A small town girl just barely old enough to compete in the Elks Hoop Shoot is moving on to the nationals in Chicago next month.
At just 8-years-old, Brenley Skadburg from McGill came home after school a few months ago with a paper in her hand telling her mom “I want to do the hoop shoot, can you please sign this paper for me?”
Angela McVicars, Brenley’s mother, signed it without any hesitation. McVicars says that Brenley has played Junior Jazz but this was her first time for the Elks Hoop Shoot.
Her coaches were Adam and Amber Ruesch, Angela said were amazing.
“The coaches let her fit practices in when Brenley could in between gymnastics and cheer leading practices,” McVicars said. Brenley would practice at home in the backyard on weekends with help from her dad, Todd Skadburg, and sister, Presley.
On Dec. 9, Brenley won the local hoop shoot here in Ely. On January 28, 2018, Brenley and her family traveled to Austin for her first competition outside of Ely where she won again.
Brenley was pretty excited. Hawthorne was the next destination they traveled to on Feb. 17. After the trip to Hawthorne, Brenley hurt her fingers and had a hard time practicing before the upcoming shoot in Las Vegas.
On March 3, her family traveled to Las Vegas for the Regional Elks Hoop Shoot. McVicars told Brenley to just have fun and that it didn’t matter what happened, in her eyes she was a winner. Brenley was competing against other winners from California, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
McVicars said Brenley stepped up and shot better than she had ever shot. “She always seems to be calm and has a smile on her face while standing their shooting, it’s me that has a hard time keeping it together,” McVicars said.
It was a close call with just one basket between all the girls. McVicars said, “I never thought it would be my little girl standing up there getting the first place trophy and the chance to go compete in the Nationals in Chicago.”
Brenley would tell her mom before each shoot “I got this.”
McVicars said Brenley has a little bit of superstition in her. Brenley has her mom do her hair before every shoot in a very unique way giving her a signature trade mark at all the events. McVicars said, “It’s always been a great conversation piece, and everyone has been calling it her good luck hair.”
Now they will move on to Chicago on April 19 for the Elks Hoop Shoot Finals, where youth from eight different regions across the United States will compete. Brenley will be representing the Western Region.
Brenley said, “I love the hoop shoot because it gives me a good experience, I make new friends, focus on basketball and get to go places I have never gone before.”