BILLINGS – Glendive’s Ethan Rivas is one of 72 free throw shooters nationwide to qualify for this year’s Elks Hoop Shoot Finals in Chicago.
Thousands of boys and girls ages 8 to 13 have spent the last nine months showing off their free throw skills through the Elks Hoop Shoot, but only six will be crowned national champions.
Rivas, representing Glendive’s Elks Lodge No. 1324, entered the 2019 Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest last fall and advanced through local, district and state levels of qualifying. Attempting 25 free throws at every stop, Rivas scored highest in his division each time including 21-25 at the Northwest Central Regional semifinals on March 9. His last effort vaulted him into next month’s national finals on April 27 in Chicago, which is home to the Elks National Headquarters.
72 national finalists will again compete in a best-of-25 competition. One boy and one girl in each of three age groups will earn national title honors, which includes winners’ names inscribed on the Hoop Shoot plaque in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Funded by the Elks National Foundation, the Elks Hoop Shoot has been developing kids for more than 45 years to instill characteristics that lead to success on and off the court.
Well-wishers are encouraged to send Ethan an e-greeting for support before April 15.
On Saturday, April 27, Ethan’s progress can be followed by using the live Elks Hoop Shoot shot-tracker. The finals begin at 8 a.m. Mountain Time.