• Inola's Caden Thompson one of nation's best free throw shooters

    By: Jeff Kolb



    • Caden Thompson, 11, became the first Inola native to ever make the Elks National Foundation Hoop Shoot Nationals
    • The Hoop Shoot is a free throw shooting competition for youth basketball players consisting of the following basic criteria: You get up to five warmups before shooting 10 free throws for score. Then you sit down and other competitors shoot. Then you shoot 15 more free throws without any more warmups. If there is a tie for most free throws made after 25 shots, there's a five-shot shoot off to determine a winner
    • To get to nationals, Thompson had to win the following competitions: school (made 24 of 25), county (made 22 of 25), district (made 22 of 25), state (made 24 of 25) and regional (made 22 of 25)
    • At nationals in Chicago for boys ages 10 and 11, Thompson made 24 of 25 free throws. Initially that tied him in third place (two players shot 25 of 25). He then fell in a tiebreaker but still finished fourth best in the nation
    • Thompson says he shoots over 200 free throws a day and before he finishes his workout, he has to hit at least 24 of 25 free throws. If he doesn't hit that mark, he starts over until he gets it
    • Caden says he dreams of playing pro basketball, but only after suiting up for the University of Oklahoma's basketball team

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