Cd'A Fourth Grader Taking His Free Throw Skills to Nationals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cd'A Fourth Grader Taking His Free Throw Skills To Nationals

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Young basketball players from all over the country will show off their free throw talent at the National Elks "Hoop Shoot" Finals in Springfield, MA on April 29th and May 1st.  

Dylan Bengtson, a fourth grade student at Dalton Elementary, has earned his spot in the national event after winning the local, district, state and regional qualifying rounds. At the regional contest in Portland, Dylan made 22 out of 25 free throw shots to secure his spot at nationals.

Boys and girls from ages 8 to 13 will compete in the 39th annual event on Saturday that originated in Corvallis, Oregon when an Elks member noticed younger grade school kids being left out of basketball play at a local gymnasium.  

The Corvallis Elks Lodge adopted the "Hoop Shoot" contest as a youth activities project and it quickly grew to national proportions. To date over 90,000,000 children have participated in the largest co-educational youth athletic program in the United States.

Dylan Bengtson, age 9, will be among 72 national finalists to compete in Massachusetts.  He received a grand send-off from his fellow classmates Wednesday. Dalton Elementary Principal Glenda Armstrong presented Dylan with a basketball signed by every fourth grader wishing him the best of luck.

Practicing almost daily after school for a half hour to forty five minutes with either his Grandpa or Dad and Mom, Dylan feels good about his big day. When asked what he is looking forward to on his trip, Dylan replied with glee, "I am most excited about the competition itself."

The Coeur d'Alene School District has had various students make their way through the annual competition, arriving at the state and regional Hoop Shoot levels over the years but a student going to nationals is rare. District personnel cannot recall the last time a Coeur d'Alene School District student attended the national competition, if ever.

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