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Mission Valley Elks hoop shoot winners announced

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On Sunday, Dec. 17 Mission Valley Elks held the annual Area Hoop Shoot where boys and girls ages 8 to 13 were able to compete. On Saturday, Jan. 13, Mission Valley Elks hosted the District Hoop Shoot. 

Kids ages 8 through 13 participated in a competition of which the top two shooters will go on to a state competition in Livingston, Montana on Feb. 2. From Livingston, six district champions will advance to Rapid City, South Dakota on March 10, with the finals in Chicago, Illinois on April 21. The final shooter will be honored at Grand Lodge Convention in San Antonio, Texas. That individual’s name will be on the plaque in the hall of fame. It is estimated that 500,000 kids, both boys and girls, participate annually in this event. Some of these kids have gone on to play in the NBA.  

Though the event is sponsored by the Elks, it is not necessary that a participant’s parent is an Elk.  Participants in the event were from Libby, Kalispell, Thompson Falls, Polson and Hamilton areas.  Montana has sent 42 boys and 42 girls to the national finals since the inception of the program.

The Hoop Shoot was the brainchild of Past Grand Exalted Ruler Frank Hise from Corvallis, Oregon in 1946, while watching smaller kids struggle to keep up with bigger, older kids while playing basketball. It wasn’t until 1972 that the program went national and in 1974 the Elks National Foundation (ENF) funded the program. The first national playoffs were held in Kansas City, Missouri in 1974. The program is totally sponsored by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In 1975 the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts allowed a plaque to be displayed honoring the winner of the competition. This plaque will remain as long as the Hall of Fame and the Elks maintain a relationship.

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