New 2010 iHoops Skills Challenge National Champions to Be Crowned in Orlando
-- 18 Boys and Girls Regional Winners to Compete at National Finals on May 14 --
INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 2010 -- iHoops, the youth basketball initiative of the NCAA and NBA, will present the 2010 iHoops Skills Challenge National Finals at the newly opened Orange County Orlando Magic Recreation Center, on Friday, May 14 from 10am-1pm.
The iHoops Skills Challenge is a free nationwide program for boys and girls ages 9 to 14. Hosted by Orlando Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, 18 regional winners will compete in timed obstacle course drills including passing, dribbling and shooting. One competitor from each gender and age group will be crowned iHoops Skills Challenge National Champion during a ceremony on May 15. More than 850 local competitions were held nationwide and in Canada, reaching nearly 100,000 youngsters.
"We are proud that tens of thousands of kids had the chance to showcase their skills in fun, healthy and competitive environments," said Neil Dougherty, director of athlete and coach programs at iHoops. "As we saw displayed in this year's NCAA Tournament and in the current NBA Playoffs, mastering the basics of passing, dribbling and shooting at an early age provides the best chance for success on the basketball court."
iHoops' video streaming partner, iBN Sports, an Internet-based television broadcast network; will provide highlights of competitions streamed from iHoops.com.
iHoops has achieved important milestones in its first year. Nike, adidas and Right Guard have joined as founding partners; iHoops.com, the premier online resource for youth basketball was launched; basketball programs such as iHoops Skills Challenge have contributed to increased participation among boys and girls ages 9 to 14; and information has been provided to thousands of student athletes and their families on balancing academics with athletics and navigating the recruiting process and NCAA eligibility rules. Additionally, new partnerships were formed with USA Basketball, Amateur Athletic Union and National Federation of State High Schools, among others, to further support educational and basketball programming efforts.
The girls' finalists include: Taylor Robertson (McPherson, KS); Tia Karras (Bellbrook, OH); Paige Whipple (Salem, OR); Lauren Brito (Lutz, FL); Madison Walter (Frankenmuth, MI); Autumn Bowen (Verona, KY); Sydney Saxton (Lithonia, GA); Margaret O'Connor (Middletown, RI); Mariya Moore (Pleasant Hill, CA).
The boys' finalists include: Kyle Cochran (Redding, CA); Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ); Ranger Soots (Franklin, IN); Ryan Carmello (Latham, NY); Noah Davis (Lake Jackson, TX); Tyus Ferguson (Groveport, OH); Quinten Davis (Richmond, TX); Nick Martinka (Phoenix, AZ); Rayjon Moore (Pasadena, CA).
Participants were determined following regional competitions in 29 NBA team markets, where winners' times were compared nationally to determine the top 3 in each age and gender group.
For more information on iHoops Skills Challenge, visit www.ihoops.com/skillschallenge.
Launched in June 2009, iHoops is the official youth basketball initiative of the NCAA and NBA. Its mission is to provide structure and develop programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in the United States to enhance the athletic, educational and social experience of the participants. iHoops offers several participation programs for players ages 6 to 18, parents, coaches, officials, youth teams and event administrators. Among its offerings is the Skills Challenge, Right Guard Total Defense Challenge and iHoops First Team. Founding partners include Nike, adidas, Right Guard and Spalding; as well as new alliances with USA Basketball, the Amateur Athletic Union, and the National Federation of State High Schools, among other organizations that support youth basketball. iHoops.com, the go-to online resource for youth basketball, provides supporting services and resources for players, parents, coaches, officials, teams and event organizers including skills training, educational programming, events registration, instructional videos, highlights, blogs, social media, and eventually online education courses for coaches and officials.
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