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Katy student advances to national Elks Hoop Shoot

March 23, 2019

Rihanna DeLeon, 12, who attends Tays Junior High School, won the 2019 Southwest Regional Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest in Dallas on March 16 and will advance to national competition for the second consecutive year.

Sponsored by Katy Elks Lodge, she won the 12-13 year old girls division. She tied for first place with Briana Curry from Oklahoma, shooting 22/25 and went on to win a double shoot-out to win first place. In the tie-breaking shoot-out, Rihanna had 5/5 in the first round and 5/5 second round. Curry had 5/5 first round and 3/5 in the second round.

DeLeon advances to the national finals in Chicago on April 26-27. She will compete against 11 other regional champions for the national title and to have her name inscribed on the Elks trophy in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

To earn a spot in the regional competition, DeLeon won her local lodge contest in Katy and then the Gulf Coast District shoot-off. She earned the Texas title at the Texas Elks State Association Championship. Visit elks.org/hoopshoot for information.

The community can support DeLeon by visiting enf.elks.org/greetings to send her an e-greeting before April 15.

Follow her progress using the live Elks Hoop Shoot shot-tracker at elks.org/hoopshoot on April 27. The finals begin at 9 a.m. Central Time.

This year more than 340,000 youths 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 have competed in three age groups.

Eleeson congratulated all participants. “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.”

The fraternal organization has nearly 1 million members nationwide and distributes more than $39 million annually for scholarship and other youth, community and veterans programs.