Three former IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball winners and three former IndyStar Indiana Miss Basketball honorees will take part in an All-Star signing event at 4 p.m. June 10 in the pavilion area of Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Those set to take part in this signing event are Larry Humes, 1962 Mr. Basketball from Madison; Denny Brady, 1964 Mr. Basketball from Lafayette Jeff; Billy Keller, 1965 Mr. Basketball from Indianapolis Washington; Judi Warren, 1976 Miss Basketball from Warsaw; Lisa Winter Finn, 1996 Miss Basketball from Huntington North; and Lisa Shepherd-Stidham, 1997 Miss Basketball from Richmond.
The signing event brings a "past element" to the 2023 Indiana All-Star itinerary, which is spotlighting Indiana's best from the past, present and future.
The present is the 2023 IndyStar Indiana senior All-Stars, who will take part in a trio of doubleheaders. They will play June 7 against the Indiana Junior All-Stars at Indianapolis Cathedral (girls at 6 p.m., boys about 8 p.m.) as well as a pair of encounters against the Kentucky senior All-Stars -- June 9 in the Owensboro Sportscenter (girls at 5:30 p.m. CDT, boys about 7:30 p.m. CDT) and June 10 in Gainbridge Fieldhouse (girls at 5 p.m. EDT, boys about 7:30 p.m. EDT).
The future includes both the Junior All-Stars, who play a pair of doubleheaders, as well as the inaugural All-Stars Futures Games. The Juniors face Kentucky on Sunday, June 4 (girls at 2 p.m., boys about 4 p.m.) at Jeffersonville and the Seniors on June 7 at Indianapolis Cathedral. And the new Futures Games doubleheader is a curtain-raising set of contests on June 10 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, girls at noon and boys at 2 p.m.
Rosters for all those games previously have been announced.
The IndyStar Indiana All-Stars are presented by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. The Indianapolis Star is the title sponsor of the Indiana All-Stars. Hoosier Shooting Academy is a presenting partner of All-Star Week (June 4-10). Energy Systems Group is a presenting partner of the June 10 senior doubleheader against Kentucky.
The first 500 fans to attend the All-Stars' signing event will receive a complementary poster that features Humes, Brady, Keller, Warren, Winter Finn and Shepherd-Stidham. In conjunction with their appearance at the signing event, the six former Indiana No. 1 players shared memories of their All-Star experiences.
In the 1962 All-Star games, Humes excelled as Indiana split two games with Kentucky. He scored 21 points with 10 rebounds on 9-of-12 shooting and was named the “Star of Stars” as Indiana prevailed 88-82 in Louisville. A week later, he totaled 19 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-14 shooting but Kentucky claimed a 70-68 decision in Indianapolis.
“The crowds at Freedom Hall (12,000) and Butler Fieldhouse (14,719) were unbelievable,” Humes said. “The competition and the makeup of the teams, those also are strong memories. The games were competitive, and there were a lot of great players on both teams. To win the Star of Stars, that was important to me.”
As for being voted Mr. Basketball, Humes said the title was special for multiple reasons.
“It’s the greatest honor a youngster in the state of Indiana ever could dream about,” he said. “I felt like I was branded with it for the rest of my life in the sense that I had to work hard to live up to the recognition that goes with the award. It really served as a great motivation for me when I was younger because it was the first truly big honor I had received. All of a sudden, I realized I had a lot to live up to.
“Being Mr. Basketball, it’s a special fraternity you’re in for the rest of your life. You have to live up to it.”
In the 1964 All-Star games, Brady scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting in a 68-59 first-game setback against Kentucky and its Mr. Basketball – future college and pro standout Wes Unseld – in front of 15,700 fans in Freedom Hall. A week later, however, Brady tallied a team-high 12 points on 4-of-7 field goals and 4-of-6 free throws as Indiana recovered for a 68-54 triumph before a crowd of 13,093 in Butler Fieldhouse.
“What I remember most about the games was how big the Kentucky team was and how much better we were even though we lost to them at Kentucky,” Brady said. “I also remember that off the court there many things for us to do, the most exciting of which was getting to drive around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Brady described his selection as Mr. Basketball as a bonus.
“Being named Mr. Basketball was like icing on the cake after winning the (1964) state tournament,” he said. “It was quite a surprise as our coach (Marion Crawley) never talked about any of us being an All-Star. But when it happened, he told me it was well deserved.”
Indiana dropped both games to Kentucky in 1965, but Keller gave his all despite the results. He tallied 12 points and two rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting in a 90-80 opening loss in front of 11,109 fans in Butler Fieldhouse. A week later, Keller scored 20 points with four rebounds while hitting 6-of-15 field goals and 8-of-9 free throws in a 74-69 setback before a crowd of 15,800 in Freedom Hall.
“Kentucky had more size than we did, but the games were close and a no-foul-out rule allowed one of their key players (Tom Hagan) to stay in there,” Keller recalled, noting that Hagan scored 22 in each game but would have fouled out of the second game had conventional rules been used. “What I remember most was the fun we all had. We all had an opportunity to get to know one another at dinners and (off-court) events. Because the games were played to benefit the Blind Fund, that was an important part, too.”
