Centralite Coaching NBA’s Dwight Howard

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By Dave Freneaux

    When Dwight Howard steps to the free throw line for the Orlando Magic this season, the influence of Central's Ed Palubinskas will be on the line as well.  Palubinskas, recognized as one of the nation's top shooting coaches, was recently hired by Howard to work on his shooting accuracy, especially from the free throw line.  Coach Palubinskas is a story in his own right.  He played at LSU, held scoring records in the Olympics, has coached Shaq, and has sports championship rings from Central Private, LSU and the Lakers.  The coach is also the founder of the National Basketball Shooter's Association and still plays basketball on a local 60 and older team.  Palubinskas and his family live right here in Central.

    The story of Coach Palubinskas becoming Dwight Howard's shooting coach has Central's fingerprints all over it.  Palubinskas had sent messages to Howard via the Magic for almost a year.  At the same time, Central Dentist Tim Raborn, who had played for Palubinskas at Central Private in 1974, was looking for an attorney/agent to review a modeling contract for his daughter.  Raborn saw an article in Central Speaks announcing that Rahim Smith, an attorney specializing in sports entertainment, had joined the Central law firm of Walton "Ti" Barnes.  Coincidentally, Rahim's time spent working for Turner Broadcasting had resulted in an association with the family of Dwight Howard.  Raborn suggested that Rahim and Coach Palubinskas should meet, and two months later Dwight Howard was having a little "Central Touch" added to his shot.

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