DECATUR — Grady Thompson, a Princeton Christian Academy eighth-grader, took third place in the state of Illinois Elks Hoop Shoot Feb. 23.
Thompson, who was the district champion, competed against eight other boys in his age group (12-13). Each was required to shoot 25 free throws in a set of 10 and then a set of 15. Thompson, along with three other boys made 10 out of 10 on the first set, and then 13 out of 15 on the second set along with two of the boys.
The other boy took first place with 14 out of 15, but the three had to break the tie with a shootout of five free throws. In the first round, Thompson and another tied for second place, shooting 5-5. In the second round, Thompson missed one shot, giving him third in the state.
Thompson also placed third in the state when he was 9. He has been a member of Princeton Christian Academy’s Eagle basketball team, helping the team to win two conference championships and invitational tournaments at Malden and Ladd the past two years.
Thompson and his parents, Eric and Amy Thompson, enjoyed an all-expenses-paid two-night stay at the Decatur Conference Center, along with an awards banquet to honor the winners and all who participated at that level. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks sponsored this activity and paid for the weekend for all the winning families.
There were 38,000 young people who competed in the competition this year from all over the state. There were three age groups for both boys and girls.