Keller contributed to the All-Stars again in 1979 when he served as head coach of the Indiana girls’ team. His connection to the All-Stars remains current as his grandson, Luke Almodovar of Noblesville, is a member of this year’s boys’ team. Keller remains proud that Indiana Mr. Basketball is among the titles he earned in his career.
“Most people, when they talk to me about awards or accomplishments, it usually is about the Pacers,” he said “Fewer people talk about NCAA honors and fewer yet talk about high school.
“But Mr. Basketball, that really means something to people of Indiana because we are a basketball state. Then when you look at a list of the Mr. Basketball winners, all the great players who came before and the great players who came after, to be in with all those tremendous players, it is such an honor. It is an honor that stays with you. You carry the name of Mr. Basketball everywhere you go in life.”
Warren totaled 16 points, three rebounds and three assists on 7-9 shooting in the first girls’ All-Star game, a 59-48 loss to Kentucky in front of 15,780 fans in Freedom Hall. She followed with 11 points, five rebounds and six assists on 3-of-9 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws as Indiana prevailed 68-55 in the rematch before 17,426 in Market Square Arena.
“I remember just how fun it was to play with the high-quality players,” Warren said. “We had some other good players in high school, but the All-Stars had a whole team full of good players. I also remember the time at the hotel, the practices, the facilities and how close we became in those two weeks. There are several players with whom I am still friends today.”
As for being a Miss Basketball, in her case the first Miss Basketball, Warren said it was an unexpected honor.
“I just played for the love of the game,” she said. “But being Miss Basketball, it was something that pushed me to give back to the game of basketball, to contribute to the progress of girls’ and women’s basketball over the years. It is amazing how much (the game) changed my life.”
Of note, Warren later served as an All-Star girls' assistant coach in 1991 and as the All-Star girls' head coach in 1993.
In the 1996 All-Star games, Winter Finn helped Indiana sweep Kentucky with an 87-82 decision in Lexington and a 68-57 triumph in Indianapolis. She totaled five points, four rebounds and five assists in the opener in front of 8,000 fans at Memorial Coliseum. She followed with 20 points and six rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting, 3-of-4 3-pointers and 1-of-2 free throws before a crowd of 12,546 in Market Square Arena.
“Several players on the All-Star team that year had played AAU together, so we had pretty good on-court chemistry,” Winter Finn said. “My high school coach (Fred Fields) was the head coach of the All-Star team, so being on the court with him was pretty similar to my high school experience.”
Winter Finn said it is humbling to continue to see her name on the Miss Basketball list each year when a new name is added.
“I hope basketball players and fans in Indiana continue to recognize the title of Miss Basketball as the distinguished honor it is,” she said. “I truly cherish being part of that history.”
As for the ’97 All-Star games, Shepherd-Stidham said she does not remember many details other than that Indiana split with Kentucky and the loss “may have had something to do with an iguana.”
For the record, Shepherd-Stidham scored nine points with five rebounds and two assists in a 71-56 victory in front of a crowd of 11,781 in Indianapolis. A week later, she followed with 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting with three 3-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws in an 86-83 setback before 2,000 fans in Frankfort’s Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center.
Shepherd-Stidham does recall her time off the floor with the All-Stars.
“Getting to spend two weeks with my teammates and the boys’ All-Stars is something I always will remember and cherish. We had so many laughs and fun moments together. I never will forget one of the guys – I won't mention any names – brought his pet iguana to the hotel. A number of players from both (the boys’ and girls’) teams ended up getting sick with salmonella, and some players had to make a trip to the hospital. The iguana ended up passing away a couple of days later.”
As for being Miss Basketball, Shepherd-Stidham understands the significance.
“I always have taken great pride in the fact that I was able to represent the state of Indiana by wearing No. 1,” she said. “There were so many talented players in my class, and it was a privilege to get to play alongside them.”
The information below is about tickets for the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star basketball games in 2023.
Admission is $10 per person for the Indiana Juniors vs. Kentucky Juniors doubleheader on June 4 at Jeffersonville. Tickets are available at the door. The girls start at 2 p.m., and the boys follow about 4 p.m.
Admission is $10 per person for the Junior-Senior doubleheader on June 7 at Cathedral. Tickets are available at the door. The girls start at 6 p.m., and the boys follow about 8 p.m.
Tickets are $12 and $10 each for the All-Stars against Kentucky on June 9 in Owensboro. The girls start at 5:30 p.m. CDT (6:30 p.m. EDT), and the boys follow about 7:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 p.m. EDT). Tickets are available at owensborotickets.evenue.net.
Tickets are priced at $100, $75, $50, $35, $25, $20 and $10 for June 10 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Futures Games doubleheader has the girls at noon and the boys at 2 p.m. The Senior All-Star doubleheader has the girls at 5 p.m. and the boys about 7:30 p.m. One ticket for all four games on June 10. Tickets available at ticketmaster.com.