Five area ballers have been chosen as first-team Academic All-State.

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) announced the 75 high school seniors — 39 girls and 36 boys — who received the honor Wednesday, which incudes Noblesville’s Emily Kiser, Hamilton Heights’ Kayla Kirtey, Tomi Taiwo of Carmel, Jeremy Szilagy of Fishers and Guerin Catholic’s Jack Hansen and Zach Munson.

"The quality of these student-athletes shows that success in academics and success in athletics are not separate entities," said IBCA executive director Steve Witty in a press release. "Rather, in many cases, a player's success in the classroom directly contributes to his or her success on the floor.”

In addition, 181 more boys and 174 more girls were recognized as honorable mention Academic All-State for 2018 — and there’s a local flavor to that list, too.

On the boys side: Jalen Whack (Carmel), Josh VanDyke (Westfield), Drew Thieme (Guerin), Nick Bowman (Hamilton Southeastern), Dawson Phifer and Max Beale (Hamilton Heights), and Foster Flamion, Josh Watson, David Howard and Zack Hodgin (University) all received recognition.

Notable honorable mention on the girls side: Audrey Reed and Nixon Williams (Sheridan), Casey Walker, Ali Gerka and Lauren Emmerson (Fishers), Megan Rops, Annabelle O’Hair and Sophia Kreag (Westfield), and Danielle Mason, Carly Hammons, Grace Hackett, Alexandra Foerder and Sophia Fernandez (Guerin).

The IBCA Academic All-State team is a program where academic and athletic prowess both are considered in the teams’ selections, the press release read. Items such as grade-point average, college board scores and academic class rank are looked at, along with athletic performance in areas such as points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.

IBCA-member head coaches from schools across the state can nominate their seniors who meet criteria that include a 3.5 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale, a class rank in the upper 25 percent of one's class, an SAT score of 1,100 (on the reading and math sections) or an ACT score of 24.

Recipients receive certificates from the IBCA that are distributed to coaches at the IBCA Spring Clinic on April 20-21 in Indianapolis. The coaches then present the certificates to the honored players after they return from the clinic.

The IBCA has selected an Academic All-State team for boys since 1973. The program was expanded to include a girls' Academic All-State team in 1980.