INDIANAPOLIS – Kyle Mangas will pick up his diploma from WCHS Friday night.
The former Tiger basketball star will then turn all of his attention to picking up two more things over the weekend.
Namely a pair of wins over rival Kentucky.
Mangas will look to help the Indiana All-Star team continue its domination of the best from the Bluegrass State in the annual two-game clash.
Indiana has won 16 straight games on the boys’ side of the longtime series. It’s a fact not lost on Mangas, or his All-Star teammates either for that matter.
“We know how important the streak is and we want to keep it going,” noted Mangas during a phone interview from All-Star camp at Marian University on Wednesday. “We don’t want to be the team that has the streak end.
“I think everyone here knows that it’s 16 in a row that Indiana has won. It’s definitely important to us to get two wins this weekend.”
Mangas is enjoying the final week of his high school career in a camp filled with hoops, hoops and more hoops.
“I’ve really liked it so far,” said Mangas of his All-Star experience. “It’s been pretty much what I thought it would be. It’s been pretty much basketball all the time and I’m perfectly fine with that.
“I really like the guys and it’s been cool to get to hang out with them. I pretty much knew all of them coming into this from being on the Junior All-Stars last year.”
Mangas earned his way on to the 13-member All-Star squad after a stellar senior season. The 6-3 guard averaged 22.6 points-per-game and led the Tigers in virtually every statistical category, including rebounds, assists, steals and 3-pointers. He led coach Doug Ogle’s team to its second straight Class 4-A sectional championship and then scored a career-high 47 points in a 61-59 double-overtime win over East Chicago Central in a regional semifinal contest.
The selfless and quiet Mangas, whose high school career was defined by his consistency and clutch performances, has had no trouble fitting in with his more “high profile” teammates.
“It’s not been hard to fit in,” said Mangas. I’m just trying to take my opportunities as they come and make the most of them.”
Mangas, whose teams went 61-17 in his three seasons as a starter, became the 11th All-Star in Warsaw basketball history and the first since Nic Moore in 2011. He finished fourth in program history with 1,450 career points, trailing only Mr. Basketball winners Jeff Grose and Kevin Ault and runner-up Moore. Ault ranks first with 2,028, followed by Moore (1,891) and Grose (1,749).
Mangas turned in a strong effort Tuesday night as the All-Stars lost 122-110 to the Junior All-Stars in an exhibition game in New Albany. He had 10 points on 4-5 shooting (including 2-2 on threes), to go with three rebounds and two assists. He also had a dunk in his 15 minutes of action.
“I thought that I played pretty well Tuesday night,” said Mangas. “I think these two games (they play another exhibition game Thursday night at Plainfield) will prepare us a lot for the games with Kentucky. I think that we will get better. We just need to work on our shot selection and our defense, especially containing dribble penetration.”
Mangas was the Ink Free News Player of the Year for the second straight year following his senior season. He was also an All-Northern Lakes Conference pick three times and earned Academic All-State First Team honors as well in 2017.
The Indiana All-Stars will host Kentucky Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with the girls game at 5 p.m. and the boys slated for 7 p.m. The teams will then meet at the Civic Center in Frankfort, Ky. on Sunday with games scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m.
Mangas believes that this experience will benefit him as he moves forward and takes his game to the next level at NAIA power Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.
“I definitely think that getting the experience of playing at a high level with and against the great competition here will help me in the long run,” concluded Mangas.