Travelers on the Road to Chicago

Izybel Talbot is one determined National Finalist. For some people, having a broken arm may have been the end of the road, but for Izybel, it was just the beginning.

"I cannot believe she was able to overcome having a broken arm and still shoot free throws," says Cody Talbot, her father.

Despite a possible season-ending injury, Izybel persevered throughout Lodge, District and State competitions. The cast come off in time for the Regional contest.

Kaden Cowgill looks up to his big brother and fellow 2017 National Finalist Camden Cowgill, the 2016 Getty Powell Award winner. Hoop Shoot runs in their blood. Kaden sees inspiration everywhere he looks. It’s not just his big brother. His Uncle C.J. is a Hoop Shoot legend. He won a record four National Championships. His father, Koty, also knows what it means to toe the line at the Finals. He did it twice. So did Aunt K.C., C.J. and Koty's sister.

When the Richardsons came to Chicago in 2016, they were expecting a fun competition—but they got so much more. Their daughter, Macy, won a National Championship. This year, her older brother, Andrew, will vie for a title. Macy will be assuming his role from last year—that of a silent cheerleader in the stands. Welcome back to Chicago, Richardsons.

Ellie DiGiacomo has competed in the Hoop Shoot for five years. The past four, she fell short of the National Finals, but she kept bouncing back. In her final year of eligibility, she’s now a National Finalist. Her practice and determination have paid off.

It’s only days until the 2017 Hoop Shoot National Finals, and the ENF is bustling with preparations! Here are some of the exiting events the ENF has planned for the National Finalists and their families.

If you are not traveling to Chicago for the National Finals, you can still stay connected! Follow the ENF on social media for updates from the weekend. Who knows, you may see a Facebook Live update or two. Follow the shot tracker during the contest; you can access it through

The shot clock is counting down, tune in on Facebook for Monday Madness—the shooting order announcement on Monday, April 17 in the late afternoon. For those who will attend the National Finals, make sure to share your favorite moments with your #ElksFamily by using #HoopShoot and tagging the Elks National Foundation on your posts.

The Elks have been developing gritty kids through the Hoop Shoot program for more than 40 years. In 2017-18, the Elks National Foundation allocated $974,880 to fund the program. For videos, news from the court, and more information about the Hoop Shoot, visit