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A summer of 10,000 made shots

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smith family cardinal hoops challenge story
Pete Smith, right, started the challenge in May. His sons Kansas, left, and Brady, middle, say they enjoy staying sharp by shooting often.

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Youth basketball players in Chippewa Falls have 10,000 reasons to spend their summer outside.

The Chippewa Falls Cardinal Hoops program is challenging its members to make 10,000 baskets in 102 days.

Called the '10,000 Shots Made Summer Challenge," the initiative is designed to improve technique and keep players from third grade through eighth grade in touch with basketball during a time when some summer camps and leagues have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pete Smith, president of the Hoops program, introduced the challenge in May, but informally started it three years ago.

"We had our boys and we had an off tournament. We said, let's do something during the summertime," he said.

That team featured Pete's son, Kansas, who made more than 20,000 shots each summer before entering seventh grade and eighth grade.

Now a sophomore at Chippewa Falls High School, Kansas Smith said sinking that many shots comes faster than you think.

"Each day you just get a few," he said. "I had a blast shooting the 20,000 shots. I recommend it for everyone that likes basketball."

Brady Smith is one of approximately 20 athletes participating this summer. He said he typically spends about two hours shooting in the family driveway.

As of Friday, Brady had made more than 6,000 shots.

"It feels like a lot more than I've actually made," he said. "You're shooting every single day, and you're still used to basketball when tryouts come."

Cardinal Hoops has a leaderboard for participants willing to share their make totals.

The challenge runs through September 7. Pete Smith said players that achieve the 10,000 shots goal will be recognized at a Cardinals varsity boys basketball game in December.

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Nick Tabbert

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