The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced a three-year agreement with the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever to become the presenting sponsors for the boys and girls basketball state tournaments.
The Pacers and Fever are believed to be the first professional basketball franchises in the country to partner with a state high school association and its tournaments. Farm Bureau Insurance had recently dropped its partnership with the IHSAA after 30 years.
The Indianapolis Colts have sponsored the IHSAA football tournament since 2009 and have two years remaining on a three-year agreement.
“You could say they are two of the best arenas in the country for what they do,” IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox said of Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. “To play in venues like that takes a lot of revenue, so we value those relationships. We’ve been in talks for several months about a potential partnership with the Pacers and Fever, and we’re thankful for this opportunity.”
The agreement likely assures that the girls basketball finals will move back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, provided a proposal passes in May to move the girls season up a week and eliminate a conflict with the Big Ten women’s tournament. This will be the third year the finals have been played in Terre Haute, after two years in Fort Wayne.
“We’ve haven’t made that decision distinctly (to move the girls finals),” Cox said, “but this partnership allows that to occur if we can secure a different date.”
Tennis Hall of Fame
Former United States Davis Cup captain and Olympic tennis coach Tom Gullikson will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Indiana High School Tennis Hall of Fame induction dinner Friday at the Five Seasons Family Sports Club, 1300 E. 96th St.
Inductees for this year’s Indiana High School Tennis Hall of Fame will be Indianapolis Racquet Club pro Steve Wakefield, Fort Wayne Canterbury coach Jerry Gerig, Terre Haute South coach Bill Blankenbaker, former North Central High School standout Michael Hopkinson and former Evansville North standout Elissa Kim. Wakefield has been a teaching pro at the IRC since 1974 and serves as business manager there. Hopkinson won the 1989 singles state title and played at the University of Kentucky.
All-Star games to Lexington
The Bluegrass Sports Commission and Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation announced a three-year contract to move the Kentucky games in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Classic to Lexington.
The games had been played in Louisville since 2008, for four years at Bellarmine University and the past two at Freedom Hall. This year, the games will be played June 13 at Transylvania University and the next night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The All-Star series was played in Lexington in 1995 and ’96. Since then, it has bounced from Frankfort to Owensburg to Bowling Green to Louisville.
Skyler Kolli, a junior at International, was 22-for-22 from the free throw line in Saturday’s 76-64 overtime win over Anderson Prep Academy. That perfect mark is third all time behind Steve Alford 25-for-25 performance for New Castle against Broad Ripple in 1982-83 and Westview’s Gary Yoder going 25-for-25 against Fort Wayne Wayne in 1972-73. The girls record is 21-for-21 by Warsaw’s Jaclyn Leininger in 2003-04. … Marion senior James Blackmon Jr. scored 39 points in Saturday’s 80-53 win over Fort Wayne Northrop to push his career total to 2,119. Blackmon Jr. passed Alford for 25th on the state’s career scoring list. Park Tudor’s Trevon Bluiett scored 35 points in Saturday’s 74-70 loss to North Central to push his career total to 2,108, which is 28th on the all-time list. … Tech’s boys basketball team (17-2) dropped three spots to No. 9 in the MaxPreps national rankings after Saturday’s 77-71 loss to Hamilton Southeastern. Carmel (12-1) cracked the rankings at No. 25. … Scecina senior F Shannon Gavaghan reached 1,000 points in her career Saturday in a loss to Cardinal Ritter. Gavaghan scored 13 points to finish the game with 1,000. Colleen Asher holds the school record with 1,020 points. Gavaghan, who has two regular-season games left, is averaging 17.3 points and 15.4 rebounds. … Tech senior defensive end Rajshawn Mosleycommitted to Northern Illinois.