If you have a youngster who has shown some above average skills at the free throw line on a basketball court, you'll want to read more about this annual competition.

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Last year I first learned of this incredible opportunity for youngsters from Candace Young, a teacher/coach in Caddo Parish, who is also a member of the Shreveport Elks Lodge #122.

Yobro10
Yobro10
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It was then that Candace told me of the annual "Hoop Shoot" competition held by the national civic group, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

From Shreveport Elks
From Shreveport Elks
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It's a free throw contest for youth ages 8 to 13. The program is free to all participants and provides youth an opportunity to compete, connect and succeed through hard work and healthy competition. Winners advance through local, district, state and regional contests to reach the National Finals.

And the best part of all is that the names of six national champions each year are permanently inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Last year's Shreveport event was so successful with so many talented youngsters that six of our local kids were able to compete in the state championship in Opelousas, LA.

Jaimie Duplass
Jaimie Duplass
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Four of the six kids won the state championship and moved on to compete in Dallas against New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Out of the four state champs, we had one Regional Winner, Gregory "Richaud" Route III, who went on to Chicago, to compete in the National Finals at DePaul University.

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And now, our Shreveport Elks Lodge is preparing for the 2024 competition and have opened registration for all area youth between 8 and 13.

The competition will be held Saturday, January 20 at First Baptist Church in Shreveport and our local winners who move on to the next level will have their travel expenses paid for, so kids can participate without the worry of additional travel expenses.

SerrNovik
SerrNovik
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Different Divisions And Age Groups

To keep things fair for all competitors, there are actually two Hoop Shoot contest divisions, boys and girls, and three age categories in each division:

Boys, ages 8-9Girls, ages 8-9
Boys, ages 10-11Girls, ages 10-11
Boys, ages 12-13Girls, ages 12-13
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
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The Shreveport Elks will present trophies to winners of first through third place and all participants will receive a gift bag.

For more information about the contest and the contest rules, please click on the official Elks Hoop Shoot link https://www.elks.org/hoopshoot/

For any other questions, please email Candace Young at candaceyoung450@gmail.com

*If you have more than one child participating, you must complete a separate registration form for each child.

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