Calculations like this are why NBA players take so long to shoot free throws

An NBA basketball player want to score 3 points, so he shoots the ball right before the 3-point-line (which is \(d=6.25~\mbox{m}\) horizontally away from the basket). The difference in height from where he releases the ball and the basket is roughly \(h=1~\mbox{m}\). Given the gravitational acceleration \(a_g=-9.8~\mbox{m/s}^2\), at what angle to the horizontal in degrees did he shoot the ball if the horizontal speed of the ball is \(8.71~\mbox{m/s}\)?

Details and assumptions

  • You may neglect air resistance.
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