Rising Senior Academy selects Kessinger; Kolkmeier to coach
The NHSBCA Rising Senior Academy will be July 13 through 15 at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
Staged by the National High School Basketball Coaches Association, the competition will feature nine teams of basketball seniors-to-be from five states.
This is the second year for the event, and there is a girls’ division added this year. Plans are for the event to grow to include additional states.
Squads representing Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin will take part in the event, which includes four games for each team, a skills competition and off-court sessions for the teams. Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin will field boys’ and girls’ teams; Washington is bringing only a boys’ team.
Corydon Central’s Bronson Kessinger, coming off an appearance with the Indiana Junior All-stars, is slated to participate.
Teams will arrive on Sunday with activities including an opening ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle followed by a social gathering. Educational sessions will include speakers such as Paul Biancardi, Ira Childress and Bob Lovell.
Biancardi, a former head coach at Wright State University and assistant at several schools, is the director of recruiting for ESPN.com. He will provide perspective about the state of the game to the players.
Childress, a former Ferris State University football player who has worked for the NCAA, is an athletic director at a Michigan high school. He will talk to the players about the use of social media.
Lovell, an Indiana radio personality, is a former Horizon League administrator as well as basketball coach at IUPUI and Franklin College. He will discuss the recruiting process as outlined in his book, ‘Recruiting Game Changers: Taking Control of Your Recruiting.’
On-court activity on Monday and Tuesday will include a skills development session directed by Brett Ledbetter, a skills competition and four games for each team. All games will be played at Ben Davis (in the main gym, the freshman center or the multipurpose facility).
The Indiana boys’ squad will feature 12 players, including Penn’s Jordan Geist and Brownsburg’s K.J. Walton, both Junior All-star core group players last month. The squad will be coached by Corydon Central’s Jamie Kolkmeier, who was the Junior All-star coach. He will be assisted by Hamilton Heights’ Chad Ballenger and Perry Meridian’s Brent Keck.
Other headliners include Iowa first-team all-stater Erich Erdman of Forest City; Ohio first-team all-state player MaCio Teague of Cincinnati Walnut Hills and Division IV co-Player of the Year David Dennis Jr. of Harvest Prep; Washington All-state selection Brent Wood of Toledo; and Wisconsin All-state picks Matt Heldt of Neenah and Kyle Monroe of Ashwaubenon.
The Indiana girls’ squad is comprised of 11 players, including Lawrence North’s Lamina Cooper, Merrillville’s Victoria Gaines, Bedford North Lawrence’s Dominque McBryde and Evansville Mater Dei’s Tori Schickel from the Junior All-star core group. The team will be coached by Pat McKee of Columbus North, Lisa Blalock of Muncie Central and Ron Patberg of Columbus North.
Top girls’ players on out-of-state squads include Iowa first-team all-state choices Rose Simon-Ressler of Western Dubuque, Andrea Larson of Mediapolis and Nicole Miller of North Linn; Ohio all-state picks Kendall McCoy of Sylvania Northview and Shannon Coffee of Centerville; and Wisconsin first-team All-state selections Frankie Wurtz of Kimberly, Taylor Hodell of D.C. Everest and Shakeela Fowler of Milwaukee King.
Admission will be $10 for a one-day pass or $15 for a two-day pass. The on-court action will begin at 9 a.m. Monday with the skills competitions. The first round of games will follow at 9:50.
Indiana team roster
Boys: Gary Bonds, Indianapolis Scecina; Adam Eberhard, Evansville Memorial; Jordan Geist, Penn; Brennan Gillis, Ben Davis; Drew Hackett, Munster; Matt Holba, Guerin Catholic; Bronson Kessinger, Corydon Central; Sean McDermott, Pendleton Heights; Joel Okafor, Richmond; Chris Palombizio, Chesterton; Tahjai Teague, Pike; K.J. Walton, Brownsburg. Coaches: Jamie Kolkmeier, Corydon Central; Chad Ballenger, Hamilton Heights; Brent Keck, Perry Meridian.
Girls: Alexa Bailey, Bedford North Lawrence; Lamina Cooper, Lawrence North; Olivia Crozier, Madison; Josie Fisher, Homestead; Jordyn Frantz, NorthWood; Victoria Gaines, Merrillville; Darby Maggard, Fort Wayne Canterbury; Dominique McBryde, Bedford North Lawrence; Tiara Murphy, South Bend Washington; Tori Schickel, Evansville Mater Dei; Brittany Ward, Pike.
Coaches: Pat McKee, Columbus North; Lisa Blalock, Muncie Central; Ron Patberg, Columbus North.