SPRINGFIELD, MASS.—It all comes down to 25 free throws. These baskets are the only thing standing between the Elks Hoop Shoot national finalists, a Hoop Shoot national title, and their names permanently inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals take place on April 20 in Springfield, Mass. The Hoop Shoot began last fall with 2.5 million 8- to 13-year-olds from across the country vying to sink the most of 25 free throws. After advancing through local, district, state and regional contests, the 72 finalists, their families and Elks supporters reached their final destination—Springfield, Mass., home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
To tip off the weekend, the contestants and their families will gather at the Hall of Fame on Friday, April 19. While there, they will explore the exhibits and dine on center court, among memorabilia and photos of all the inspiring role models who’ve secured their spots in the Hall of Fame.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to host this special group of Elks Hoop Shoot national finalists on the Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams and recognize these talented youth for perfecting one of the most fundamental shots in the game of basketball,” said John Doleva, President of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “This is a great opportunity for them to celebrate their personal accomplishments where the game’s greats have been honored.”
The weekend will continue with the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals at Western New England University on Saturday, April 20. If you can’t get to the gym on Saturday, you can follow the action from home. Starting at 9:45 a.m. Eastern on April 20, get live updates from the foul line by using the Elks’ online shot tracker and following the Elks National Foundation on Twitter using #HoopShoot.
“To excel at free throw shooting, you don’t necessarily have to be the biggest or strongest or fastest athlete on the court,” says Jim O’Kelley, the director of the Elks National Foundation. “You just have to be willing to put in the time it takes to master the shot. The contest offers a level playing field, and it reinforces values and traits like practice, hard work, dedication and goal-setting that will serve the participants throughout their lives.”
Through the Elks Hoop Shoot, the Elks National Foundation—the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks—offers youth the opportunity to engage in healthy competition, connect with their families and community, and succeed both on and off the court. Visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot for details and to read more about the national finalists’ road to Springfield.
If you have questions about the Hoop Shoot, please contact the Elks National Foundation by emailing [email protected] or calling 773/755-4758.
About the Elks National FoundationWith nearly 850,000 members and 2,000 Lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities across the United States. The Elks National Foundation, the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, honor veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. To learn more, visit www.elks.org/enf.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
For more information:
Visit us on the web: www.hoophall.com
… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBHOF
… on Twitter: @hoophall
… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA