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The aims of this paper are to introduce a simple but general purpose BASIC program which can be applied to nonlinear optimization problems using most microcomputers, and to demonstrate the power and versatility of the method and the ease with which it can be utilized. The example chosen is the jump shot in basketball where the center has to release the ball so that it clears the outstretched hand of the defender, travels the correct horizontal and vertical distance to the hoop, and approaches the basket with a sufficiently large entry angle. The program can be applied to many different problems in sport biomechanics. Keywords are optimization, biomechanics, basketball, microcomputers.
Direct all correspondence to Christopher L. Vaughan, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cape Town Medical School, Groote Schuur Hospital Observatory, Cape 7925, South Africa.