OGDEN — Hoops hopefuls from Northern Utah showed off their basketball prowess Saturday during the 2012 Junior Jazz Northern Regional Fun Shot competition at Highland Junior High School.
More than 50 boys and girls in grades 5 through 12 participated in the competition, said Butch Sawyer, an official with the Ogden City Recreation Department.
“It gives them outstanding (basketball) skills to take them to the next level,” he said.
Players had one minute to score as many baskets as possible from six shooting spots on the court. Each shooting spot was worth two to five points.
The players with the highest scores in each age division will advance to the regional competition March 24 at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden.
The top boy and girl in each age division from the regional event will move on to the state competition, which will be held during halftime at one of the Utah Jazz games at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Players said they found the Saturday event at Highland Junior High School challenging.
“The hardest to do is (shooting from) the three-point line,” 10-year-old Nathaniel Woods said while taking a break from dribbling the ball around the court.
Bryan Baca, 14, also spent time practicing his shooting but remained modest about his skills.
“I just play because it’s something to do,” he said.
More than 65,000 youths between ages 8 and 18 participate in Junior Jazz basketball.
The program, which is run through recreation departments in six states, gives players the opportunity to learn basketball fundamentals and practice those skills as they play games against other youths in their league.