RAHWAY, NJ - Student-athletes from Berkeley Heights went to Rahway to compete in the Elks District Hoop Shoot free throw competition on Jan. 7.

Of the four, three won their division. In the 8-9 girls division, Sophia Erickson placed first hitting 16 out of 25 free throws; also finishing on top were Sara Castrovinci in the10-11 girls division, and Aidan Linde in the 10-11 boys division hitting 17 out of 25 shots.  William Clark placed second in the 8-9 year old boys division missing first place by one basket.

Woodruff Principal Patty Gasparini, who has been instrumental in organizing the local Berkeley Heights Hoop Shoot, along with a fan base of students came out to cheer for the Berkeley Heights competitors. 

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This accomplishment doesn't happen without hard work. Sophia Erickson, a fourth grader at Woodruff School has been practicing outside almost every day [rain or shine] taking 100 shots a day. Her hard work has paid off.

Up next, the winners will compete in the state play offs in February at South Plainfield High School.

According to the Elks website, “288 state champions compete in 12 different cities across the country for a chance to win the opportunity of a life time—a trip to the Hoop Shoot National Finals in Chicago, Illinois.”

“In the end, one boy and one girl from each age-group will win a national title and have their name inscribed into the Basketball Hall of Fame,” according to the Elks website.

About the Elks - The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the United States. Founded in New York City in 1868, today, the Elks are nearly 860,000 members strong in more than 2,000 Lodges communities throughout the country.

Elks Lodges are places where neighbors come together, families share meals, and children grow up. Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow-up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans. The charitable arm of the Order, the Elks National Foundation, will invest more than $21.7 million this year in Elks communities.

Find out more at www.elks.org/enf.