JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Jackson Elks Lodge No. 1713 will host the annual Elks ‘Hoop Shoot’ at the Teton County Recreation Center at 155 E Gill Ave in Jackson. The event takes place Saturday, December 16. Registration begins at 8am, and the competition starts promptly at 9am.
The Elks Hoop Shoot is a free-throw contest for youth ages 8-13 as of April 1, 2018. This annual event starts with local Elks lodges across the United States. Boys and girls compete in their age group in a contest consisting of 25 free throws. The top boy and top girl in each age group advance to the district finals in Riverton, Wyo.
From there, winners move on to the Wyoming State Finals in Casper, then regional finals in Denver, and eventually the top free-throwers earn an invitation to the National Finals in Chicago. Winners of the National Finals will have their names permanently inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA among basketball legends. Travel expenses for contest winners are paid for by the Elks.
“The Elks Hoop Shoot is probably my favorite youth program that we put on,” said Jackson Elks Lodge exalted ruler Valerie Peterson. “Being able to watch as kids who competed here in Jackson move on to district, state, regional, and then national finals is exciting to say the least.”
Last year’s Hoop Shoot contest involved a total of 305,131 contestants that started out at local Elks lodges across the country. Eventually, the pool was whittled down to 72 boys and girls who competed for the National title in Chicago. The 2017 National Hoop Shoot Finals free throw average was 82%, compared to the 2016-2017 NBA league free-throw average of 77%.
Jackson Elks Lodge secretary and Hoop Shoot director Fernando Escobedo said, “This event is a great opportunity for kids to make new friends, learn about the importance of practice and hard work, and get the opportunity to travel to new places. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a real fun time, too.”
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