CHICAGO, Ill. - Mickellyn Walker is going to the Hall of Fame. On April 22, a girl from Dickinson won the 8- to 9-year-old division at the national finals of the Elks Hoop Shoot free throw tournament. The finals took place at McGrath Arena on the DePaul University campus in Chicago.
Mickellyn sank 23 out of 25 shots to defeat 11 other competitors from around the country. Like the other finalists, she advanced through four rounds of competition to reach the national finals. More than 300,000 8- to 13-year-olds started down the Road to Chicago last fall, competing in boys and girls divisions in three age-groups.
All six champions will have their names inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and will visit the Hall as guests of the Elks.
During the Hoop Shoot weekend, the finalists and their families toured Chicago by trolley, attended a special event at the Chicago Sports Museum, and engaged in community service, packing supply bags for homeless veterans. The Elks have pledged to help the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs eliminate veteran homelessness.
Funded by the Elks National Foundation, the Hoop Shoot has been developing gritty kids for 45 years. Notable program alumni include college coaches Chris Mullin and Steve Alford, and WNBA players Kristi Toliver and Seimone Augustus.