CEDAR CITY — If the basketball skills competition at this year’s Utah Summer Games is any indication, the future of Utah basketball looks bright.
Dozens of youth from around the state gathered at Cedar High School Tuesday night to compete in the basketball skills event and the level of competition displayed was spectacular.
“We host this event mainly for the kids to have a good time,” said Lynn Beecher, the event’s director. “It is evident that many of these kids have some special talent.”
The competition is divided into three areas: free throws, 3-point shots and “hotshots.” The competitors receive one point each for up to 15 free throws made. They receive one point each for up to 10 3-pointers made. In each of those two areas the tiebreaker is determined by the number of consecutive shots made.
The final area, “hotshots,” awards points to the competitors depending on the difficulty of the shots taken in a one-minute time limit. Competitors could not shoot consecutive shots from the same position and were only allowed two layups in the time limit. Scoring ranged from the easy layups (two points) up to the more difficult three-pointers (eight points). Participants attempting a shot from all eight designated spots received 10 bonus points.
While the Utah Summer Games are hosted in Cedar City, the young competitors came from all over the state. Calvin Fisher, a 10-year old, made the trip from North Ogden. “I love basketball. This is my first year at the Summer Games,” he said.
It was also the first time competing for Ky Brown, a 10-year old from Beaver. “I have been working extra hard for this the past few months, “ Brown said. The hard work paid off as he took the gold in the hotshots competition and the bronze in the 3-point shot competition.
Howard Sonnegren, a youth basketball coach from Las Vegas, was impressed with the overall grasp of the fundamentals.
“Watching these kids, it is clear that they are getting good fundamental coaching,” he said. “I see disappointment in some faces on the misses, but their follow-throughs are excellent, and at this age, that is what you look for in their development.”
Beecher said enjoyment and enthusiasm made the skills competition more than just a race to the medal stand.
“For me, seeing the smiles on all of their faces makes the event a success for everyone.”
Boys Under 8
Gold-Luke Terry, Springville
SilverZed Webber, St. George
Bronze-Tyson Forsey, Washington
Gold-Boston Holbrook, Washington
Silver-Kolton Schenck, North Ogden
Bronze-Boston Garrett, Cedar City
Gold-Jace Neil, North Ogden
Silver-Cannon Devries, Pleasant View
Bronze-Noah Moeaki, American Fork
Silver-Drake Parker, Ogden
Gold-Hunter Ropelato, North Ogden
Silver-Carson Forsey, Washington
Bronze-Jacob Bolton, Cedar City
Gold-Rexton Schenck, North Ogden
Bronze-Ky Brown, Beaver
Silver-Max Topham, Paragonah
Gold-Payton Murphy, Springville
Silver-Paul Terry, Springville
Bronze-Jaxon Jorgenson, Cedar City
Bronze-TaiNui White, Springville
Gold-Logan Sorensen, Payson
Silver-Griffen Spencer, Payson
Bronze-Dallyn Brindlay, Cedar City
Gold-Bailey Reno, Payson
Bronze-Mason Lyman, Enoch
Gold-Brantzen Blackner, Cedar City
Silver-Joey Lambeth, Cedar City
Bronze-Ty Webber, St. George
Gold-Toby Potter, Cedar City
Silver-Austin Staheli, Santa Clara
Bronze-Braden Baker, Santa Clara
Silver-Kaden Bench, Washington
Gold-Logan Hokanson, Washington
Silver-Scott Sanders, Cedar City
Bronze-Cade Cope, North Ogden
Gold-Tito Pauley, Chula Vista, CA
Gold-Travis Bettridge, Cedar City
Gold-Sydney White, Springville
Silver-McKell Ropelato, North Ogden
Gold-Hallie Potter, Cedar City
Gold-Addie Ludlow, St. George
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