Breckenridge Texan

Elks host Hoop Shoot, winners heading to district contest

Elks host Hoop Shoot, winners heading to district contest
January 08
12:00 2018

Participants in Saturday’s Elks Hoop Shoot were, from left, Aaden Mendez, 9; Christian Lechner, 8; Braden Marshall, 8; Tylen Collins, 11; Jaime Cruz, 11; Brysen Hash, 11, and Aalyiah Salazar, 12. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Participating in a national event, the local Elks Lodge No. 1480 hosted the annual Elks Hoop Shoot Saturday, Jan. 6, at LT Cook Gym. The contest was open to boys and girls ages 8 to 13, and the local winners will advance to the district competition.

Taking part in this year’s contest were: Aaden Mendez, 9; Christian Lechner, 8; Braden Marshall, 8; Tylen Collins, 11; Jaime Cruz, 11; Brysen Hash, 11, and Aalyiah Salazar, 12.

The Breckenridge winners were: boys age group 8 and 9, Aaden Mendez, first place, and Braden Marshall, second place; girls age group 12 to 13, first place winner was Aalyiah Salazar; boys age group 10 to 11, Brysen Hash, first place, and Jaime Cruz second place.

The contest is divided into three age groups: 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13. The age groups are based on the participants’ ages as of April 1, 2018.

Aalyiah Salazar, 12, participates in the Breckenridge Elk’s Hoop Shoot contest at LT Cook Gymnasium on Saturday. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The first and second place winners in each category received medals, and the winners are eligible to participate in the district contest in Arlington on Jan. 13. The Elks Lodge will provide gas money for that trip, said local Elks member and contest director Wayne Justus.

The winners from the district contest will go on to the state competition in Carrollton. The regional hoops shoot will also be held in Carrollton, and the national contest will be in Chicago. Everything above the district level will be an overnight trip, and the participants and their parents will get to attend the events as guests of the Elks. Six national winners — a boy and a girl in each age category — will be named.

“It was a great experience for him,” Joe Lechner said about his son Nathan, who advanced to the district competition in the past. “The practice that he did in preparation for it, just the consistency of practicing and doing the same shot over and over again really developed him into a good free throw shooter.”

The national winners will each receive a trophy and have their name inscribed on a plaque in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Last year, one of the national winners was from Texas, Justus said.

For more photos from this year’s contest, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s photo gallery.


Jaime Cruz, 11, takes a shot in Saturday’s Elks Hoop Shoot contest as the judges and volunteers look on. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: The Elks Hoop Shoot participants pose for a group photo Saturday at LT Cook Gymnasium, along with the judges and volunteers who helped organize the event. The winners will advance to the district competition next Saturday in Arlington. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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