A few weeks ago, Heritage Christian hosted Indiana’s best girls high school basketball players.  Seniors from around the state matriculated to the capital city’s northeast side to be led in drills by HCS’s Rick Risinger at the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Girls Top 60 Workout.  Katyln Gilbert and Hadassah Harris were there representing the Eagles and the Circle City Conference.

This event, in its 38th year, serves several purposes.  For some, it is one last chance to showcase their skills to college coaches.  For others, it’s a fun opportunity to compete against the state’s best.  For the top players, it is an open audition for the Indiana All-Star team and possibly the title of Ms. Basketball.

As one would assume, it is quite the honor to be included in such esteemed company.  Many of the young women taking part in this open audition for Indiana’s All-Star team had already signed with big-name programs such as Michigan, Iowa, and Purdue.

The magnitude of the moment and opportunity was not lost on Gilbert or Harris.

“Being invited means a lot,” shared Gilbert.  “I’ve been working out ever since I was a young girl.  To know that I am in the top 60 of Indiana is pretty good.  After all, this is THE basketball state!”

“Being able to participate was an honor, and I was truly blessed to be invited,” said Harris.  “The competition was tough, but that’s what this sport is all about. So, it was a joy getting to compete and workout with the best.”

Harris is coming off of a senior campaign during which she averaged over 10 points per game and shot over 40% from behind the three-point line.  During the Top 60 event, she showcased the ability to both create her own offense and distribute the ball effectively against the highest level of competition.

None of this came as a surprise to anyone who has followed her over the last two years.  Her selections as a first-team All-City and All-Conference player are a testament to her abilities.

Speaking of accolades, Gilbert has received her share of them over the course of the year.  Most recently, she was named a McDonald’s High School All-American, member of the Indiana All-Star team, and a finalist for Ms. Basketball.

When asked about representing her state against Kentucky, Gilbert offered, “It’s a dream come true.  A lot my dreams have been coming true lately!”

One of those dreams was to attend Notre Dame, which she will be doing in the fall.  Although she received a substantial amount of interest from other schools, there was little doubt about where she would end up.

“I always thought about it when I was younger,” explained Gilbert.  “It is my dream school.  To have this opportunity is really a blessing.”

While excited about the future, both young women are very thankful for their experience at Heritage Christian School.

“I learned how truly to glorify God while playing basketball here.  I will take the things I learned here with me for the rest of my life,” said Gilbert.

“The way HCS makes everything family oriented and faith-based is very unique, and the atmosphere that is set is often hard to find,” Harris attested.  “HCS and Coach Risinger taught me to glorify God, play hard, and have fun.  Those lessons apply not only to basketball but everyday life.”

Coach Risinger will miss these two leaders as well.

“These two top conference players, Katlyn Gilbert and Hadassah Harris, have been special players for Heritage Christian. They are outstanding players both on and off the court,” the seven-time state champion coach complimented.  “It was a pleasurable to watch them participate on the Top 60 workout.”

The event served as one last opportunity for these talented young women to play on their home court at HCS.  We look forward to following them as they move on to their next home courts and beyond.

P.S. A quick word of thanks from Hadassah and Katlyn

Hadassah – I would like to say thank you to my parents especially and family members that supported me throughout my high school years. I would also like to thank the coaching staff for helping me to become a better player and person. Lastly I just want to thank God for everyone that He has placed in my life.

Katlyn – Thanks to everyone that’s coached me so far.  Thanks to my Midwest League coaches and Coach Risinger, who I have been around for 8 years now.  Thanks to my first school coach, Ms. Williams.  I want to thank them for everything they have done for me.  They are a big part of where I am today.  I also want to thank all of my teammates and trainers, especially Derek Grant and Sherman Williams.