Alayna Knight of Ventress advances to Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Over the past nine months, tens of thousands of young athletes across the country have stepped up to the line to show off their free throw skills through the Elks Hoop Shoot. Only six will become National Champions.

Alayna Knight is one of 72 of the nation's best free throw shooters ages 8 to 13. Alayna's hard work and dedication have taken her from Ventress to the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals in Chicago.

Last fall, Alayna entered in the 2019 Elks National Hoop Shoot Free-Throw Contest. Alayna advanced through the local, district and state levels of competition, sinking the most of 25 free throws in her division at each contest. With a score of 21 out of 25 at the Southwest Regional Semi-Finals, on March 16, Alayna secured her chance to shoot on the foul line at the National Finals.

The Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals tip off on April 27, 2019, in Chicago—home to the Elks National Headquarters. At the contest, the 72 National Finalists will compete to sink the most of 25 free throws and claim the National Championship. One boy and one girl in each of three age-groups will earn the prestigious title and have their 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 gritty kids for more than 45 years, instilling characteristics that lead to success on and off the court. Stay connected during the final leg of Alayna's Hoop Shoot journey.

On April 27, follow Alayna's progress from home using the live Elks Hoop Shoot shot-tracker. Visit to access the shot-tracker on April 27, read the latest Hoop Shoot news, and learn more about the Elks Hoop Shoot. The Finals begin at 9:00 a.m. Central Time on the 27th. Follow #HoopShoot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more from Chicago.

The Hoop Shoot is just one of the many opportunities the Elks offers for youth. For more ways the Elks serve the community, visit

Contributed by the Elks National Foundation