Donald Faison, who stars in the TV Land series "The Exes" debuting Wednesday, wanted to learn to play basketball so well that he hired a shooting coach.
Despite growing up playing streetball in New York and playing basketball on so many TV shows and movies, the 37-year-old Faison wanted to learn the right technique -- and not just how to showboat.
"At the age of 30, I wanted to be taught the correct way to shoot a basketball," said the 37-year-old Faison, who is known for his role on "Scrubs" and films "Clueless" and "Remember the Titans," among others. "So I hired a shooting coach for five years. His name was Wayne Slappy. That's all I can say about his name. He told me how to hold the ball and when to release it. You have to learn to hold up your shooting arm and pretend you're punching a button with one finger."
That's Faison for you. Still always learning. Still loving to play the game.
Joining an experienced cast for "The Exes" was nerve-wracking, even for Faison, who has been acting for about 20 years.
In the show, divorce attorney Holly (Kristen Johnston) introduces her client, Stuart (David Alan Basche), to his roommates, who share an apartment that Holly owns. Phil (Faison) and Haskell (Wayne Knight) have reservations about Stuart moving in.
"We've all done shows before but I was nervous on the set. These people are funny in real life," said Faison, who is engaged and has four children. "I'm just trying to keep up."
And Faison wishes the NBA Entertainment League would return to show off his skills. The league, in coordination with the NBA, would pit celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx and Adam Sandler, among others, in basketball tournaments in front of thousands. It disbanded a couple of years ago.
"I really need some place to show off these new skills," Faison said. "I would love to get back to playing basketball against the Leo DiCaprios of the world. I can show how I punch the button."