Murphy Student Competes in State Free Throw Competition
Skylar Harvey, a fourth grader at Tibbals Elementary, is not only a straight A student, but also an Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest winner.
At the school contest, Skylar amassed more points than all of the other10-year-old girls at Tibbals which advanced her to the local free throw contest held at Murphy Community Center. Making 15 of 25 free throws at the local contest moved Skylar onto the district contest where her winning streak continued and she advanced to state.
The state contest was held at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton on Feb. 16.
Patriotic pomp and circumstance surrounded the event. Skylar was the first person in her division, girls aged 10 – 12 to shoot, and thus she was the first person to run between the encouraging members of the Elk Association lined up to give high fives to contestants. Multiple American flags were proudly on display during this opening introduction.
During the state contest, Skylar recalls the entire gym being silent, except for the sound of bouncing basketballs. Five contest judges provided close scrutiny, ensuring all rules were adhered to during each shot taken. Skylar shared her secret-to-success shot routine, “I breathe, dribble two times, bounce two times, and then shoot.” She said she was nervous and excited during the contest. Leading up to each level of the competition, Skylar practiced every day. Her mother, Shauntai Harvey said, “She was self-motivated. We never had to tell her to practice. I was so proud of her determination.” Skylar earned third place at the Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest State Competition. Skylar was the only person in her division who had never been to the state contest before. The person who won first place was also the winner of the 2018 contest. Skylar plans to compete again next year.
Regarding Skylar’s performance at state, Skylar’s father, Richard Harvey said, “She had already exceeded our expectations.” Between the local and district competitions, Skylar’s grandfather passed away unexpectedly. Richard said, “We were a little unsure if she would want to compete. She woke up that morning and wanted to go. She won it (district) for her Poppie.” Skylar’s grandfather had planned to be in the stands cheering for his granddaughter.
Before heading to the state competition, at a school wide pep rally, Skylar was invited onstage and was the recipient of a Tiger proud good luck chant. Shauntai said, “All the teachers, administrators and students have been so supportive of Skylar, it has all been so special.”
Skylar has played basketball for five years. She is on the DC Queens 2027 Orange AAU basketball team. She said participating in the Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest has been a confidence building experience.
The Texas Elks State Association (TESA) reports, “Over 220,000 kids in Texas competed in the contest. Nationwide over 1.5 million boys and girls will compete in three different age groups.” (TESA press release) For more information on Elks National Hoop Shoot go to elks.org/hoopshoot.