A big week for Crown Point’s Grant Gelon concluded Sunday with Indiana coach Tom Crean watching him courtside at the Adidas Invitational.
Gelon’s Indiana Elite Central 2016 team lost, 71-69, to King James-OV in the semifinals of the 17U platinum bracket after a 45-foot heave by Muncie Central’s Andre Jones bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
After the game, the 6-5 Gelon picked up his first Division I offer, from Western Michigan. His Indiana Elite coach, Kristof Kendrick, confirmed after the game that Crean planned to track Gelon the rest of the month of July.
Gelon was limited to five points in Indiana Elite’s loss on Sunday. But in the previous six tournament games, the Crown Point standout made 25-for-47 (53 percent) from the 3-point line and averaged a team-leading 14.7 points. Hunter Crist (15-for-28) of Hamilton Heights also shot the ball well from the 3-point line for Indiana Elite.
Gelon had previously listed Denver, Furman, Illinois State, Iona, IUPUI, Montana State and Youngstown State as schools that had showed interest. Add Indiana to the mix and probably several others.
• Tipton’s Mason Degenkolb finished with 13 points in Indiana Elite Central’s semifinal loss, concluding a strong tournament. But Degenkolb injured his left knee late in the game, collapsing under the basket after a steal and attempted layup.
The 6-foot Degenkolb was helped off the court and did not return. He was headed to see a doctor as he left North Central with his family on Sunday.
• Cathedral guard Jordan Walker showed off his athleticism on a few occasions in the Adidas Invitational. His team, the Eric Gordon Central Stars, saw its tournament end with a loss to Indiana Elite Central on Saturday.
Walker, a 6-1 guard, has interest from a number of Division I programs and has offers from Cornell and Wisconsin-Green Bay though Ball State, Indiana State, Valparaiso, Illinois-Chicago, Morehead State, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Missouri State have all been tracking him.
“As long as I keep playing hard, I think everything will take care of itself,” Walker said of his recruitment. “Coaches like that I’m athletic and have a body to be a player as a freshman. I get up and play ‘D’ and play hard. I’m a good leader, too.”
Walker said his goals for the rest of the month are to show good decision-making and playmaking ability at the point guard spot. He’d like to visit Ball State, Indiana State, Morehead State and Valpo after July but hasn’t yet set any visits.
• Reggie Tharp, an IUPUI recruit, played one of his better tournament games for Indiana Elite Central in its semifinal loss on Sunday. Tharp, a 5-10 guard from Fort Wayne Concordia, scored nine of his 11 points in the second half as Indiana Elite nearly rallied from a double-digit deficit.
“It was a good weekend for us,” Tharp said. “We really played well together. It was our first tournament back but it felt like we picked up where we left off. We were moving the ball and play together as a team.”
Tharp committed to IUPUI in the spring and has been working on other in-state players about taking a closer look at the Jaguars.
“I’m excited,” he said. “What stood out to me most was that the coaching staff was at my high school games in the front row and checking on me every day. They felt like part of my family.”
Tharp said playing through July already having committed is like “having house money.”
“I can play free without worrying too much,” he said.
Tharp said his goals for his senior year are to bring a state title to Fort Wayne Concordia and to earn a spot on the IndyStar Indiana All-Star team.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.