Having already played in two high school all-star basketball games following her senior season, you might think recent Girard alum Hadyn Herlocker's not excited about playing in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game on Aug. 7.
Of course, that's a ridiculous notion.
We're talking about the KBCA All-Star Game in Topeka, featuring 48 of the state's best boy and girl hoopsters. Plus, it's one more chance to play before college.
"I'm real excited to play in it," Herlocker said by phone interview. "It's a honor. . . . I'm also excited to be playing against a future Pitt State teammate in Paige Lungwitz from Maize . . . playing against her, not with her."
Herlocker and Lungwitz are two of several newcomers for the Pittsburg State women's basketball program, a group which includes former Kansas State volleyball standout Alex Muff and recent junior college standout Nett Reed. Two seasons ago, the Gorillas made the Elite Eight.
In Topeka, Herlocker will have the chance to play on the same team with two of the state's outstanding players, Katelyn Loecker of McPherson and Erika Lane of Topeka Washburn Rural.
"It's really cool to play with them on the same team," Herlocker said. "Kate, we went up against her in the first round of state junior year at Girard and she's just phenomenal. Erika, she's just amazing. We played against her two years ago in the team camp at PSU."
Loecker and Lane both signed with Division I programs based in the Sooner State — Oklahoma State (Loecker) and Tulsa (Lane).
Herlocker's previous all-star game experiences were the KSEK/KLKC one at the St. Mary's Colgan Fieldhouse and the exhibition game against the KU Barnstormers at Fort Scott High.
She talked glowingly about both experiences.
In the KSEK/KLKC contest, Herlocker said that she enjoyed going against two of her best friends, former Girard teammate Hope McLeod and former Pittsburg opponent Lizzy Willis. KSEK, including Herlocker, defeated KLKC 65-60. However, she added that she did not enjoy the fact the game was the day after the prom.
Herlocker played alongside Willis in the game against the KU Barnstormers, a team which featured Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Kevin Young.
"It was unbelievable," Herlocker said. "I kept thinking, 'You're about to get dunked on by a KU player.' It was a honor to be dunked on."
Of course, it's unlikely that Herlocker will be dunked on when she plays for the Gorillas. She said that she's already participated in camps and workouts with her new college teammates.
"They've been incredibly supportive," Herlocker said. "It's definitely going to be a fun year to play with all of the team. It's like a family."
Page 2 of 3 - Herlocker, currently listed as No. 12 on the roster, said the Pitt State veterans have been encouraging to the newcomers.
"Absolutely," she said. "There's never been one point where I've been scared or nervous."
The Gorillas open their season with an exhibition against Kansas and then play in the Disney Tip-Off Classic in Anaheim, Calif., against opponents to be announced. The home opener will be Nov. 14 against Henderson State.
KBCA ALL-STAR GAME ROSTERS
2 — Alyssa Steppe, Clay Center (Cloud County CC)
4 — Alyx Bloom, Clay Center (Hutchinson JC)
5 — Karlie Steinle, Wilson (Kansas Wesleyan)
10 — Ashley Annan, Sabetha (Kansas State)
12 — Madison Stewart, Burlington (McPherson)
15 — Mackenzie Klaver, Norwich (Kansas)
23 — Paige Lungwitz, Maize (Pittsburg State)
25 — Megan Holloway, Salina South (Emporia State)
30 — Mackenzie Freeman, Silver Lake (Illinois State)
32 — Ashley Romig, Waverly (Ottawa)
40 — Sarah Pimentel, Hayden (Fort Hays State)
42 — Bailey Geiman, Blue Valley (Southeast Missouri)
Head coach: Doug Stewart. Assistants: Jim Page, Mike Klaver.
2 — Trenna Cox, Smith Center (Barton County JC)
4 — Alli Heimerman, Garden Plain (Butler County JC)
5 — Hadyn Herlocker, Girard (Pittsburg State)
10 — Tanner Tripp, Mill Valley (Missouri Western)
12 — Sydney Benoit, Smith Center (Hutchinson JC)
15 — Danica Casey, Natoma (McPherson)
23 — Erika Lane, Washburn Rural (Tulsa)
25 — Jenna Farris, Lincoln (Newman)
30 — Tena Loewen, Hillsboro (Tabor)
32 — Katelyn Loecker, McPherson (Oklahoma State)
40 — Alyxis Bowens, Derby (Washburn)
42 — Haleigh Cindrich, St. Thomas Aquinas (Rockhurst)
Head coach: Shelly Hoyt. Assistants: Nick Linn, Rick Hetzel, Antwain Scales.
2 — Bo Banner, Garden City (Kansas State)
4 — Zachary Winter, Andover Central (Hutchinson JC)
5 — Taylor Schieber, Derby (Pratt CC)
10 — Heath Hoffmeister, Independence (Independence CC)
12 — David Nelson, Olathe South (Mid-America Nazarene)
15 — Austin Budke, Beloit (Hutchinson JC)
20 — Michael Propst, Udall (Rockhurst)
23 — Derek Stanley, Bennington (Cloud County CC)
25 — Josh Pedersen, Shawnee Mission South (Emporia State)
30 — Riley Kemmer, Wichita Collegiate (Tulsa)
40 — Austin Maxwell, Sterling (Cowley County JC)
42 — Cody Stetler, Hoisington (Houston Baptist)
Head coach: Ed Fritz. Assistants: Brett McFall, Lucas Dalinghaus.
2 — Eli Kuhlman, Wallace County (Fort Hays State)
4 — Trenton Kuhlman, Republic County (Cloud County CC)
5 — Brett O'Neil, Scott City (Dodge City CC)
10 — Jackson Perez, Emporia (Oklahoma State)
12 — Kyle Hammond, Crest (Fort Scott CC)
15 — Austin Showman, South Haven (Cowley County CC)
20 — Andy Wilson, Abilene (Washburn)
23 — Drew Kite, Scott City (Fort Hays State)
25 — Creighton Brinker, Nemaha Valley (Cloud County CC)
30 — Joey Lillis, Blue Valley West (Delta State)
Page 3 of 3 - 40 — Alex Hasty, Ottawa (Ottawa)
42 — Jacob Harms, Abilene (Pratt CC)
Head coach: Glenn O'Neil. Assistants: Clint Kinnamon, Jon McKowen, Kevin Kuhlman.