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Embracing All-Star week


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In some ways, Ally Lehman feels more like a football player than a member of the 2013 Indiana Girls All-Star basketball team.

Her days begin at 9 a.m. with a wake-up call. Fifteen minutes later, it’s off to breakfast.

By 10 a.m., she’s participating in the first of two lengthy practices each day during All-Star week - except on the day of exhibition games, when it’s morning practice, followed in the evening by a game.

“I’m not used to two-a-days, so this is a new one,” said Lehman, who, fatigue notwithstanding, is savoring every moment of the All-Star experience.

She reported to All-Star camp at Marian University on June 8 and has been working and traveling with the team in advance of today’s and Saturday’s games against the Kentucky All-Stars.

Indiana is in Louisville’s Freedom Hall today for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. The boys game follows at 7:30 p.m.

 

The two-game series resumes Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with girls game starting at 5 p.m. The boys tip off at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $10 to $100.

Lehman, a 5-foot-11 guard who was recently named the Daily Journal’s Johnson County Female Athlete of the Year, is one 14 players on the Indiana squad, which is coached by Mooresville’s Mark Hurt.

One of the state’s most prolific scorers throughout her four-year high school career, Lehman is the fourth Indian Creek player to make the girls All-Star team, joining Natasha Weddle (1991), Adrienne Squire (2004) and Kris Coner (2005).

Like her predecessors, Lehman is relishing her time with the All-Stars. She enjoys the hectic pace, the intense practices that sometimes last three hours, and the new friendships.

She shares a room with Indiana University recruit Jenn Anderson of Westfield. As a unique perk, Lehman and Anderson are the only All-Stars who are not sharing four-to-a-room.

“It’s been a great experience. You have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I think we’re making the best of it right now,” Lehman said. “Even though the practices are killers, especially when you’ve got the hot practice gym upstairs, it’s all worth it.

“It’s cool to be able represent your school and your state.”

Twice selected the Daily Journal’s county Player of the Year, Lehman put up impressive numbers her senior year.

A Northern Illinois recruit, she had per-game averages of 24.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 5.3 steals and 1.8 blocks in helping the Class 3A Braves win their second sectional championship in the past three years.

Although she doesn’t know exactly what her role will be during the two-game Kentucky series, she expects to play starter’s minutes, whether she starts or not.

“I’m hoping it will be a large majority of the time, but I think it’s split pretty evenly,” Lehman said. “Right now everybody’s getting the same amount of playing time. We were actually talking about it (Wednesday), that everybody has understood their role and knows their strengths and weaknesses.

“Our team chemistry has been extremely, extremely nice. We’ve bonded well.”

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