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Joy of Giving

Practice Makes Perfect “W

HEN you practice a lot, you can achieve a lot.” This is the motto Lindsey Murray adopted when she

competed in the 2005 Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest. After sinking eleven out of twenty-five shots to win her local competition, Lindsey, sponsored by the Troy, Ohio, Lodge, knew the competition would only get tougher, so she began practicing every day, and her hard work paid off. Even- tually, Lindsey advanced to the 2005

In 2010–2011, the Elks National Foundation allocated $788,020 to fund the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program, which teaches the lifelong values of practice and hard work. For more information on the Hoop Shoot, visit

Hoop Shoot National Finals, where she scored twenty-four out of twenty-five free throws to win first place in the girls’ eight- to nine-year-old division and claim the 2005 Getty Powell Award—a prestigious award given to the highest- scoring female and the highest-scoring male in the competition. “Thanks to the

2005 Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest winner and Tippecanoe High School golf team member Lindsey Murray poses for a photograph following golf practice at Homestead Golf Course in Tipp City, Ohio.

Elks’ hospitality, every level of the Hoop Shoot contest was special,” Lindsey says. “This experience gave me a love for basketball and launched my sports career.” Lindsey, now a freshman at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio, still follows the valuable lessons she learned from participating in the Hoop Shoot. “The most important lesson I learned from my Hoop Shoot experience is if you practice, you can go as far as you want.”

Today, you can find Lindsey practicing free throws on her high school basketball team, or working on her drive as a member of her school’s golf team, and the determination she learned from being a Hoop Shoot participant continues to pay dividends. For example, during a nine-hole golf match against another high school last fall, Lindsey’s con- centration and skill elevated her game to a whole new level.


Lindsey and her partner were play- ing a good round of golf, and the match was going well when Lindsey reached the fourth hole, a 427-yard par five. But things were about to get much better for Lindsey. On her second stroke, she felt she had hit the ball well—a feeling confirmed by the cheering crowd—and when she drove up to the green, she was amazed to find the ball in the hole. She had sunk the ball in three strokes under par, giving her a score known as a “double eagle.”

Lindsey’s game, however, was only half over. When she reached the ninth hole, a 138-yard par three, her golf ca- reer changed forever. She had practiced this hole the week before, so she knew which club worked best. “When I hit the ball,” Lindsey says, “I knew there was a chance that it would go in. When it did, it was surreal.” Lindsey’s hole in one and final score of thirty-four led her team to victory. On the surface, golf and basketball

might not seem to have much in com- mon, but for Lindsey, practice is prac- tice, no matter what the sport, and she applies the same level of determination that made her a Hoop Shoot champion to her golf game. “I use the same prac- tice techniques I learned preparing for the Hoop Shoot competition to prepare

for golf matches,” Lindsey says. “Current Hoop Shooters should realize it’s all about how far you want to go in any sport—if you push for it, you will make it.” ■

What’s Happening at the ENF

• ENF Most Valuable Student Scholarship and Legacy Awards contest winners will be announced in mid-April. For more information, please visit

• Hoop Shoot National Finals are set for April 30, 2011. For live coverage during finals weekend, please visit

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