By Patrick Carey
CSU-Pueblo held its sixth-annual Loaf N’ Jug Youth Shootout on Friday night at Massari arena. The event was held during the halftime of both the CSU-Pueblo’s men’s and women’s basketball games.
The shootout had a preliminary round Feb. 16 at Massari arena with 180 children showing up for the shootout. The shootout was open to boys and girls who are in the third-grade, fourth-grade, and fifth-grade. The top four from each grade made it to the final round Friday night. The shootout was free to participate in. All participants received a free 16-ounce drink and ticket to the shootout finals.
During the preliminary rounds the CSU-Pueblo men’s and women’s basketball team helped out with the event.
“Playing sports have proven to help keep kids healthy and help them do well in school,” said Todd Kelly, the Athletic Development Director for CSU-Pueblo athletics and co-coordinator for the shootout.
The goal of the event is to help develop athletic ability for the kids, and show that being a good athlete can help with school, Kelly said.
Kelly said he believes that by helping with the event and having the finals during the halftime of their games, CSU-Pueblo’s men’s and women’s basketball teams help influence the kids playing. It exposes the kids to student athletes and shows them what they eventually can be, he said.
The shootout is becoming a tradition and more kids are doing it every year since it started six years ago, said Kelly who has been involved with the shootout since its first year.
Children in the shootout are given 45 seconds each to score as many points as possible. There are six spots on the basketball court that are marked where they can shoot at. While shooting, there is a judge keeping score and they have two contestants shooting on both ends of the court. The farther they shoot from the hoop the more points they can get.
Every kid that makes it to the shootout finals received prizes. The kids that placed second to fourth all received a medal, Pepsi T-shirt, shootout certificate and a snack pack. The winner at every age group received all the same prizes but they also received two tickets to a Denver Nuggets game Thursday night against the Boston Celtics.
Kelly said he wanted to thank Loaf N’ Jug and the men’s and women’s basketball team for their support of the event.