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Junior NBA Skills showcases youth

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua A competitor at the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge goes through the course under the watchful eye of Hawk Scott, recreation coordinator for the Ruidoso Parks and Recreation Department.

RUIDOSO – Saturday, Feb. 10, was a day for the youngest basketball athletes to showcase their stills at the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge, hosted by the Ruidoso Parks and Recreation Department at the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Blanca.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Braxtyn Valenzuela, from Lovington, goes through the course at the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge, Feb. 10, at the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Blanca.

There were 58 kids that went through the test, including a special engagement with the Boys and Girls Club children the day before, and the winners at this event can move on to regionals, state and even nationals.

Hawk Scott, recreation coordinator for the Ruidoso Parks and Recreation Department, said the goal of events like this is simple.

“We want kids to be active, and this is a cool thing the NBA does for the kids,” Scott said. “The turnout has been great and the parents have been phenomenal.”

The skills contest is one of many things going on in the gym at the Boys and Girls Club, a building that once housed Ruidoso Middle School and Ruidoso High School before that.

In fact, the gym where the skills contest was held one hosted the Class 1A and 2A State girls tournaments in 1978 and 1980.

Lots of improvements have been made to the gym, including a new floor, new lighting and a better sound system.

“We have a lot of events here throughout the week, like basketball, indoor soccer and wrestling,” Scott said. “We’ll be doing a lot of things with it.”

Results from Saturday’s competition:

11U Boys – 1. Braxtyn Valenuela; 2. Cyler Ruiz; 3. Patrick Ramos.

11U Girls – 1. Olyvia Hildman; 2. Jade Artiaga; 3. Talyn Ruiz.

13U Boys – 1. Jaden Peralta; 2. Phillip Garcia; 3. Luke Griego.

13U Girls – 1. Angelina Ontiveros

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