Bryant Davis takes third in regional free throw shooting contest

Published 6:49 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

Staff report

Bryant Davis sank 20 of 25 free throws for third place in the boys 12-13 age division at the Elks Southern Regional Hoop Shoot contest in Fredrick, Maryland, on March 12.

Matthew Brown of Morgantown, West Virginia, made 22 of 25 shots to advance to the National Finals in Chicago on April 30.

Because of heavy winds and snow, organizers had to transfer the contest from a school gym to the interior of the local Elks lodge.   

“The venue and makeshift goal were not the best,” said Davis, 13. “But we all had to adjust to the changes. No excuses, we all did our best.”

“It made me a little nervous to shoot first in my group. But after making 9 of 10 hoops, I felt calmer and more relaxed.” 

A couple of his shots rimmed out, so it was a bittersweet finish. Since 2020, his goal has been to compete at the national finals.

His dad, James Davis, is Bryant’s strongest fan.

“Bryant shot hundreds of free throws several nights a week under the tutelage of Salisbury Academy coach Antwan Thompson,” he said. “In all, he shot thousands of free throws, often hitting between 22 and 24 of 25. He diligently prepared, showed a lot of courage, and gave his best.”

“Kudos to the Elks for all they do,” he added.

Davis ages out next year, but he takes away much more than just trophies.

“My favorite memory is being able to be a state champion. I am very proud of that. I will never forget it,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that Bryant has a lot of athletic talent,” said Liz Tennent, local Hoop Shoot director of Salisbury Elks No. 699. “But he’s more than that. He has the right balance of confidence and humility. He shows great character and courage.”