At the inaugural National Finals, his only appearance, Kelly Goble, set the bar for all future competitors by recording the first ever perfect score. He was sponsored by Longview, Wash., Lodge No. 1514.
In 1978 and 1979, Kelly Lane (Clauss) became the first Hoop Shooter to win back-to-back National Championships. She represented Vincennes, Ind., Lodge No. 291 at the Finals four times.
Ty Russell Rogers is best known for his buzzer beater in the 2008 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but before he was immortalized in highlight reels, Ty was a Hoop Shoot champion. He recorded a perfect score in 1995. “Your instincts kick in,” Ty told the New York Times in a 2016 interview about his tournament heroics. He could have been talking about the Hoop Shoot. “When you practice your entire life at a sport or a craft or whatever it may be, you’re prepared for moments like that.”
The first few National Finals were in Kansas City, Missouri, and they could not have happened without Bernie Watters, a member of Kansas City Lodge No. 26. He was then-National Director Getty Powell’s go-to guy.
Richard Froeschle served as the director of Region 3 for 19 years and was instrumental to opening the program to girls. Froeschle took then-National Director Getty Powell to the girl’s high school basketball tournament in Iowa, which got Powell’s attention and changed the course of the program forever.
“He loved this program as much as my dad and Emile,” says Bart Powell, son of Getty Powell. “He had a boatload of ideas that helped get the program off the ground.”
A member by marriage of the Brady Bunch, second National Director Emile Brady’s crew of Pennsylvania volunteers, Joy Brady was indispensable to the program’s growth during those formative years.
Though small in stature, Don Fassnacht had a huge heart, which guided him through his 12 years as the director of Region 4, and impact on the Hoop Shoot.
“At his last National finals, he wanted to win the Cam Cronk Award,” says current Regional Director Jeff Franklin of Region 4. “Great Lakes Region 4 came through with four of the National Champions out of the six and both Getty Powell winners. They won the Cam Cronk Award.” As fate would have it, most Regional Directors have a memorable last National Finals. Jim McNitt served as the director of Region 10 for 16 years, and his wife, Karen, was an essential member of his team. She also served as the head score keeper for the Hoop Shoot National Finals.
Being a Regional Director comes with challenges, and all the new inductees have met them with grace. In their last year as Directors, the McNitts were faced with a giant snowstorm that made it impossible to host their contest at the local gym. But, not even a snowstorm could stop them.
They bought a hoop, removed the drop ceiling from their Lodge, and held the contest there.
These competitors and contributors are the heart of the program, and we’re proud to welcome them into the Elks Hoop Shoot Hall of Fame.