FORT WAYNE – Not too long after the ball passes through the basket, the celebration/recognition is on.
So when a player goes over 1,000 points for a career, it is a big deal.
And reaching such heights in a career is still a rarity.
A typical high school player has around 90 games to score 1,000 points. That means, provided he or she plays every game, the player would have to average around 11 points per game.
A freshman is lucky to get on the court much his or her first year, let alone average in double figures, so getting to 1,000 is not an easy task.
At least eight boys and girls from northeast Indiana have reached the plateau and four more might join that club by season’s end.
There are the rare players who get to 2,000 points, such as Whitko’s Logan Irwin last year. There are even those who get to 3,000, such as Bishop Luers’ Deshaun Thomas three years ago. But only four players in state history have gotten to that milestone.
Two of them, Thomas and Wawasee’s Shanna Zolman, hailed from this area .
Kem Zolman, Wawasee’s girls basketball coach and Shanna’s father, saw one of his star pupils go over the 1,000-point mark – senior KiLee Knafel in 2011.
Knafel could become the school’s second all-time leading girls scorer.
And seeing as Shanna Zolman, the former Miss Basketball, McDonald’s All-American and Tennessee standout, is the No. 2 all-time scorer in Indiana high school basketball, boys or girls, with 3,085 points, Knafel’s milestones are pretty impressive.
Only three Wawasee girls players have gone over 1,000 career points.
But for the mere mortal stars, 1,000 career points will have to suffice.
(It’s) a direct reflection of a work ethic that no one else sees, Kem Zolman said. (It’s about) how they were able to reach that based on teammates, and the hours in a hot gym shooting, making moves in order to shoot, working on ball handling and so forth.
The work put in then translates for a coach to work an offense around that player as a reward for all the work put in and it is noticed, plus we know they can score.
Said Homestead girls coach Rod Parker: In order to reach this milestone, you have had to be a successful scorer for multiple years during your high school career. In other words, that player has made a significant impact to their program for 3-4 years.
Aaron McClure, the boys coach at Adams Central, had Maverick Baumer come close to the milestone a year ago, and another, senior Dalton Combs, could get there by season’s end.
I do believe this mark is significant for a couple reasons, McClure said.
First, it signifies that a player has probably been consistent over the course of their career. Second, it also will usually signify team success as the more games you play, the more points you score.