(6-14-22) This past weekend the annual Indiana-Kentucky All Star boys and girls basketball games were played…with games being held in both states. The two states love their high school basketball, those who organize the series do a lot of work during the year preparing for one of the top all star events in the country. They have survived the past several years with COVID throwing a wrench into the works but it has survived. The hard work they do is appreciated by many who follow the games.

It is an honor for those players selected to compete against the best in both states, but it seems that the new world of college basketball has stepped in to have a say on who plays and who doesn’t. The world we live in now in college and high school sports is geared in a different direction…one that sometimes tarnishes tradition.

Jenkins and Buttry

While Kentucky’s Mr. and Ms. Basketball stars, Turner Buttry and Amiya Jenkins, competed, their counterparts in Indiana sat out.

The best evidence was the reasoning for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball, Westfield’s Braden Smith, not playing in this year’s series. Smith is a commit to Purdue and will join the Boilermakers program this season.

But when the facts come out it was a decision that Smith did not make on his own –

Purdue coach Matt Painter told the Lafayette Journal & Courier

“He’s got to be healthy and that’s the one thing we have to make sure with him that we make wise decisions because he’s a competitive kid and he’ll be chomping at the bit to get back,. We have to let him understand that the games that matter are in the winter and not the summer. That’s hard to do with competitive people.”

When asked about the situation Smith said –

“I’ll warm up, I’ll work out. I just won’t go live. I feel like I can help. I’m a really good facilitator. I can pass, drive, kick, and score when I need to.”

“It sucks – 100 percent.”

Smith’s future Purdue teammate and runner-up in the Mr. Basketball selection, Homestead’s Fletcher Loyer, declined the chance to play in the games this week. No official reason was given on why he took a pass.

Also not playing in the weekend of all star games was Indiana’s Ms. Basketball Homestead’s Ayanna Patterson told the Indy Star she was unable to play due to an (unknown) injury she suffered Wednesday at an UConn practice…but returned from UConn to be part of the week…but not play:

“It was questionable for me at the beginning for me to be able to come back and play, but (UConn coach Geno Auriemma) and the whole coaching staff knew how much this meant to me and they allowed me to come back and I would have played if I was able to.”

But those stars who competed…it was a great weekend of high school basketball, great games in every one that was played. Congrats to the organizers another year to remember.

To the many who were bypassed for the game it is also a shame for them…how many of them would have dropped everything to compete in the series. Twenty years from now will be a time to look back at the decision not to play in these games. It was a shame after finishing their high school careers they missed this time to celebrate with their peers.

Lessons learned for the future…will help the games to continue.

A look at this year’s series…



Indiana All Star Game promotion of the weekend series….