Sports

Bremerton Elks host annual free throw contest

The Bremerton Elks Club is once again looking for the top youth basketball stars in Kitsap County.

The 38th annual Bremerton Elks County All-Stars Hoop Shoot will take place Jan. 8 at Ridgetop Junior High School. Hoop Shoot is for boys and girls from ages eight to 13, based on the child’s age as of April 1, 2011. Registration for the event starts at 9 a.m. and shooting will commence at 10 a.m. The Elks National Foundation earned $788,000 from member donations in the past year to help continue the Elks Hoop Shoot tradition.

Syd Nuñez, a Loyal Knight with the Bremerton Elks, said Tuesday that the Hoop Shoot is great for young athletes to compete in a fun environment with a chance to travel if they advance.

“The Hoop Shoot is a good showcase for young kids to play with others, and also see what the Elks has to offer,” he said. “The Elks don’t bother anyone at the events or try to solicit information, we just let everyone have fun and see what we’re all about.”

The Elks Hoop Shoot shoot-out competition is divided into six categories of shooters. The boys and girls squads each have age groups of 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13 years old. Nuñez wants to stress to parents that all expenses are paid for athletes once they advance to the regional rounds.

He also said that some schools may not participate in the event, which doesn’t eliminate children from competing.

“We need the schools to participate, because some may choose not to participate, but kids can still come for free as long as they find transportation,” he added. “It’s a lot of fun for the kids, and the Elks are willing to reward those who advance.”

The county champions have an opportunity to advance to districts on Jan. 22 in Sequim. Those winners will be invited by the Elks to compete at the state finals on Feb. 12 in Bellevue. The regional finals will be held in Portland, Ore., in March.

Starr Rodenhurst, 13, won the Elks Hoop Shoot state title last year in Bellevue before competing at regionals in Vancouver. Rodenhurst advanced to the national championship in Springfield, Mass., when she was nine years old in 2007. She placed sixth in the 8-9 age category. Nuñez said he’s not sure if Rodenhurst will compete at the Elks Hoop Shoot this year.

For more information on the Elks Hoop Shoot, contact Nuñez at (360) 649-0392, or e-mail at smay2001@netscape.net.

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