Yukon youth compete in 20th annual free throw contest

Thirty young hoopsters participate in event sponsored by Yukon Parks & Recreation

Bryson Matthew swishes the basketball through the hoop during the Yukon Parks and Recreation Free Throw Contest, as his competitors anxiously watch. Thirty youth in four age brackets showed up last week at the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E. Main, to show off their basketball skills. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Cara Pattison

Contributing Writer

Before youth returned to school from the extended Christmas holiday break, Yukon Parks & Recreation hosted its 20th Annual Free Throw Contest on Friday, Jan. 3 at the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main.

Patiently waiting their turn to compete in the Free Throw Contest are, from left, Benson Ritchey, Jackson Smith, Ethan Johnson, Landon Ferguson, and Nathan Duea. The five boys competed in the 6-7-year age bracket. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

Organized by Jackie Cooper Gym facility supervisor Tyler Kilmer and his staff, the event brought out a large crowd for a variety of reasons.

“We have kids at the Jackie Cooper Gym every day playing basketball,” Kilmer said. “Our Free Throw Contest is always held on the last Friday of Christmas Break. It’s a great way for our basketball loving youth to get to know each other and get some exercise on Christmas Break. Many of them go to different schools, so it’s fun for them to meet and compete.”

Jackie Cooper Gym facility supervisor Tyler Kilmer announces the rules for Youth Free Throw Contest participants. Kids shot 20 free throws and ribbons were awarded to the top three in each age category. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

The day of the event, 30 boys and girls ages 6-13 years-old showed up compete in the free competition.

Participants shot 20 free throws each, and after tie breakers, ribbons were presented to first, second, and third place winners. Age brackets included 6-7 years-old, 8-9 years-old, 10-11 years-old, and 12-13 years-old.

Avery Nelson, 9, shoots the basketball towards the goal as her fellow competitors, Brayson Beale and Graham Nelson, watch. Avery said she enjoys basketball and has been looking forward to the event. (Photo by Cara Pattison)


Age brackets included 6-7 years-old, 8-9 years-old, 10-11 years-old, and 12-13 years-old.

6-7 Boys

1st Jackson Smith

2nd Benson Ritchey

3rd Landon Ferguson

6-7 Girls

1st Tinley Pierson

8-9 Boys

Cross Martin, 11, carefully selects his basketball before the Free Throw Contest. The annual competition produces a large turn-out of area youth looking for a little fun and exercise during the Christmas holiday break. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

1st Max Schlegel

2nd Brayson Beale

3rd Eric Bryant

8-9 Girls

1st Avery Nelson

10-11 Boys

1st Jayen Burrett

2nd Boston Campeotto

3rd Everett Doctorman

10-11 Girls

1st Mia Bromlow

Carefully tabulating the results of the 6-7-year age bracket are Yukon Parks & Recreation recreation aide Amya Weakley (left) and recreation leader Danya Goss. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

12-13 Boys

1st Easton Doctorman

2nd Mason Jernigan

Engaging in a little friendly “Canadian County Bedlam” competition, winners of the Yukon Free Throw Contest advance to the finals of the Yukon vs. Mustang Free Throw Challenge.

“This is an annual event,” Yukon Parks & Recreation recreation leader Danya Goss said. “We always have a great turn-out. I’m looking forward to seeing the Yukon winners compete against the Mustang winners.”

The Bedlam competition will be Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Mustang High School.