Majesty Brandon, viral free throw routine, adjusting to Division I

Dribble, dribble, side step, behind the back dribble, another side step and swing, shoot. Canisius guard Majesty Brandon recently went viral for his unorthodox free throw routine, but he might just have a good reason for it.

Junior guard Majesty Brandon is ready to shoot in a game against St. Bonaventure Nov. 23, and KeyBank Center. Brandon has recently gone viral for his free throw routine. Photo courtesy of GoGriffs.com.

Dribble, dribble, side step, behind the back dribble, another side step and swing, shoot.

You’ve probably seen Majesty Brandon’s free throw routine before. In the past couple weeks, the junior guard has gone viral on social media for his unique free throw routine, having made the rounds on social media after the SportsCenter Twitter account tweeted a video of him shooting a free throw in the closing seconds of the Griffs’ win against Rider back on January 19.

Now, that video has gone viral on both Twitter and Instagram, as well as getting a shoutout on Barstool Sports and getting the College GameDay treatment on January 25. He got a couple shoutouts on social media following the team’s game against St. Bonaventure in November, but it wasn’t close to what happened recently.

The ironic thing about all of this is that Brandon is not active on Twitter, being more active on Facebook and Instagram. He explained that a cousin set up a Twitter for him using his old phone number and he forgot his password, but Twitter can’t send him a code to get back into the account because it’s linked with a phone number he no longer uses. The account hasn’t been active since February 2019.

“I spoke to him about it, he’s like ‘yeah, I don’t know what you can do to get back on it.’ I was trying though,” Brandon said with a laugh.

However, Brandon, a 77.5 percent free throw shooter heading into this weekend’s homestand, has no plans to change the routine.

“I had a feeling like, ‘alright Majesty, you’re probably the only person in the world that’s shooting like this,’ so a lot of people are going to see it but I feel like I can’t fall into that. It’s still basketball,” Brandon said.

Head coach Reggie Witherspoon said of it, “My message has always been, the ball needs to go in. The routine is whatever it is but at the end of it, it needs to go in around 80% for a routine like that. If it starts going in too drastically lower than 80%, then maybe we need to focus less on your routine and more on your form.”

This is the first year he’s done this specific free throw routine. When he played junior college last year at Monroe Community College in Rochester, he would spin the ball on his finger, but changed it up this year because he thought it would be too much and wanted to tone it down a bit now that he is at Division I.

“I feel like this one gets me more in rhythm, because it’s more dribbling,” Brandon said.

His arrival to the Division I scene was different than most. He played at Monroe, a junior college, for two years, quickly becoming one of the best players in his area for that level. He wanted to play Division I, so he started reaching out to schools. Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon knows Monroe coach Jerry Burns, who is currently in his 29th season with the school, from when they coached against each other when Witherspoon was the head coach at Erie Community College, which was from 1997-99.

Canisius was the first school to reach out, assistant coach Chris Hawkins did a lot of the recruiting, and it was late in last spring’s signing period, so he committed to the Griffs.

“Knowing (Burns) was the biggest benefit because I could get a feel for the young man. Him as a student, all the things you have to deal with on a day to day basis to try to figure out if there’s enough substance there that would allow for him to last through the whole process of him getting acclimated,” Witherspoon said. “We had some other people we looked at and you’re trying to figure out whether this is a place where he can survive enough to improve and develop so he can have an impact.”

Brandon feels that he has done well adjusting to a new level, but there is still work to be done.

“It was a big, big jump from JUCO ball to here. There’s a lot of different rules, more detail, so I feel like I’m still in the learning process.”

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