Moses Lake native to compete in national shooting competition

Print Article

Courtesy photo Kaelsy Wiltbank, a sixth-grader at Frontier Middle School, made 22 out of 25 attempts to advance to the Elks Hoop Shoot Nationals Finals in Chicago.

CHICAGO — Everyone that plays has one.

Jason Kidd blew a kiss to the goal. Jeff Hornacek rubbed his cheek in tribute to his children. Gilbert Arenas spun the ball behind his back.

Kaelsy Wiltbank’s ritual at the free throw line isn’t as intricate, but it is effective. Wiltbank spins the ball in front of her, takes two dribbles, one more spin and then release.

Wiltbank’s sure stroke has landed her in the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals in Chicago.

The Moses Lake native won shooting competitions at the local, district and state level before sinking 22 of 25 attempts at the Northwest Regional Semifinals.

“It’s the most anxiety I’ve ever felt (as a parent),” said Kaelsy’s dad Brady Wiltbank. “You feel for these shooters out there.”

Kaelsy made her first 10 attempts during the regional semifinals, putting the pressure on her opponents for the final 15. With the win, Kaelsy will fly to Chicago in to compete in the national finals on April 27.

Kaelsy, now a sixth-grader at Frontier Middle School, began playing basketball in third grade and first competed in the Hoop Shoot as a fourth-grader.

“She couldn’t even hit the rim then,” Brady said.

Kaelsy began shooting each morning before school to improve and was the first of her siblings to advance past the state level of competition.

Kaelsy is one of 72 competitors that advanced to the national finals. She will have an opportunity to be one of six national champions — one boy and one girls from three age groups — and have her name inscribed on the Hoop Shoot plaque in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Print Article

Read More Sports

Report: Seahawks asking for at least a first-round pick for defensive end Frank Clark

April 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald TNS Now that the Seahawks have quarterback Russell Wilson signed through 2023, the biggest mystery about their offseason is what they are going to do with defensive end Frank Clark. That his futu...


Read More

Mariners tip their hand at likely pitching help for Yusei Kikuchi’s upcoming short start

April 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald It appears the Mariners have made a decision on Yusei Kikuchi’s next start and what pitcher they will bring up to supplement the innings needed to cover the shortened outing. Monday afternoon in Alb...


Read More

Seahawks enter NFL draft with scarcity of selections


April 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Forgive Seattle general manager John Schneider for being a bit antsy going into this NFL draft. In fact, the Seahawks boss may be downright annoyed at having just four picks. Se...


Read More

Basin roundup: Big Bend drops into 3-way tie for 2nd in NWAC East

April 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE ­— Big Bend had to settle for a split with Treasure Valley, creating a three-way tie for second place in the NWAC East. The Vikings (9-5, 12-15) took the opener 6-4 before losing the nigh...


Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy