Best Free Throw Percentage In Basketball

Best Free Throw Percentage in Basketball

While three-pointers and slam dunks often attract the attention of fans, free throws are almost always a key factor in deciding basketball games. Players who can make free throws at a high rate are invaluable to their team's success throughout the season. Below, some of the better free throw shooters from different levels of basketball are discussed.

Best NBA Free Throw Percentage

When it comes to free throw percentage in the National Basketball Association (NBA), 90% is an elite level that the best free throw shooters strive to reach for. While plenty of players have reached that level for one season, only three men have held that mark for their entire career (with a minimum of 1,200 attempts). Those three individuals are Stephen Curry (90.9%), Steve Nash (90.43%), and Mark Price (90.39%). Thus far, Steph Curry holds the record for highest career free throw percentage in the NBA, although he is still playing, so this number is subject to change.

As far as the highest single-season free throw percentage, Jose Calderon set the mark by a relatively wide margin in the 2008-09 season while playing for the Toronto Raptors. That year, Calderon made an incredible 98.05% of his shots from the free throw line, equating to 151 out of his 154 free throws for the season. The second-highest mark was set by Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets 1980-81, when he shot 95.81%.

Best College Basketball Free Throw Percentage

When it comes to college basketball free throw shooting, no man was as successful at shooting them as Blake Ahearn. Since the 1992-93 season, Ahearn has held the record for highest career free throw percentage, making 94.56% of his attempts from 2004-2007 while playing for Missouri State (with a minimum of 2.5 free throws attempted per game). He led the country in free throw percentage for the season in three of his four collegiate years. After Ahearn, Derek Ravio of Gonzaga has the next-highest career free throw percentage, as he made 92.7% of his free throws from 2004-2007 with the Bulldogs.

As for the single-season record, that mark is also held by Ahearn. During his freshman season at Missouri State in 2003-04, Ahearn made 117 of his 120 attempts for a mark of 97.5%. As for the second-best season since 1992-93, that mark is held by Ravio. For his senior year in 2006-07, he shot 96.1% while making 148 of his 154 attempts.

Best High School Basketball Free Throw Percentage

While high school records are not always as well-kept as bigger levels of basketball, the highest known career free throw percentage for a high school player is 93.6% (minimum of 300 career attempts). That mark is held by Seth Colclasure, who played for Decator Bellmont High School in Indiana from 1999-2002. For his career, Colclasure attempted 554 free throws and made an incredible 519 of them. In a close second, Jalen Bradley of Norfolk High School in Nebraska made 93.4% (343/366) of his attempts from 2009-2012. 

When it comes to the single-season high school record, Colclasure also holds that mark. His junior year in 2000-2001, he made 167 of his 171 free throws, a percentage of 97.7%. This mark is just ahead of the second place record, held by Daryl Moreau of New Orleans De La Salle High School in Louisiana. In 1978-79, Moreau made 119 of his 122 free throws, or 97.5%.


What is the best free throw percentage of all time?

The best single-season free throw percentage of all time is held by Jose Calderon of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. For the 2008-09 NBA season, Calderon made 151 of his 154 free throws for a 98.05% free throw percentage. As for the highest career mark at any level of basketball, Blake Ahearn of Missouri State University holds that mark. During his four seasons of college from 2004-2007, Ahearn made an outstanding 94.56% of his attempts.