Local Sports Headlines: October 25, 2023

Mackenize Holmes named Associated Press Preseason All-American
IUWBB Graduate Forward Mackenize Holmes has been named an Associated Press preseason All-American, announced by the outlet on Tuesday. Holmes is the first Hoosier to earn preseason All-American honors from the organization, having been a two-time postseason All-American in 2022 (honorable mention) and 2023 (first team).

A three-time first team All-American last season, she is a unanimous preseason all-Big Ten honoree from the coaches and was also selected by the media vote, enters her fifth and final season with the Hoosiers in 2023-24. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous selection for All-Big Ten first teams as a senior, the Gorham, Maine native averaged 22.3 points (second in B1G), a team-high 7.8 rebounds and shot a NCAA second-best 68.0 percent from the floor. She also appears as one of 20 preseason candidates for the 2024 Lisa Leslie award, which honors the nation’s top center.

Holmes led the Hoosiers in scoring on 25 occasions as a senior while posting double figures in 31 games, scoring 20 points 19 times and three 30-point scoring efforts. Her nine double-doubles led the team, as six of her double-doubles occurred in conference play which ranks eighth all-time in a single season. She also led the league in blocks (58) and blocks per game (1.9) and averages 1.1 steals (35) per game. Holmes is now in the top five in scoring in school history (1,897) and second in all-time blocks (208).

Indiana University Men’s Basketball to honor Bill Garrett The Indiana men’s basketball program will celebrate Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame member and Big Ten Trailblazer Bill Garrett at its regular season opener against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The contest will be celebrated officially as the ‘Bill Garrett Game’ to recognize the 75th anniversary of the season when Garrett broke Big Ten Basketball’s unofficial color barrier. That landmark moment came during IU’s Dec. 4, 1948, season opener when Garrett became the first Black player to start for a Big Ten team. In a salute to that momentous event, IU will provide specialty game programs to replicate those used during Garrett’s debut varsity game and season in 1948-49.

In his three seasons of varsity basketball, Garrett helped guide the Hoosiers to a record of 50-13, including a 19-3 mark in 1950-51, a
season that culminated with the No. 7 ranking in the final Associated Press Poll. Garrett was voted the most valuable player of the season by his teammates, named All-Big Ten first team, and recognized as a consensus All-American following the 1950-51 campaign. The NCAA coaches also elected him as a write-in for the college all-star team after his name was left off the ballot. At the time of his graduation, Garrett held the Indiana men’s basketball scoring record at 792 points after leading IU in total scoring each of his three varsity seasons. Garrett became the third black player ever drafted in the NBA after Boston selected him in the second round of the 1951 Draft. He graduated in June of 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. The 1947 Indiana Mr. Basketball led Shelbyville to its first high school basketball state championship with a then-tournament record 91 points. He also led the Indiana All-Stars to victory over Kentucky before enrolling at Indiana University.

Former Indiana University Diver Kristen Hayden named NCAA Women of the Year Top 30 Candidate The Woman of the Year Selection Committee has announced the national Top 30 honorees for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, featuring former Indiana diver Kristen Hayden. Established in 1991, the award is rooted in Title IX and recognizes female
student-athletes who have completed their undergraduate studies and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers. 

Kristen Hayden earned second place in the 3-meter springboard at the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. In addition to one first-team College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America All-America award, she earned five second-team All-America honors during her career, including three while competing for Michigan and Minnesota. She also was a 2022 All-Big Ten second-team selection. In 2022, Hayden broke Indiana’s 3-meter dual meet record.  She made history as the first African American female diver to win a U.S. senior championship after her mixed synchronized 3-meter dive title at the 2021 USA Diving Winter National Championships and was the first African American to qualify for the FINA World Championships. 

