BRANDON By making 17 of 25 free throws, 8-year-old Keyara Bromley won her division in the Jan. 5 Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program district competition.
Although she competed on the basketball court against other 8- and 9-year-olds, the Mango Elementary School second-grade student shot more baskets than anyone in the tournament, boy or girl, in any age group, said Dorinda Rountree, Brandon Elks Lodge Youth Activity Committee chairwoman.
Next, Keyara will participate in the Elks' central regional contest Saturday in Lake Placid. If she wins that, she will enter the Feb. 16 state competition in Umatilla.
"I'm very excited about it," said Rountree. "I really think she can go all the way. She loves basketball just as much as her father does."
Keyara's father is Ben Bromley, Armwood High School's junior varsity boys' basketball coach who also helps the girls' team.
"I'm very proud of Keyara," said Bromley. "I was nervous; you never know how these things are going to go. But she was so cool; it was just natural for her."
She spends a lot of time at the gym with her father.
"She's a hard worker, a little gym rat," said Bromley. "[Basketball] is something she loves doing."
Another local student, 10-year-old Alyvia Keeler of Lithia Springs Elementary School, earned second place in the 10/11-year-old girl division at the Elks' district contest. If the first-place winner in her category cannot attend the central regional contest, Alyvia will take her place.
The girls' free throw journeys began Nov. 10 at the Brandon Elks Lodge's local event at First Baptist Church of Brandon's Ministry and Activities Center.
Six winners from the central regional competition will go to the state contest in Umatilla; six winners from there will participate in the national regional tournament in Valdosta, Ga. Six Valdosta winners will go to the national competition in Springfield, Mass. Six national winners will have their names inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.