#IAmElksHoopShoot 2024 Winners

The spirit of the Hoop Shoot can’t be shelved as easily as a basketball and a pair of sneakers. Once a participant has been bitten by the Hoop Shoot bug, the contest—and the lessons learned through it—are with them for life.

#IAmElksHoopShoot is a chance for past National Finalists to share their Hoop Shoot stories through a short video contest. In a minute or less, participants must explain what the Hoop Shoot means to them, the lessons they learned, or how the Hoop Shoot helped them develop grit. The winners are invited back to Chicago, all expenses paid, to watch the action from the stands.

Though the competition was fierce, these three former National Finalists topped the leaderboard.

Mazie Buffetta, sponsored by Virginia, Minn., Lodge No. 1003, aged out of the program after taking the line at Wintrust Arena last year. No stranger to the basketball court, Mazie has played basketball for as long as she remembers—her dad is a coach. She found comfort in the way the Hoop Shoot slowed down the game and allowed her to focus on free throws. But her free throw abilities weren’t the only thing that benefited from the program.

“Traveling to all the Hoop Shoot competitions has really helped me get out of my comfort zone,” says Mazie. “It has helped me open up, meet new people, and have new experiences that I never thought I would have.”

Nathan Davis is no stranger to the basketball court, either. A 2012 Frank Hise National Champion, sponsored by Tyrone, Pa., Lodge No. 212, Davis has taken the lessons he learned from the Hoop Shoot through high school, college, and now to his professional basketball career overseas.

“The biggest lesson I learned from the Hoop Shoot was the importance of developing a daily habit with a consistent routine,” says Davis. “My routine, without a doubt, helped me take home the national championship.”

Fellow Frank Hise National Champion Mitchell Leas, sponsored by Devils Lake, N.D., Lodge No. 1216, also knows the importance of developing a routine. After jumping over the line 23 times in his first Hoop Shoot competition, Mitchell practiced until he couldn’t miss—literally. In 2016, he went a perfect 25 for 25 at the National Finals, earning the Getty Powell and Emile Brady awards.

“Throughout my journey, I learned that practice makes perfect—not only in free throws, but in everything you do in life,” says Leas.

These champions haven’t forgotten about the Hoop Shoot, and we won’t forget them. We hope they enjoyed their time at the 2024 National Finals!