LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A Tippecanoe County Student is competing in a contest known as Hoop Shoot. Boys and girls ages 8-13 compete for a chance to win trophies and travel throughout the United States.
Since 1972, the Elks National Hoop Shoot Program has challenged children's skills from the free throw line. For Mintonye 5th grader Rowen Farrell, success shooting 15 feet from the basket comes down to practice and repetition.
"Once you find your free throw and what feels good to you and that's when you can start hitting your free throws. Shooting is like all I do and to me it feels just like shooting a lay-up. Your right in front of the basket all you have to do is put it in the hoop," said Rowen Farrell.
Jim Boyle, Rowen's basketball coach and a Math teacher at McCutcheon High School, has worked with Rowen for three years. His philosophy at the foul line is simple, shoot the ball with one hand.
"When you put the other hand on there and you actually use the other hand to shoot, you've got more variables and more things that can change. That's what makes him so successful. He shoots the ball with one hand. The other hand is totally just guiding the ball on the way up," said McCutcheon assistant basketball coach Jim Boyle. "He also has some God given ability with two very strong legs. He can bend down and go up and that way he doesn't have to throw it so much. He uses his lower body," said Boyle.
Regardless of how Regional competition turns out next weekend, Rowen hopes he can knock down clutch free throws for the Mavericks a few years from now.
"It would probably be a dream to me to be able to hit a big free throw with the game on the line. My grandpa always says practice makes perfect and if I practice hard enough a free throw on the line would be easy," said Farrell.
Regional winners will compete in the national finals which will be held in Springfield, Massachusetts from April 18th to the 21st. National Hoop Shoot Champions have their names permanently inscribed at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
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