For the second straight year, McPherson Middle School seventh grader Taylor Robertson’s name will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the top shooters in the country.
Robertson won the Elks National Hoop Shoot finals on April 20 in Springfield, Mass., for the second straight year. Robertson had to win competitions at the local level in McPherson, the district level in Russell, at state in Wichita and regionals in Denver to qualify for the national spot.
She was the ninth of 12 girls in the 12-13 year old age bracket to shoot and finished in a first place tie with Mary Crompton of Iowa City, Iowa, both having made 24-of-25 free throws.
In the shootout to determine the winner, both girls shot 5-of-5 in the first round. In the second round, Crompton hit 4-of-5, while Robertson was perfect at 5-of-5 to win the national championship.
This was Robertson’s third trip to the national finals, having placed second in 2010 and first in 2012.
In 2012, Robertson drained all 25 attempts in winning the title for the first time.
During the festivities, Robertson was also able to meet Carolyn Peck, the former coach of the Purdue Boilermakers, who led them to the NCAA national championship in 1999. Peck currently serves as a basketball analyst for ESPN and also helped with the coverage of last summer’s Olympic Games on NBC.
Peck was the keynote speaker for the 2013 Hoop Shoot National Finals.
A total of 72 competitors from all over the country participated in the annual Hoop Shoot. Only one other Kansas shooter competed, as Reagan Ponzer from Overland Park finished third in the girls age 8-9 bracket.
Robertson is the daughter of Dave and Terri Robertson of McPherson. She was sponsored by McPherson Elks Lodge No. 502.
The Elks National Hoop Free Throw Program is a co-educational youth basketball program sponsored by the Elks National Foundation. It aims to teach kids the value of hard work and good sportsmanship. For more information, visit www.elks.org.