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Newton basketball shares time with local youths
Rams coaches and players hold free throw contest at block party
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Newton basketball has been a fixture in the community going back to the glory years of Ron Bradley’s teams and the 1964 state championship run. Recently the Rams under head coach Rick Rasmussen have also made the county proud, making it all the way to the Class AAAAA Final Four in 2010.

The Rams players and coaches are also involved with the community. For the third straight year, they sponsored the free throw contest at the Back 2 School Bash Sunday, and again it was a great time for all who attended.

This year the competition saw more than 80 youths participate in it, representing students from kindergarten through eighth grade from all schools in Newton County. While every participant gave it their all, the winners were given new basketballs for their efforts. The following youths were winners at the contest. Winners made the most free throws in a row for their grades.

"We always look forward to this special event each year," Rasmussen said. "I was particularly excited that we had our best turnout yet with more than 80 students taking part in the contest."

K-first grade winners:



Second-third grade winner



Fourth-fifth grade winner



Sixth-seventh grade winner



Eighth grade winner:



Middle school girls winner:



Taylor Jones, Veterans Middle School. Made six in a row.

"Our team has enjoyed doing the free throw contest every year since the Back 2 School Bash started three years ago," Rasmussen said. "It is a great opportunity for Newton basketball to pass on their knowledge of shooting and their love for the game by mentoring to younger students."

The event was a first taste of Newton basketball for many who participated. While none of those who took part will suit up in blue and white this year, Rasmussen knows planting a seed can only have a positive benefit for the future of the children involved.

"I enjoyed watching our players interact with the younger students and help them make a free throw," Rasmussen said. "We had some very good little free throw shooters from all the schools in Newton County. Perhaps some of them will even be Rams one day and make a big free throw to help Newton win a close game. You never know the impact that a high five from a role model can make."

DeAngelo Little, Veterans Middle School. Made nine in a row.
: Jamahl Boykin, Clements Middle School. Made eight in a row.
: Joshua Jones, West Newton Elementary. Made 10 in a row.
: Kaden Farley, Middle Ridge Elementary. Made 13 in a row.
Jaelin Driskell. Made three in a row, and Jaron Keeling, West Newton.