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Debra Walker (left) and her daughter, Keeley display their Knights of Columbus Free Throw awards. Debra is holding her Regional and State trophies, while Keeley is holding her first-place plaques.  She won first place in 2010 as an 11-year-old, and the following year as a 12-year-old. Submitted photo.

Like mother, like daughter

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In the case of one, particular family from West Fargo, the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.

In 1976, when Debra Walker was 11 years old, she brought home a first-place trophy from the state Knights of Columbus Free Throw competition in Bismarck.

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Thirty-five years later, her daughter duplicated the feat: twice.

Keeley Walker, 12, is a two-time Knights of Columbus Free Throw champion, having won last year and this year. She was unable to compete in the district competition in 2010 because of a snowstorm, and also missed 2011 because of a team basketball tournament running at the same time.

The elder Walker took her award by first advancing from regional competition in Edgeley, N.D. At state in Bismarck, she went 31-for-50 to tie with another competitor, she said. The two were forced into a 10-shot shoot-off, with Debra Walker chosen to go first.

"I was extremely nervous, but made my first shot, then continued to make each shot until I finally missed the 10th shot," she said.

Her competitor missed her first two, thus eliminating her from the competition and leaving Debra Walker as the sole winner.

"After I received my trophy, my dad drove me and my family to a toy store in Bismarck,, and told me to pick out anything I wanted as a prize from my family," she said. "I chose a large, stuffed bear that I still have today."

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