The Elks Hoops Shoot has held competitions on the local level in Mount Airy for many years, and the 2017 edition of the national free-throw shooting competition hosted by the Elks has produced a state and regional champion.
Brooklyn Gammons finished first in the 10-11 girls’ division of the North Carolina Hoop Shoot State Finals, in Greensboro. The state championship was held on Feb. 11, with Gammons as one of three Mount Airy residents taking part.
In addition to Gammons, Cassie Hiatt and Ben Harrison also competed in the event, and each of them finished third in the state. Hiatt competed in the age 8-9 girls’ division, and Harrison in the 12-13 boys’ age group. According to the local Elks Lodge, all three of them represented Mount Airy very well in the state championships.
Ms. Gammons advanced to compete in the Southeast Central Region 10 competition in Frederick, Md., on Saturday against other girls from her age group from North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. Gammons also won this competition, making her the only competitor from North Carolina to do so.
The regional winners will advance to the Hoop Shoot National Finals on April 22 in Chicago.
Gammons’ ride through the competition began as one of roughly 1,300 children representing local schools at the local Hoop Shoot, hosted by Mount Airy Elks Lodge #2061, on Jan. 15 at Reeves Community Center. Gammons, who was national runner-up in the 8-9 division back in 2015, represented Meadowview Magnet Middle and won the 10-11 girls’ competition that day. She repeated her victory on Jan. 28 in Winston-Salem at the district level, qualifying her for the state championship.The Hoop Shoot is an annual event for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 13, which has been run by the national establishment of the Elks for more than 40 years. During the event, each player shoots 25 free throws, with the player making the most successful shots advancing. In the event of a tie, the players will take five more free throws, and repeat the process until a winner is determined.For more information on the event, see http://www.elks.org/hoopshoot.