This summer, Wesley Matthews hopes to join hundreds of athletes in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic games. However, he doesn't want to go for the sport he's most associated with: basketball. No, Matthews want's to try his hand at something a little different. He wants to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.
"It's a funny story," Matthews said. "It started out as a joke. One of my friends suggested that I take up archery because of my 3-point celebration.
"At first I just laughed it off but then I ended up going out to the range one day and took a beginner's class. I was hooked immediately."
That was a few years ago. Since then, Matthews has been practicing whenever he gets the chance. But he admits it's hard to keep up a routine with the daily grind of the NBA.
"It was especially tough after my injury last season," Matthews said. "With all the work I had to put in just to get back in game shape my archery kind of took a hit. But I've been able to get back out to the range this season, especially during the All-Star break."
Matthews hopes that his practice pays off but it'll be tough for him to make the team. Matthews didn't participate in any of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials that took place in 2015 because of basketball and his injury rehab. However, Matthews still believes there's a chance.
"I've battled to overcome adversity my whole life," Matthews said. "This is just another hill I need to climb. But even if I don't make it because I missed the qualifying trials last year I still believe that I'm good enough to compete with the best archers in the world."
Matthews said that even if he doesn't find himself in Rio later this year he'll still be cheering on the team. He added that he already has the summer games in Tokyo in 2020 circled on his calendar.
"Oh, I'll be there," Matthews said with a smile.