High School Rob Gronkowski Intentionally Missed a Free Throw to Keep His Team at 69 Points

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski is a man of simple pleasures.

In addition to scoring touchdowns, the injured New England Patriots tight end loves Buffalo wings, party cruises, and jokes about the number 69.

Which is what makes this story from one of his high school basketball coaches entirely believable.

“So we’re playing a home game and we have 68 points—now it’s not a blowout, but it’s not a particularly close game either," said Chuck Swierski, Gronk's coach at Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, New York, where he played his freshman, sophomore, and junior years. "So he [Gronkowski] gets fouled and goes to the free throw line. He hits the first one to get us to 69 and the place goes nuts because he’s playing into it. On his next free throw, he purposely chucks the ball off the backboard and misses so the score would stay at 69 and then runs back on defense pointing at the scoreboard.”

That's not the only story from Gronk's high school basketball days that illustrates how little he's changed.

“We couldn’t get in our gym one day because desks and chairs were set up for kids to take midterms, so our sister school, Williamsville East, said we could go to their gym to practice if we wanted,” Swierski said. “So we’re doing one of our normal drills and a pass goes to Rob from the top of the key and he goes up for a two-handed dunk and comes down with the rim in his hand.”

Apparently everyone in the gym lost it.

“We stopped practice and just took pictures,” Swierski said. “[Rob] just made a silly kind of ‘haha’ laugh and said, ‘That’s cool.'”

Here's video evidence of his dunking abilities in high school.

Among the hobbies Gronk listed in the yearbook during his senior year at Woodland Hills in Pittsburgh: chicks.


I wonder how he felt about keg stands.