Shoot for the Stars—Finalist Fest

2020 BackBoard

The Hoop Shoot Alumni Advisory Board, a.k.a. the BackBoard is made up of past National Finalists. They will join us for the Hoop Shoot National Finals where they serve as volunteers, leaders, and role models to the 72 National Finalists.

We're delighted to announce the 2020 Hoop Shoot Alumni Advisory Board, a.k.a. the BackBoard! These 11 past National Finalists will join us for the Hoop Shoot National Finals where they will serve as volunteers, leaders, and role models to this year’s 72 National Finalists. Get to know these incredible Hoop Shoot alumni below.

Fox Maikovich

BackBoard Member Since: 2016

College: University of Colorado—Alum

Sponsoring Lodge: Boulder, Colo., Lodge No. 566

National Finals Appearance: 2010, 12-13 Boys

National Finals Score: 6th place, 21/25

About: There isn’t anything rocky about this native Coloradoan. Assisting at local, state and Regional contests, Fox loves being involved with the Hoop Shoot and looks forward to being a member of the BackBoard every year. His experience with the BackBoard has helped him learn the importance of giving back. But that doesn’t stop him from having fun in Chicago, especially when it comes to trading cards with the National Finalists.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Shoot with confidence; try not to worry about the outcome.”

Lakyn Boltz

College: University of Iowa—Alum

Sponsoring Lodge: Keokuk, Iowa, Lodge No. 106

National Finals Appearance: 2006, 8-9 Girls; 2007, 10-11 Girls; 2008, 10-11 Girls

National Finals Score: 1st place, 24/25—Frank Hise National Champion, 6th place, 19/25; 2nd place, 21/25

About: Lakyn made it to the National Finals not once, not twice but three times. The 2006 Frank Hise National Champion says the Hoop Shoot set the tone for who she wanted to be as a student athlete and as a person. Lakyn learned to prioritize what’s important to her, including giving back. She’s been in the Finalists’ shoes several times, and she’s excited to use that perspective to make this year’s Finals a memorable experience for all of them.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the experience!”

Tayler Houston

College: Emory University School of Law

Sponsoring Lodge: Cumberland County, Tenn., Lodge No. 2751

National Finals Appearance: 2007, 10-11 Boys

National Finals Score: 5th place, 20/25

About: Tayler worked for years for the opportunity to make it to the National Finals. He broke his arm six weeks before the 2007 National Finals, but that didn’t stop him. Making it to Springfield, Massachusetts—despite a few setbacks and a broken bone—taught Tayler to never give up. He applies what he learned from the Hoop Shoot every day as a law student, and he hopes to encourage the 2020 National Finalists to do the same.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Try hard at everything you do and lead by example.”

Ashley Holder

College: University of Toledo

Sponsoring Lodge: Hamilton, Ohio, Lodge No. 93

National Finals Appearance: 2009, 10-11 Girls

National Finals Score: 3rd place, 22/25

About: In 2009, Ashley stepped up to the line at the National Finals and missed three of her first 10 shots. She learned to never give up on herself. She stepped back up and sank 15/15. The Hoop Shoot gave Ashley the confidence to step out of her comfort zone, and she is honored to be a part of this moment for the 2020 Finalists.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Make the most of this incredible opportunity.”

Zeb Alford

College: North Carolina State University—Alum

Sponsoring Lodge: Raleigh, N.C., Lodge No. 735

National Finals Appearance: 2008, 12-13 Boys; 2009, 12-13 Boys

National Finals Score: 9th place, 19/25; 1st place, 23/25—Frank Hise National Champion

About: Zeb made 23 of 25 free throws at the 2009 Hoop Shoot National Finals—then he went on to sink 74 more. Zeb set the record for the longest shoot-off after tying with another Finalist for first; they went shot-for-shot for 75 additional baskets. Because of that, Zeb believes there’s nothing he can’t accomplish. When he faces a challenge, Zeb thinks back to the Hoop Shoot and remembers that consistent hard work pays off. He’s excited to share his story with the Finalists and be a part of their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Stay focused. Be proud of your accomplishment.”

