Basketball Tracks

Player A, with the basketball, is at the center of the basketball court, and wants to drive towards a spot just before the basket, exactly 40 feet from where he is, on the centerline of the court. Defensive player B, not the brightest of players, always stays exactly 9 feet from him, the line between A and B always parallel with the centerline of the court. In his drive towards that spot, Player A never crosses the track player B makes during this time. In fact, Player A never comes closer than 1 foot from the track player B makes during this time.

What is the minimum distance Player A must travel from the centerline during his drive? The centerline is that unmarked line on the floor passing through the location of both baskets of the court, not that line perpendicular to it as marked in standard courts.

Image credit: Wikipedia Mariusz Swornog
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