball and ran cross country as a frosh … cross country team made it to State Finals & placed 10th … savors pasta … fave vacay: New Zealand (2006) … SB native … loves World History … interested in sports medicine career … has learner’s permit (“drivers license maybe next week”) … placed 5th in 2007 Elk’s Lodge National Hoop Shot Free Throw Competition.

Age 15 … DP Soph … GPA: over 4.0 … sports: cross country, soccer, track … Freshman Class President, Junior Statesman of America, Youth Triathlon Club Treasurer, National Honors Society … interested in law & politics … career ambition: lawyer… loves fettuccini alfredo … thinks Panama Canal cruise was best family getaway … moved to SB at age 3 … is a few months away from his driver’s license … loves History … passionate Laker fan.

Age 15 … DP Soph … GPA: 4.something – all A’s … sports: water polo, basketball, track, swimming … 2010 hilites: JV 800 league champ in track; 7th Place Water Polo Junior Olympics; Top 8 in SB Sprint Triathlon; water polo team made Top 4 in CIF Division 1 Southern Section … ambition: sports medicine … fave food: penne pasta … Napili Sunset on Maui best vacay … SB native … has learner’s permit … top subject: Math … best kept secret (until now): “likes listening to Spanish songs even though I don’t always know what they’re saying.”

Yes — good kids. Talented and smart too …


And all are totally focused in their quest for perfection.

Ya’see, these last several months they’ve athletically and artistically collaborated on “Project Perfection” – YouTube documentaries of themselves making ingenious trick shots that, quite honestly, defy logic.

Using all kinds of sports equipment – but mostly a soccer ball, basketball and a vortex (small Nerf-like football with a hard plastic tail for extra distance) – well, it all eventually lands in an old basketball hoop they lug around to rather unusual locales — like More’s Landing today where we’re ‘beachin’ it’ (think between More Mesa and Goleta Beach) for this behind-the-scenes sportz exclusive.


The trick shots are definitely ‘off the wall’ – or off trees, rock cliffs or anything else for that matter!

Grant unintentionally initiated this interesting initiative while “messing around flinging a bottle cap into a glass.” He later told Ben, who immediately wanted in. Forbes jumped on-board shortly thereafter.

“The rest, as they say, is (… like Ben’s & Forbes’ favorite subject …) History.”

This sun-soaked Sunday afternoon is a real study, watching them work logistics ‘real-time’ and running a new version of Phil’s famed ‘Triangle Offense’ – all individually playing pivotal roles shooting, recording and rebounding/retrieving the many errant shots never shown on camera. They effortlessly switch positions for the benefit of team. And friendship.

Their ultimate goal: everyone makes, at least, one trick shot during each session.

Only five shots are made here – the first is Ben tossing the vortex off a rock cliff into the hoop about 200 feet away – nails it on seventh try!

(But did he call “BANK”?)

Then a long dry-spell kicking a soccer ball from sand to hoop (doesn’t happen – they move on) …followed by an underhand, backward basketball shot far away (Ben scores) … next: throwing a b-ball into the hoop while standing on a fallen tree (Grant succeeds despite the attack ants on his feet) … and then bouncing a basket ball off same tree into the hoop (Ben, again).

The trio at work in the editing room

Oh – there’s just one catch – unanimous agreement NOT to celebrate on camera after making a trick shot. Just for effect. But once outside the lens view, it’s ‘hi-fives’ and ‘knuckle bumps’ all around! The bluff shots (coming soon) will be their third production. It will sequel Pursuing Perfection and Promising Perfection. Actual next title: TBD.

Once enough shots and footage, they’ll produce on Grant’s computer. Forbes will take the lead here and they’ll add music and credits, send to friends and launch on YouTube.

They make it look easy. Only the ‘makes.’ It’s beyond belief when it all comes together.

The good news: No trick photography. Nor Photoshop. All authentic.

ACTUAL TRANSLATION: They really do make every shot shown.

And today’s beach locale is a near perfect, relaxing way to ‘chill’ … hanging with three polite young teens who are good buds … young men who are definitely going far in life … and being an ‘accidental witness’ to their good-natured and funny banter you might expect from teenagers.

“They’re great kids – athletic, smart and very creative. And they should be on The David Letterman Show!” sez Dan Feldhaus, DPHS Athletic Director.

Randy makes sure to get fist-bumps from the YouTube stars

This is their innocence of youth … the kinder, gentler time in life they’ll remember years later … boys just being boys … a magical time when life centers on sports and fun.

So, on their very last shot of this three-and-a-half-hour session — a 50-foot basketball toss along water’s edge at the near-ending of a most magnificent sunset — it’s all Forbes.

The BIG question is: Will he get his only ‘make’ of the day?

With each earlier miss, the sun sinks deeper and deeper into horizon.

The tension mounts as it’s about time to call it a day.

“C’mon, Forbes!! You gotta nail this one! It’s getting too dark,” Ben and Grant both yell.

No pressure…

“OK,” he responds as the ball gracefully lifts off his fingers as if in ‘slow mo’ with time moving deliberately, one freeze frame at a time.

Rising up higher … and higher … the ball blends into the early evening‘s darkening sky.

On its downward flight, the ball rides in on the day’s reflective afterglow floating along the liquid horizon that illuminates its final destination …


Nothin’ but net!!


Note: Special appreciation to Ben York, Forbes Bainou & Grant Schroeder for their exclusive story … and for letting me be a teenager again during this special moment in the sun.

Grant, Forbes and Ben on the beach at sunset


  1. amazing!