Starr Rodenhurst

College: Point Loma Nazarene University

Sponsoring Lodge: Bremerton, Wash., Lodge No. 1181

National Finals Appearance: 2007, 8-9 Girls

National Finals Score: 9th place, 19/25

About: It’s not about winning but about the experience for Starr. As a “Starr” athlete for her college’s track and field team, she performs under pressure every day, but thanks to the Hoop Shoot, it doesn’t distract her from making a quick play or enjoying time spent with her teammates. She’s excited to help the 2020 National Finalists shine bright like the stars they are on the court and provide advice for continuing their passion for sports once the contest is over—exactly like she did.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Enjoy the memories and connections made on the trip.”

Morgan Edwards

College: Bowdoin College

Sponsoring Lodge: Frostburg, Md., Lodge No. 470

National Finals Appearance: 2011, 10-11 Boys; 2012, 12-13 Boys; 2013, 12-13 Boys

National Finals Score: 4th place, 22/25; 2nd place, 24/25; 4th place, 24/25

About: The “swish” of the net sounds like persistence, determination and resolve to Morgan. He owes his success to one defeat: when, as an eight-year-old, he lost in the district competition. But that didn’t stop him—Morgan went on to become a five-time state champion and a three-time National Finalist. For him, the value of the Hoop Shoot came from the the support system of friends and Elks he gained through his experience.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“It’s just you, the ball, and the hoop. Just do what you always do.”

TJ Cahill

BackBoard Member Since: 2018

College: Springfield College

Sponsoring Lodge: Woonsocket, R.I., Lodge No. 850

National Finals Appearance: 2012, 12-13 Boys

National Finals Score: 4th place, 22/25

About: TJ takes life one step at a time—and one step closer to his goals. TJ’s dedication to goal-setting stems from tracking his progress in the Hoop Shoot competition. TJ brings a dual perspective to the 2020 National Finals; he knows what it’s like to be a Finalist and a family member of one—his sister competed in 2016! TJ wants to make sure this year’s Finalists look back and see how amazing their accomplishment truly is.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Breathe.”

Abby Sandy

College: Texas A&M University

Sponsoring Lodge: Grapevine, Texas, Lodge No. 2483

National Finals Appearances: 2011, 12-13 Girls

National Finals Score: 12th place, 14/25

About: The memories made, friendships formed, and lessons learned stuck were the real trophies of Abby’s Hoop Shoot journey. Competing in the National Finals helped her overcome her fears and taught her that what’s most important is the process, not the end result. Serving as a member of the BackBoard is a dream come true for Abby, and she’s ready to rebound to support the organization that gave to her.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Do your best and don’t look back.”

Jon Cloud

BackBoard Member Since: 2018

College: Washburn University

Sponsoring Lodge: Topeka, Kan., Lodge No. 204

National Finals Appearance: 2010, 10-11 Boys

National Finals Score: 5th place, 19/25

About: Gritty to the core, this Kansan has overcome a lot in his life. His first Hoop Shoot, he took last place in his Lodge contest. With discipline and hard work, he bounced back and made it all the way to the National Finals. In 2015, he battled mycoplasma pneumonia, which left him in a coma for 10 days. He had to relearn how to walk and talk, which took a lot of discipline and hard work—skills he had been developing since his time with the Hoop Shoot.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Soak up every moment because you will remember this forever.”

Madigan Moore

BackBoard Member Since: 2019

College: Augustana University

Sponsoring Lodge: Rapid City, S.D., Lodge No. 1187

National Finals Appearance: 2006, 8-9 Girls

National Finals Score: 7th place, 20/25

About: Madigan might have traded the gym for the library and basketballs for books on her pursuit to doctorhood, but the Hoop Shoot still holds a dear place in her heart. It’s the reason she has the courage to fail and the discipline to focus and put in the long hours. Madigan is excited to pass the gift of the Hoop Shoot forward by serving as a role model to this year’s Finalists. She’s ready to share her words of wisdom and we’re sure the Finalists will be all ears.

Advice for 2020 National Finalists:

“Be courageous! It takes courage to try and to succeed!”


Additional Alumni Opportunities

Rebounders

Jacobi with Regional Director Dick Blinn Too old to compete and too young to serve on the BackBoard?! Rebounders offer Hoop Shoot alumni the opportunity to stay involved by serving at their Lodge, District, State and Regional contests. For more information, please contact us at hoopshoot@elks.org.

Jacobi Lafferty, a 2017 Hoop Shoot National Champion, volunteered at the Vermont State Contest as a Rebounder. Read Jacobi's blog, "Sometimes You Miss Your First Shot," on the Elks National Foundation Blog.

Contact the Hoop Shoot office at hoopshootd@elks.org if you have any questions or would like further information.


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