Rapid City, SD – Having already tasted glory in local, district, and state competitions, Ellen captured runner -up after first tying for first place, but subsequently losing in a shoot off on Saturday, March 9, 2019, when she wowed the crowd at the Elks “Hoop Shoot” Northwest Central Regional Championship. Ellen the 9 year-old daughter of Tom and Jill Hart demonstrated accuracy from the penalty line well beyond her years and brought honors to her hometown of Pierre.
Representing Pierre Lodge No. 1953, Ellen Hart a student at Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary School sank 19 out of 25 free throws in the 8 to 9 year-old Girls Division, made her, a true standout in the field of more than 3 million boys and girls, ages 8-13 , who have participated in the contest throughout the United States since last fall.
The Champions will travel with their parents, courtesy of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, to Chicago, Illinois—the National headquarters of the Elks organization—to be among the 72 top youngsters vying for the chance to claim one of six national trophies awarded at the Elks “Hoop Shoot” National Free Throw Contest, April 25-28, 2019. A great showing in the national championship will not only earn the Champs a place in Elks “Hoop Shoot” history, but also land their names inscribed on a plaque in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Now in its 47th year, the Elks “Hoop Shoot” Free Throw Contest has seen millions of participants since its inception, making it the largest co-educational youth sports program in the nation. Funded entirely by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Elks “Hoop Shoot” Free Throw Contest has served as a testing ground for sports legends Cleveland Cavaliers’ Trajan Langdon, WNBA 2001 Rookie of the Year Jackie Stiles of the former Portland Fire, Iowa Hawkeye’s head coach Steve Alford, Olympic gold medalist and former Golden State Warriors Chris Mullin, former North Carolina State star Jennifer Howard, and former Chicago White Sox third-baseman Chris Snopek.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a patriotic and philanthropic fraternal organization with nearly 1 million members in more than 1,800 communities.