Chris Szagola/Associated Press
The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly begun using virtual reality technology with guard Markelle Fultz as part of his rehabilitation, hoping he can rebuild confidence in his ailing jumper.
Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice profiled Fultz’s search for his lost jumper and included the tidbit of information Monday. The Sixers are reportedly using the technology to help Fultz “visualize the mechanics he’ll use in a game, to remember how easy it once was for him to rise up with the ball and shoot from anywhere on the court and to be able to do so without the glare of the cameras or other people around him.”
Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has played just four games in his rookie season. He attempted to play early in the year despite a lingering shoulder injury before being shut down by the team. What was expected to be a relatively brief stint on the sidelines has turned into one of the strangest sagas in recent memory.
Practice footage of Fultz with a seemingly broken jumper has made waves across social media in recent months. The 6’4″ point guard, who shot 41.3 percent from three-point range during his one season at Washington, has developed a major hitch in his shot that’s made him unable to find any consistency.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo told reporters last week Fultz’s range is still “within the paint.” Colangelo said he hopes the team sees him back on the floor this season but offered no guarantees.
“There’s no timeline, per se. But I do know he’s working hard and doing a lot of great things on the basketball court and we hope to see him this year,” Colangelo told reporters. “If not, we will wait until he’s ready to participate and help and put him in position to succeed. That’s going to be a determination made at some point in the future.”
The Sixers believe allowing Fultz to step away from the cameras will help him become more comfortable over time.