A summa cum laude graduate, Hayden was a three-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and earned the 2022 Big Ten Medal of Honor for academic and athletic excellence. The Academic All-Big Ten selection was recognized as a 2023 Indiana University Founders Scholar.  A founding member and president of the USA Diving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, she helps create initiatives to make diving more inclusive. During the pandemic, Hayden facilitated virtual diving and strength workouts for youth divers. She is a contributing author to the book “Dear Rebel,” written to inspire young girls to pursue their dreams. She actively shares her story of overcoming obstacles related to her auditory processing disorder, including as a keynote speaker at the 2022 Disability: IN global conference.

Selected from a record-breaking 619 nominees submitted by member schools a group that was then narrowed to 164 nominees at the conference level the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. Each honoree has demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees represent 15 sports, including two student-athletes representing NCAA Emerging Sports for Women. They have a variety of majors, including national security and intelligence, neuroscience, economics, civil engineering, education, nursing, computer science and business management. The selection committee will determine three honorees from each NCAA division, for a total of nine finalists. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year. 

Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer named to Jerry West Award Watch List
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced that Fletcher Loyer is one of 20 players named to the initial Jerry West Award watch list, the organization released. The Sophomore Shooting Guard is one of three Big Ten Shooting Guards named, joining Illinois’ Terrance Shannon Jr., and Michigan State’s Tyson Walker on the list. Loyer, a 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is coming off a strong season in which he was Purdue’s second-leading scorer and assist man at 11.0 points per game and 2.4 assists per game. He led Purdue with 59, 3-pointers as a freshman – the third most by a freshman in school history.

Loyer was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times, tying a school record set by the late Caleb Swanigan, and was Big Ten Player of the Week following a 27-point performance against Nebraska in mid-January. He scored in double-figures 19 times as a rookie in 2022-23 and ranked fourth on the Purdue freshman single-season scoring list with 384 points, while his 11.0 scoring average was seventh. The No. 3-ranked Boilermakers will face No. 14-ranked Arkansas next Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, beginning at 4pm. The game will be streamed on SEC+.

Indiana University Men’s Golfer Nick Piesen wins the Cardinal Invitational
Four Indiana men’s golfers, led by event champion Nick Piesen, competed as individuals in the Cardinal Individual hosted by Ball State on Monday at the Delaware Country Club. Piesen shot a 134 (68-66; -6) to win the 24-player, 36-hole event. The Freshman Piesen earned his first collegiate victory in just his fourth event of the season with a two-round scorecard of 134 (68-66; -6). He cleared the runner-up, Jensen Klondike of Ball State, by three strokes to secure the top spot on the podium. The Strongsville, Ohio, native played four birdies in the opening round of the day, including three straight from the second hole to the fourth. His second-round 66 matched the lowest round recorded on the day. He tallied seven total birdie conversions, including four in the final six holes of the back nine.

Fifth-year senior Eric Berggren tied for sixth with a scorecard reading of 141 (70-71; +1). He played seven birdies combined in the two rounds. Junior Kieran Hogarth placed 11th after shooting a 144 (75-69; +4) for the day. He matched Berggren’s effort with seven birdies over the 36 holes.  Freshman Neri Checucci claimed 18th place at 151 (75-76; +11). He notched six birdie conversions. The Hoosiers will be back in action for the final fall team event of the season at the Steelwood Collegiate. The 54-hole event will begin on Oct. 28 at the Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Ala.

Indiana Pacers Small Forward Aaron Nesmith signs a three-year extension with the team
A Indiana Pacers small forward has a chance to take his game to the next level for the 2023-24 season. According to ESPN’s insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Aaron Nesmith and the Pacers agreed on a three-year, $33 million contract extension on Monday. Nesmith is the 10th member of the 2020 NBA Draft class to reach a deal on a rookie scale extension ahead of Monday’s deadline.

Nesmith had a career year during his first season with the Pacers last season, averaging 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 24.9 minutes per game, all the best marks from his first three seasons in the NBA. In addition, Nesmith averaged 10.5 points per game in preseason action. Nesmith was drafted 14th overall pick out of Vanderbilt. Ge joined Tyrese Haliburton in agreeing to rookie scale extensions this offseason.

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