Hoops contest set for Monday

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

For local boys and girls, it’s time to hit the court for the annual Free Throw Competition at the Washington Boys & Girls Club.

For over 20 years, the Knights of Columbus council has hosted the event, recognizing local basketball prodigies and sending winners to district trials in New Bern. If they’ve really got the stuff, they may make it even higher — to the state championship and beyond.

At 4:30 p.m. Monday, boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate. The younger children shoot a smaller basketball from a distance of 15 feet; the older ones, shoot a regulation ball from the free-throw line. All participants get 15 shots and the winner in each age/gender category is the one who sinks the ball the most times. And if there’s a tie in a category, those contestants keep shooting, five balls at a time, until someone comes out on top.

“Some of these kids are unbelievable with their scores. It’s just unreal.” said Mike Malloy, Knights of Columbus chancellor and one of the organizers for the Free Throw competition.

This free-throw competition is by no means the only one going on in the Knights of Columbus organization: the competition is held internationally. If a player wins at the state level, they will progress to the national level.

“It’s all over the world,” Mallow said. “The international championship — it’s a lottery system after (nationals), because it’s not possible to get all the competitors together.”

For Knights of Columbus members, the contest is all about youth involvement and bringing the kids out to play.

“They all get together and have a good time,” Malloy said. “There’s no other purpose.”

Every child participating will receive a certificate, while those who win their categories will walk away with a trophy and a chance to take it to the next level. The event is open to any child within the age range.

The Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort County is located at 1089 North Bridge in Washington. For more information, contact Mike Malloy at 252-975-1603.