Eric Gordon, called the best guard in America, and 6-6 Ta'Shia Phillips, who led her Brebeuf Prep team to an Indiana high school championship, head the team that includes 14 girls and 14 boys as they prepare for their interstate rivalry with Kentucky's best.
The just-graduated senior players were selected for the 67th annual boys All-Star team and the 32nd girls All-Star team. They will play the Kentucky high school All-Stars at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green June 16 in a girl-boy doubleheader and then repeat the competition June 23 in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
For the third consecutive year, the Indiana All-Stars will host a Mini-Clinic for area girls and boys in grades three through nine. Sponsored again this year by the BannerGraphic, there will be no charge for the camp that will be conducted by the All-Stars and the teams' six coaches.
The camp will be held Tuesday, June 12 from 1:30-3 p.m. in Lilly Center on the DePauw University campus. Campers may register the day of the free camp or, to assure a place in the camp, registrations (simply provide name and address) may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
The camp will include some fundamental drills, scrimmages, competitive shooting exercises, and other fun events. Parents and other members of the public are invited to be spectators.
The Indiana teams will report to the Walden Inn Sunday afternoon (June 10) and, along with their parents and friends, be hosted at a welcome reception sponsored by the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau headed by Karla Lawless.
The remainder of the afternoon will be devoted to getting physicals from doctors from Methodist Sports Medicine Center, getting individual and team photos, and picking up new uniforms, practice gear, Adidas shoes, All-Star T-shirts and duffel bags.
After a dinner sponsored by The Walden Inn the teams will have their first practice at Lilly Center at approximatley 7:00 p.m. The practices are open to the public without charge.
Two practices are schedule Monday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Tuesday practices will be held at 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. The teams will be guests at lunch Tuesday at the Res-Care Residential program and then participate in games and activities there with the youthful residents. This visit has become one of the most meaningful for the All-Stars during their two-week camp, according to evaluation forms completed by the Indiana teams of the past.
Tuesday night the traditional "Spirit Dinner" will be hosted by the DePauw University Student Union Food Services department. All-Stars sing, act, or perform some variety of entertainment, competing for prizes. One highly sought after prize is "The Most Unlikely to Appear on American Idol."
The Indiana teams will leave Greencastle Wednesday afternoon headed for Ellettsville, where they will play exhibition games against the Indiana Junior All-Stars on June 13 at Edgewood High School. Admission to those games is $7 with pre-school children admitted free.
Other exhibition games are scheduled against the Indiana Junior All-Star boys and girls at Mackey Arena at Purdue University Tuesday, June 19 and at the world's largest high school gymnasium at New Castle June 21.
The Indiana All-Star teams have been sponsored by The Indianapolis Star since the first team was named in 1939 with two Greencastle High School graduates on the squad. The Indiana boys have played the Kentucky All-Stars every year since except the war years of 1943 and 1944.
The Indiana girls have played Kentucky's best continuously since 1976.
The Indiana boys hold a 77-41 advantage and the Indiana girls are out front 34-28.
Tickets for the June 23 games in Indianapolis are available through Ticketmaster by calling 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.
The Indiana boys team this year includes Eric Gordon, North Central (Indiana); E'twaun Moore, E. Chicago Central (Purdue); JaJaun Johnson, Franklin Central (Purdue); Scott Martin, Valparaiso (Purdue); Jeff Teague, Pike (Wake Forest); Bryan Bouchie, Washington (Valparaiso); Ben Botts, Muncie Central (IU-PU-Fort Wayne); Zach Hahn, New Castle (Butler); Clint Hopf, Forest Park (Evansville); Eshaunte Jones, Ft. Wayne North (Indiana); Matt Howard, Connersville (Butler); Robbie Hammel, Valparaiso (Purdue); and Nate Blank, Terre Haute North (Gardner-Webb).
The Indiana girls team includes Ta'Shia Phillips, Brebeuf (Xavier); Sydney Smallbone, So. Bend St. Joseph's (Tennessee); Corie West, New Castle (Taylor); Becca Bruszewski, Wheeler (Notre Dame); Brittany Bowen, Columbus North (Butler); Kristen Dockery, So. Ben St. Joseph's (Minnesota); Jasmine Ussery, Castle (Valparaiso); Ebony Jackson, Arlington (Indiana); Sha'la Jackson, Ft. Wayne South (Illinois State); Ashley Varner, So. Bend Washington (Valparaiso); Sabrina Johnson, Jeffersonville (Xavier); Shelby Ross, Columubus East (Louisville); and Nicole James, Franklin Central (IU-PUI).
Girls coaches are Larry Pringle, Triton Central; Marty Niehaus, Forest Park; and Curt Bell, New Castle. Leading the boys team will be Mike Miller, Lawrence Central; Jerry Bomholt, Shawe Memorial; and Murray Mendenhall, Fort Wayne Wayne.
Proceeds for the Indianapolis games and other All-Star games and activities go to The Indianapolis Star's Lend A Hand Fund to help dozens of not for profit social and educational agencies.