Rockford Christian 8th grader Garrett Bertrand loves to shoot the basketball. His finely tuned craft landed him a spot in New York City this week. Bertrand won Jr. NBA Skills Challenge events in Rockford and Chicago, qualifying him for a trip to New York for the national finals of the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge. Bertrand will compete against four other shooters for the right to be called national champion.
Shooting drills are a big reason why Bertrand fell in love with the sport.
"Really that you can just practice by yourself," Bertrand said. "In football you kind of have to have someone to practice. I just like shooting by myself."
After the competition, Bertrand gets to see some of the sights in New York City, then attend the NBA Draft Thursday, where he hopes to meet one of his favorite players.
"I'm a huge Nigel Hayes fan," Bertrand said. "I hope he's there. The Badgers are my favorite team."
Bertrand wasn't sure about even entering the competition. He says he finally gave in to his mom's requests to try it out, and it worked out well for the whole family.