No shortage of basketball traditions exist in Indiana, including the one Tim Abel became part of in the spring of 2012.
As a seventh-grader, Abel attended the annual Reunion All-Star Classic at historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown with his friend Quinton Marker and Marker’s uncle, Andy.
On Friday, Abel makes his sixth such trip — but this time, the 6-foot-2 guard who finished his Indian Creek career as the program’s third-leading all-time scorer with 1,206 points will be playing.
“That game is more than anything to me right now,” Abel said. “When I was younger, Clinton and his family would buy my ticket and we would go to Knightstown to watch that game every year.
“Now I get the opportunity to tell them I’ll be playing in it.”
On Friday morning, Quinton Marker will drive to Abel’s house to pick him up, as is custom. The second part of this tradition is driving to Andy’s residence in Greenwood and, weather permitting, removing the top from Andy’s jeep before driving to Knightstown.
Abel, who recently signed a national letter of intent to play men’s college basketball at Cincinnati Christian University, will play for the Terhune Tigers during the Reunion Classic.
Among his teammates are Jacob Redding, a 6-1 guard who will be walking on at the University of Louisville, and 5-11 Carmel guard Sterling Brown, who is headed to Marian University.
Featured players for Friday’s opposition, the Hickory Huskers, are future Butler Bulldogs guard Cooper Neese and Lapel’s Jon Ross Richardson, a 6-6 guard-forward who as a junior helped lead the Bulldogs to the Class 2A state championship.
The girls All-Star contest is slated to tip off at 6 p.m., with the boys game scheduled for 8.
Hoosier Gym, home court of the fictional Hickory Huskers in the 1986 movie “Hoosiers”, is extremely quaint, with a seating capacity of just under 700 spectators.
This will be Abel’s second time playing there this school year. On Feb. 11, Indian Creek, which was without three key players (Bryce Hogue, Trevor Ankney and Isaiah Lacey) due to either injury or the flu, lost to Culver Academy 84-45.
Former Braves coach Derek Perry is confident the Reunion Classic will be a positive experience for Abel.
“Tim is going to be playing with and against some of the best players in Indiana,” Perry said. “That’s a neat setting, and is something Tim deserves and has earned.”
What: Reunion All-Star Classic
When: Friday, 6 p.m. (girls game) and 8 p.m. (boys game)
Where: Hoosier Gym, Knightstown
Tickets: Call 317-925-8200 or email email@example.com
Tim Abel;Indian Creek;Cincinnati Christian
Jermaine Cousinard;East Chicago Central;Undecided
Gavin Griggs;Shenandoah;Olivet Nazarene
Jaylen Minnett;Terre Haute South;IUPUI
Jacob Redding;Carroll (Allen);Louisville
Nike Sibande;Crispus Attucks;Miami of Ohio
Grant Smith;Connersville;Indiana Wesleyan
Mack Smith;Warren Central;Eastern Illinois
Kobe Webster;Park Tudor;Western Illinois
Coach: Dave McCollough, Shenandoah
Jalen Adaway;Logansport;Miami of Ohio
Mark Albers;Pendleton Heights;Marian
Jaylen Butz;Fort Wayne North;DePaul
Michael Ertel;Mt. Vernon (Fortville);Louisiana Monroe
Hunter Ferris;Cambridge City Lincoln;Undecided
David Froedge;New Castle;Prep school
Datrion Harper;Ben Davis;IU-East
Tyler Smith;Northeastern;Florida Southern
Courvoisier McCauley;Manual;Prep school
Coach: Travis Daugherty, Mt. Vernon (Fortville)