Skip to main content

Shooting Hoops with Scholars


By 2012 Most Valuable Student Scholar and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Karsten Coates

The Elks National Hoop Shoot is about so much more than basketball. The Hoop Shoot is about teaching kids what it means have goals and dedication, and it is a terrific vessel in uniting communities because it connects youth from across the U.S. When I went to this year’s Hoop Shoot National Finals in Springfield, Mass., I expected to see a bunch of kids that were good at basketball. Instead, I was greeted by a bunch of youth who were great at basketball.

The Hoop Shoot Finals took many of these kids on their first plane ride and taught them levels of maturity that I was surprised to find in 8- to 13-year-olds. The competitors treated each other as true friends off the court and many made plans to keep in touch.

More importantly, they were all humble and caring. While playing horse with one 8 year old, he stopped the game while I was losing and said that we could switch scores, taking pity on me even though I was more than twice his age and twice his height…he still won.

Then there were other kids who, dedicated to going to college, asked me to write down a list of scholarships that I had applied for—the Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship being one of them—so that they could apply when they got older.

SAB Members Macy Warburton,
Clara Ritger and Karsten Coates
Despite the differences in personalities and backgrounds, all of these kids were excellent at, yes, basketball. I didn’t think that watching person after person take free-throw shots would be a lot of fun, but when multiple competitors sank every shot, I sat on the edge of my seat knowing that a single missed shot could cost someone the competition.

The experience was memorable for me because it opened my eyes to how great an impact the Hoop Shoot has on the lives of its competitors and the communities that they live in.
 
Through the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program, the Elks National Foundation offers youth the opportunity to engage in healthy competition, connect with their families and community, and succeed both on and off the court. In 2013-14, the ENF allocated $692,750 to fund this program. For more information on the Hoop Shoot, visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot.

Comments

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

(This is the first in a series of articles about the need for Lodges to be relevant during the pandemic. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)

Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom.
If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals.
In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Boonton, N.J., Lodge No. 1405 had installed its new c…

Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation What a difference a few weeks make. As I’m sure is the case with you, COVID-19 has upended things around here.

I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on how the pandemic has affected our staff and programs. I’ll start with the staff.

On Monday, there were 18 of us in the office. Yesterday, only five. Everyone else is working remotely from home. We’re all communicating with one another using wonderful technology. And the people at home have access to the network via work-issued laptops, as well as their work phones and email. Contacting us should be seamless for you. 

The skeleton crew in the office should shrink to four at some point this week. We are here to deal with the aspects of our work that do not lend themselves to working remotely.

You can help us further reduce our numbers. If you are a Lodge officer or ENF Fundraising Chair who has been sitting on a stack of donations, please send those in today. The faster we c…

See you at the Julebukking

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation
(Earlier this week, I started a series of posts on the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. This is the second post in the series—technically, the series became a series when I posted this. Anyway, read the first post here. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)
Humans have a fundamental need to connect. Scientists, psychologists, therapists, they’ll all tell you the same thing. Our culture may celebrate individualism, but we are wired to be around other people.
How else can you explain the existence of organizations like the Elks? It’s certainly not the dated titles or the jewels of office that go along with them. It’s not the many meetings that demand so much of our time if we want to rise through the ranks. It’s not even the desire to serve our communities.
The Elks have been around for 152 years because people need other people in our lives. Local Lodges satisfy that need.