Three Hamilton County boys basketball players and a coach were among a list of Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Top 60 senior boys’ basketball players for 2020-21 as compiled by Hoosier Basketball Magazine. These boys were selected from approximately 1,500 senior players statewide. This event will be at Marian University in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Representing Hamilton County will be Gus Etchison from Hamilton Heights, Brian Waddell from state champion Charmel and Hamilton Southeastern’s Vinny Buccilla. One of the coaches involved is Chad Ballenger from Hamilton Heights.
Along with Carmel’s Waddell, the list is highlighted by 13 players who participated in the 2021 IHSAA State Finals on Saturday, including seven state champions— Brycen Graber and Curt Hopf (Class A - Barr-Reeve), Zane Burke and Caleb Furst (AA - Fort Wayne Blackhawk), Kooper Jacobi and Trey Kaufman-Renn (AAA - Silver Creek). Selected from runner-up teams are Cale and Cole Wireman (Class A - Kouts), Connor Davis (AA - Parke Heritage), Blake Davison (AAA - Leo) along with Shamar Avance and DJ Hughes (AAAA - Lawrence North). Unfortunately, because of spring break conflicts a few of these players are selected, but unable to attend. They include Davison and future Purdue Boilermakers Furst and Kaufman-Renn.
The top two scorers in the state are also featured in the Top 60 Workout. They are Jalen Blackmon, Marion (33.5 ppg) who will attend Division I Grand Canyon and Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jeff (32.7), who will play in the Big Ten at Northwestern. Two more high scorers are also signees with the University of Notre Dame. They are JR Konieczny, South Bend St. Joe (28.6 ppg) and Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley (27.1).
More Division I talent that will be headed to in-state colleges include Payton Sparks, Winchester (Ball State) and Blake Sisley, Heritage Hills (Evansville) along with three Bulter recruits— Hughes, Lawrence North and Jayden Taylor, Perry Meridian and Pierce Thomas, Brownsburg. Other Division I players on display at the Top 60 Workout will be Jacobi, Silver Creek (Toledo), Darrell Reed, Hammond (Alabama State), Christopher Mantis, Lowell (Appalachian State), Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights (Western Michigan), Langdon "LT" Hatton, North Harrison (William & Mary) along with three US Military Academy commits— Blake Barker, Columbus North (Army - West Point) plus Vincent Brady, Indianapolis Cathedral (Air Force Academy) and Jake Heidbreder, Floyd Central (Air Force Academy).
Statistical evaluation, game observation and statewide research were conducted throughout the season to determine Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Top 60. Two sessions of the Top 60 Senior Workout will be hosted on Sunday by Hoosier Basketball Magazine, in conjunction with the IHSAA and the IBCA, at Marian University in Indianapolis (3200 N. Cold Spring Road).
Boys primarily from Northern and Southern Indiana will participate in the first session (1-3 p.m.). The remaining players, mostly from Central Indiana, will compete during the second session (3:30-5:30 p.m.).
Coach Steve Lynch (Brownsburg) will direct both sessions. Four other outstanding IBCA coaches — Chad Ballenger (Hamilton Heights), Chad Johnston (South Bend Adams), Rich Schelsky (Parke Heritage) and Kendall Wildey (South Decatur) — have been invited to assist with on-court coaching.
Both sessions are open to the public for admission fee of $8 ($5 for students).