MORAN — Dierks Kegler, 9, will travel to Denver, March 15-17, to compete in the Regional Elks Hoops Shoot competition.
Kegler, a fourth-grader at Marmaton Valley Elementary School, qualified by winning in his age category at both the county (in Iola) and state (in Wichita) levels.
“He’s put a lot of work into it,” his father Jason said Monday, during a practice session.
The youngster’s personal goal is to make at least 100 free throws a week in the run-up to the regional competition.
The dedication has paid off. He made 23 of 25 free throws at the county level, a number pared to 22 of 25 after he confessed to stepping over the line on one attempt.
He then drained 20 of 25 free throws at state.
Kegler competes in the 8- to 9-year-old division.
The regional competition will feature competitors from Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.
Kegler also is an avid baseball player, and competes for the SEK Cyclones, a traveling youth team just now starting practice for the 2018 season.
His attire — a Golden State Warriors shirt — also reveals his favorite basketball player: NBA superstar Steph Curry.
“He’d wear that shirt every day if we let him,” mother Tara laughed.
If he wins the regional competition, Kegler will travel to Chicago to compete in the national event in April.
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