Paul, an 11-year-old Brentwood resident who will begin sixth grade at Bristow Middle School next week, is competing against two other finalists this weekend in the basketball shooting competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego. He earned the all-expense-paid trip by sinking six three-pointers, five layups and a free throw in 45 seconds for a total of 38 points in the regional competition at Diamond Hills Sports Club in Oakley.
Paul is one of the top 72 finalists out of more than 1.6 million young athletes from the U.S. and Puerto Rico who competed in basketball, soccer, tennis and track.
“I just kind of want to have fun there and see if I can win,” said Paul, who sometimes spends hours shooting hoops, particularly from long range, in his backyard with his cousin Brian and his friend Simba.
The With family has a membership at Diamond Hills and Paul and his father, Steve, have played two-on-two against two adult men and often won “because he shoots so well,” said Steve. “It’s really fun. One of the things I like about him is that he has a good attitude and has fun.”
This is not Paul’s first claim to sports fame. A couple years ago he was the MVP in the Brentwood PONY baseball all-star world series. The With family moved to Brentwood from Colorado Springs in 2003 so that Steve could launch and become pastor of Orchard Church, which meets at Heritage High School.
For more information, visit www.jrolympicskills.com.