Louisiana state champion, Alayna Knight won the 2019 Southwest Regional Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest held in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, March 16th.
Alayna, a student at Catholic Elementary of Pointe Coupee, won the 10 and 11-year-old girls division by sinking 21 out of 25 free throw attempts followed by two and then five in two five-basket rounds to break a tie.
The basketball star sponsored the Plaquemine Elks Lodge now advances to the national finals in Chicago, IL on April 26-27. There, Alayna will compete against 11 other Regional Champions for the national title, and have her name inscribed on the Elks trophy in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
To earn a spot in the regional competition, Alayna won her local lodge contest (Plaquemine Lodge) and then the Louisiana District shoot-off. She earned the Louisiana title at the Louisiana Elks Association Championship.
This year over 340, 000 kids in the Southwest Region (Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) are expected to have competed in the contest, according to Gregg Eleeson, Southwest Regional Director of the Elks Hoop Shoot program.
Nationwide, 1.5 million boys and girls will compete in three different age groups.
Eleeson extended congratulations to all of the participants, saying, “It’s an honor to be able to give kids like these a platform to excel.” The Elks are all about helping the youth of America, and this program gives them a chance to shine.