INDIANAPOLIS — One of the top accomplishments a basketball player or coach can receive in Indiana is being selected for the Indiana All-Stars team. Two representatives from Elkhart County — Goshen senior Brynn Shoup-Hill and Northridge girls basketball coach Doug Springer — had that honor this week.
That experience ended Saturday night at Southport High School in Indianapolis, where the Indiana Senior All-Stars lost to the Kentucky Senior All-Stars, 78-76, in a dramatic contest that saw a half-court shot from Brownsburg’s Ally Becki nearly go in at the buzzer to give Indiana the win.
“It was a long week … but, overall, it was very good,” Shoup-Hill said. “It was nice to meet new players and new people that I can talk to in the future and talk to when I go to different colleges.”
“It’s the longest running all-star series in the United States, and to be with the best of Indiana this week — it was a great experience,” Springer added.
SHOUP-HILL LEARNS NEW ROLE
This past week was a new experience for the Goshen program leader in points, rebounds and blocks. Usually the star of the team, Shoup-Hill had to learn to accept a lesser role of coming off the bench.
As a Senior All-Star, Shoup-Hill played in three games: against the Indiana Junior All-Stars Wednesday, the Kentucky All-Stars in Owensboro, Kentucky Friday and then Saturday’s game at Southport. In Wednesday’s 94-69 win for the seniors over the juniors, Shoup-Hill played 12 minutes and 11 seconds, scoring five points, hauling in three rebounds and a block.
In Friday’s 69-58 win over Kentucky in the Bluegrass State, Shoup-Hill just played 5:07, scoring two points with two rebounds.
Saturday saw Shoup-Hill play two different stretches of the game. She came into the game with exactly 9:00 left in the second quarter, grabbing a rebound and attempting two shots in a 5:41 stretch.
She then came in with 8:01 to go in the final frame, scoring a layup with 7:17 to go — the first Indiana points of the quarter following an 11-0 start to the period from Kentucky. Shoup-Hill then blocked a shot with 6:06 remaining before being subbed out at the 3:04 mark.
In total, Shoup-Hill played 10:38 Saturday with two points, one rebound and a blocked shot.
“Finding my role and utilizing it the best I can,” said Shoup-Hill is what she learned the most this week. “I know I’m not going to be able to do everything I did at Goshen because I’ll have other players around me. I need to specialize in a couple of different things and do the best I can with the minutes I get.”
Although she wanted to play more, Shoup-Hill said this experience will help her when she’s playing at Dayton University in the winter.
“It was a little bit of an adjustment (not playing as much), but I enjoyed watching and I enjoyed learning from the players during practice,” Shoup-Hill said. “It’s good preparation for when I go to Dayton. I know I’m not going to play the minutes I played at Goshen while at Dayton, so it was a good starter for when I go there.”
SPRINGER LIVES OUT DREAM
Doug Springer always wanted to be an Indiana All-Star player growing up.
“I was never good enough to be one as an athlete,” Springer quipped.
Springer got the next-best experience with it this week, serving as an assistant coach for the girls team. Bedford North Lawrence’s Jeff Allen was the head coach, with Noblesville’s Donna Buckley serving as the other assistant.
Springer was the first girls basketball coach from an Elkhart County school to be a coach in any capacity with the Senior All-Stars. Concord’s Jim Hahn was the head boys coach in 1991.
“Jeff Allen is a tremendous coach, but he’s an even better man,” said Springer of his peers. “Just a man of character, and I was able to learn from him and pick his brain. And, obviously, Donna Buckley from Noblesville — her and I go way, way back, just for the fact that our teams have competed against each other. So, for us to spend the week and try to help these girls, it was a great experience.”
Being able to represent Michiana was also a big deal for Springer. Along with him and Shoup-Hill, Penn’s Kaitlyn Costner was on the Senior team.
“I sent out a tweet: we were (representing) the 574,” Springer said. “To really get to know both of those girls — I really made it a point to go each individual girl and just thank them for allowing me to be a part of the week and make it fun for me. … I told (Shoup-Hill and Costner) that thank goodness I was finally on the same team with them.”
Getting to work with not only Shoup-Hill and Costner, but the whole team of All-Stars was a new learning experience for Springer, who will enter his 15th season with Northridge and 18th as a head coach overall this winter.
“What I tried to do was I tried to relationship build this week,” Springer said. “I tried to get to know each of the girls as quickly as I could, learn their body language, learn what made them tick a little bit. … What I take away from this is just the fact that, through the game of basketball, it’s all about relationships. To be able to be with them and to just talk with them and learn a little bit about them — I’m going to take that away.”