Heading to Purdue in the fall, this 6-1 guard is in the running for Indiana's Miss Basketball.
Indiana has a long tradition of producing outstanding high school hoopsters, including Stephanie White-McCarty and Shanna Zolman. At the top of this year's senior class is Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove High School. Last year, the 6-1 guard led the Hornets to a 17-5 record, and this year hopes to take the team deep into sectionals during the postseason.
Last season, Gearlds averaged 26.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 4.1 steals per game, bringing her three-year high school scoring total to 1647 points. She's racked up a bunch of honors, including being named to this year's Super 25 list in USA Today, and garnering the Indianapolis Star's Super Team Player of the Year award.
"She's been a sheer delight to coach," Beech Grove Head Coach Dawn McNew said of Gearlds in the Indy Star. "She can do it all. She's just an extremely knowledgeable player. That's what makes her exceptional."
Gearlds also was lauded by opposing coaches. "She is like Magic Johnson," Alexandria High School Head Coach Jon Howell said. "She is that type of player. And she adds that lethal weapon of scoring to the mix."
Also compared to Katie Douglas, Gearlds has kept busy during the summer. She was named Most Valuable Player of the 2002 AAU National Championships after leading Indiana's Finest Black Cats to the title last July. She also was one of 48 high school players invited to participate in the 2002 USA Basketball Women's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo.
A year ago, Gearlds made a verbal commitment to attend Purdue University. "I really wanted to get it out of the way and I knew that Purdue is where I really wanted to go," she said at Colorado Springs. "The coaching staff there is like no other coaching staff that I talked to. I mean, no disrespect to any other school, but the Purdue coaches were awesome. Plus, it is close to home and I just think it is perfect for me."
In November, Gearlds signed her Letter of Intent to attend Purdue, where she'll play for Head Coach Kristy Curry. "Katie is one of the most versatile athletes I have ever witnessed," Curry said. "She has a tremendous amount of talent and can dominate a game in any number of ways. But the best thing about her is that she is a consummate team player. She will do whatever is necessary to win."
Article written by Gball Associate Editor Jim Catalano.
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