It all started with a text message.
Three weeks after Duke’s season ended, Dave Bradley, Duke’s recruiting and communications coordinator, was on a golf course when he received a message from a number he hadn’t heard from in a while.
“Dave, do you think we can get buckets from the top of the Chapel?”
It was Kyle Singler, who wanted to make another video showing his trick shot artistry. Back in November, the then-senior teamed up with Bradley to make “Kyle Gets Buckets,” a YouTube video that now has been watched by 800,000 people and was played on SportsCenter and Pardon the Interruption. In that video, Singler had stuck to shooting in Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Mike Krzyzewski Center for Athletic Excellence—now, he wanted to go off the courts. It was a tall order for Bradley.
So, last Monday morning, Bradley borrowed a hoop from the Duke store and drove it over on a Gater golf cart to the Chapel. Singler, along with a crew that included the Blue Devil mascot, went up the 210 feet to the top of the Chapel with 15 balls. If Singler was going to make the Chapel shot, he would have to do it with one of those 15 balls—they didn’t have all day to try to make the shot.
“He was a little nervous,” Bradley said. “But he locked in.”
Singler began rifling shots from the top of the Chapel. Tries 1 through 3 were no good. Bradley stood beside the rickety hoop filming and could only hope he wouldn’t get hit.
“I was at an angle where it was coming at me so hard,” he said.
Singler shot again. Good.
It had only taken him four tries to swish a shot from the top. But he wanted more—after all, there were 11 more balls in the bag.
Bradley, who was growing more concerned that he would get hit, told him to bounce the next one. Singler did, and made it on his first try. He had just gone 2-for-5 from the top of the Chapel.
“It was shocking,” Bradley said. “It made no sense.”
Singler made other shots that day—from a perch on the Schwartz-Butters building near the office of Krzyzewski (who makes a cameo in the video) and from the 10-meter high dive in the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion. According to Bradley, the shot from the high dive was one of the hardest Singler had to execute. It took him around 15 to 20 shots to pull it off.
But even though the high dive may have been tougher to make, the Chapel shot will be what Buckets 2.0 is remembered by.