Students from Sacred Heart Catholic School and Maranatha Christian School receive their certificates following the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Basketball Competition.

Students from Sacred Heart Catholic School and Maranatha Christian School receive their certificates following the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Basketball Competition.

First free throw competition in years a hit with youth

Sacred Heart Catholic School played host late last month to the first Knights of Columbus Free Throw Basketball Competition.

Sacred Heart Catholic School played host late last month to the first Knights of Columbus Free Throw Basketball Competition held in the lakecity in roughly 15 years.

Started in 1972 for boys and girls between the ages of nine to 14, the championship sees participants compete within their own gender and age group beginning at the local level, then moving on to district, regional, provincial and even international levels of competition.

At Sacred Heart Catholic School (SHCS), 23 participants from both SHCS and Maranatha Christian School enjoyed the event with several moving on to the next stage of competition.

“You get 15 shots and, of course, the winners from each advance,” said John Shephard of the Williams Lake Knights of Columbus who, alongside SHCS teacher Dan Lee and other staff, helped organize the event.

“It’s the first in 15 years so it’s exciting. We’ve reinstated this free throw program and we’ll hopefully have it going for the next while.

“Being the first one, we had a good turnout.”

Xiomara Salazar was the overall winner, draining nine out of 15 shots.

“She was incredible,” Shephard said. “She was plopping them in like crazy. The ones she missed were unlucky.

“I asked: ‘Have you played this game before?’ and she said the first time she’d touched a basketball was a couple weeks ago. She had good form and everything.”

Shephard, meanwhile, said they don’t yet know where the next level of the competition will be held, however, it will take place this month.

“What I’m waiting to hear is if there will be any compensation for the families going to the next levels [from the Knights of Columbus],” Shephard said.

“Being the first year, next year we’ll have a better idea of what we’re going to do.”