Whiteland grad picked for Center Circle award

Whiteland Community High School graduate Kelly Dennis was in her mid-30s when she began officiating girls basketball games.

What some might consider a late start didn’t lessen her impact.

Dennis is being honored by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as its 2018 Circle Women’s Center Circle Official Award winner.

A 1979 Whiteland graduate and former multi-sport athlete for the Warriors and later at Franklin College, Dennis will be recognized for her officiating contributions the night of April 28 at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

“You’re just so busy refereeing, I never thought in a million years this would happen,” Dennis said. “I got into officiating to stay connected to the game. I’ve had a lot of good mentors and a lot of good officiating partners. Just a lot of help along the way.”

At the high school level, Dennis has worked 10 sectionals, eight regionals, three semistates and the Class 4A title contest in 2004. She’s officiated three Hall of Fame Classics and six Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games.

Dennis continues to officiate NCAA women’s basketball games at the Division I, II, III and NAIA levels.

Now 57, Dennis said she worked between 50-60 games per season from 2007-15. More recently, she’s scaled that number back to between 30-35.

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.