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Local free-throw shooter advances to nationals

March 29, 2001

At last, a role model for Shaquille O'Neal.

Nine-year-old Austin Deyan of Newport Beach has advanced to the

National Free-throw Shooting Championships, set for April 21 in

Springfield, Mass.

Deyan is the first local youngster to reach the national level of this

contest after winning four different regionals along the way.

The trek for Deyan began when he won the Harbor Area Boys & Girls Club

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contest. From there, Deyan won the Orange County title and advanced to

the California State Free-throw Shooting Contest.

After hitting 23 out of 25 attempts, Deyan advanced to the Western

Regionals in Las Vegas, Nev. At the Regionals, Deyan again hit 23 of 25

to advance to the nationals.

Over 3 million youngsters throughout the country participated in the

contest and Deyan is now in the top-12. The winner of the upcoming event

will get their named placed in the NBA Hall of Fame.

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