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Looking Back at the BackBoard

by Fox Maikovich
Former BackBoard Member




Hi! My name is Fox Maikovich, and I was a 2010 Hoop Shoot National Finalist. When I was in sixth grade, my basketball team practiced at a local elementary school, which had a flyer on the school message board announcing the Elks’ Hoop Shoot contest! Who would have ever imagined that this competition would provide me with so many great memories?

Making it to the National Finals is anything but easy. In my first two years of competition, I only made it to the State contest. I finally had my breakthrough year in my final year of eligibility!

Making it to the National Finals was a dream come true. At the time, the Finals were held in Springfield, Massachusetts—the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Elks rented the Hall of Fame just for Finalists and family members the night before the contest. Being able to take my family was an experience I will never forget.


At the National Finals, I made 21 of 25 free throws, tying for fifth. Although I was disappointed, I knew making it to the National Finals was a huge accomplishment. The Hoop Shoot was one of the first times in my life where I was able to see how practicing—I mean really practicing—can pay off. Having shot so many free throws, I was often the go-to free throw shooter for my basketball teams, which was something my coaches appreciated. After hitting two late free throws to win a game, one basketball coach said, “Thanks Elks Hoop Shoot!”

While this competition taught me the importance of perseverance, I’ll never forget the friendships and support I received from the Elks, particularly those at the Lakewood, Colo., Lodge No. 1777 and Colorado state delegation. They were always there with a smile and a handshake, not only when I was a competitor, but to this very day.

After my eligibility ended, I continued to look for ways to stay connected with the Elks and the Hoop Shoot. As one of the great experiences in my life, I also wanted to give something back to an organization that had given me so much.


I was a sophomore at the University of Colorado when I first received the Elks BackBoard application. The BackBoard (or the Hoop Shoot Alumni Advisory Board) seemed like a great opportunity to reconnect with the Hoop Shoot and I was excited to be able to get involved with a different side of the competition. My first year on the BackBoard was a completely new experience. The Finals were held in Chicago, a city I had never visited. It was fun to see how far the Hoop Shoot program had progressed from when I was a participant. What impressed me the most was seeing the talent level of the Finalists. And what a treat it is to talk with them! I’ve never had so much fun rebounding basketballs.

My intention in becoming a BackBoard member was simply to enhance the Finalists’ experience. We all know what stress they are under. I’m there to let them know the experience is incredible, win or lose. As a BackBoard member, you are a role model and mentor and get to experience the National Finals weekend right alongside the Finalists and their families. While the weekend will fly by, the National Finals is something I have eagerly looked forward to these past four years. In addition, I have been lucky enough to serve alongside alumni who I either competed against or were from my region when I made it to Nationals. It is fun to be able to see some familiar faces and reconnect.

Apart from the National Finals, being part of the BackBoard has allowed me to assist at the local, district and regional contests, as well. I’ve had the opportunity to be a rebounder, scorer and even head line judge at my local contest. Although my time on BackBoard will come to an end at some point, I look forward to continuing to assist Colorado Lodges at their Hoop Shoot contests. I know there will be a group of great new board members to pick up where I left off. Lodges are always looking for volunteers. These opportunities are great, as they have allowed me to experience the different jobs and tasks that go into managing a successful contest, not to mention a great perspective on the work involved. The Elks put in a great amount of effort to better their communities and provide opportunities like the Hoop Shoot to kids.

I can’t thank the Elks enough for allowing me to be a part of this great program. I would strongly recommend that any past Finalist apply for the BackBoard. To hear from inaugural BackBoard members, watch the video below.


The Elks have been developing gritty kids through the Hoop Shoot program for nearly 50 years. For 2019-20, the Elks National Foundation allocated $1.1 million to fund the program. For videos, news from the court, and more information about the Hoop Shoot, visit elks.org/hoopshoot.

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