INDIANAPOLIS – The 2017 edition of the IndyStar Indiana Girls All-Star Basketball Team unfortunately does not have a local player on its star-studded roster.
The stellar squad though does boast quite the local connection.
Karissa McLaughlin, who helped lead Homestead to a Class 4-A state championship last month, is one of 13 senior players statewide tabbed for the team announced Wednesday.
McLaughlin, an oustanding guard, is the daughter of Bert and Sheila McLaughlin. Her mother Sheila (Whitaker) was a player at WCHS. Father Bert was a standout player at Grace College from 1993-97, where he scored 1,804 career points to rank 14th all-time in program history. McLaughlin was also on the coaching staff for Doug Ogle’s junior varsity team at WCHS in 1997-98 and went on to serve as the head girls basketball coach at Churubusco, Central Noble and East Noble.
Karissa McLaughlin, who averaged 25.9 points and 5.6 assists per game her senior season, scored 29 points in a 61-54 win over Pike in the Class 4-A state title game. Homestead beat Northridge in the North Semistate to earn a spot in the state championship contest.
McLaughlin had originally signed to play at Florida, but now is reopening her recruitment according to reports after Amanda Butler was fired on Monday after 10 seasons as the Florida coach. McLaughlin, who is considered the favorite to win the Miss Basketball Award when it’s announced in April, chose Florida in October of 2015 over offers from Indiana, Purdue, Iowa State and Pittsburgh.
The All-Star squad will also have a familiar face helping guide it. Michelle Harter, who just announced on Wednesday that she has resigned as the WCHS girls basketball coach, will be one of two assistant coaches for the team. Harter, a former standout player at Wawasee High School and Huntington University, won two Class 4-A sectional titles and a pair of Northern Lakes Conference championships in her nine seasons as the Warsaw head coach.
The All-Star team is slated to play a pair of exhibition games versus the Indiana Junior All-Stars on June 6 and 8 at locations to be determined. The team will face Kentucky in the annual two-game series on June 10 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and June 11 at Central Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Curt Benge of Plainfield will serve as head coach of the All-Star unit with Harter and Vince Cerbone of Martinsville serving as assistant coaches.
Nicole Konieczny, who helped lead South Bend St. Joseph to the Class 3-A state title, is also one of the All-Star selections. The 5-9 guard, who averaged 14.4 points-per-game this season, will play at Valparaiso University.
The All-Star team also includes Gary West guard Dana Evans, the state’s top scorer at 35.8 points-per-game. Evans will play at Louisville.
Homestead guard Madisen Parker, who is bound for Bowling Green, is also a member of the team. Parker, whose father Rod is the girls coach at Homestead, earned the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award for Class 4-A following her team’s state championship game victory.
The Homestead team had four players this season whose fathers are coaches or former coaches. That list also included senior Jazmyne Geist, whose father Scott was the girls basketball coach at Elkhart Memorial as well as an assistant coach at both NorthWood and Penn.
The winner of the 2017 Miss Basketball Award is set to be announced on April 27. That honor is selected through a balloting process of coaches and media overseen by game organizers from the IBCA. The remainder of the team is finalized by All-Star game director Charlie Hall after observing numerous games and events throughout the season, conferring with coaches, school officials and media across the state and reviewing votes submitted by coaches and media who each can recommend up to 12 players.
2017 IndyStar Indiana Girls All-Stars