Local baller wins international shooting contest

Published 1:20 pm Saturday, August 9, 2014



Briasia Somerville, 11, a fixture and model player in the Washington Youth Basketball League over the years, will be honored by the Knights of Columbus next month for winning the 2013-2014 International Free Throw Championship.

Competing in the 10-year-old girls division, Somerville began her sixth-month journey at the local Free Throw Championship Competition, sponsored by the Washington Knights of Columbus Council 9364 in January.

Her division used the smaller, girls’ basketball and the free throw line was slightly closer to the rim. Nevertheless, the local protégée represented her town by knocking down the most free throws, once again, earning her a spot in the state championship.

“It’s quite an honor,” said Mike Malloy, a Knights of Columbus member and organizer of the local shooting competition.

On March 29, Somerville traveled to Burlington for the North Carolina Free Throw Shooting Championship, sponsored by Council 3498.

After watching a few shooters, Somerville stepped up and drained 24 out of 25 free throws, giving her the lead in the age group. And by the end of the day, her 24 made shots were good enough to take the 10-year-old title and tie her for second overall among female competitors.

“A pick by Supreme up in New Haven selects the top participants for the free throw championship on a national level,” Malloy said. “This year it happened to be Briasia. It’s the only time we’ve ever had a winner here in Washington.”

Somerville received a letter from Carl Anderson, a Supreme Knight who selects the international winners, saying that her 24 free throws not only earned her first place in the state, but also first overall out of all the participants in her age group.

Somerville will be honored for her award-winning performance in a Knights of Columbus ceremony on Sept. 13 at Frank’s Pizza. Malloy expects Grand Knights from Washington and New Bern, as well as the State Deputy and regional Grand Knight to be in attendance. The event is exclusive to Knights of Columbus members or invitees.

Somerville will attend P.S. Jones Middle School this fall.