Sydney Jaynes, who just completed her Trinity Lutheran basketball career as the girls team’s all-time leading scorer, added another accolade to her storied resume Monday in being named to the 2021 IndyStar Indiana Girls All-Stars.
Jaynes, the 6-foot-3 center for the 20-5 Edinburgh Sectional titlist Cougars this winter, was one of 14 players chosen for the squad that will face the Kentucky All-Stars in a traditional series of games in June.
“It honestly means the world to me,” said Jaynes of receiving the elite recognition.
The last time a Jackson County player was selected as one of the statewide all-stars occurred in 2012 when Seymour’s Amanda Moore was picked. The All-Star history dates to 1939 with boys teams. The girls have played Kentucky teams since 1976, though last year’s games were called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Aside from being Miss Basketball, this is the biggest honor a senior basketball (player) could earn,” said Trinity coach Mike Lang. “It means she has been selected to be one of the top 12/13 players in Indiana. This is huge!”
Jaynes signed to play for Butler University starting next fall. She finished her four years at Trinity with a record 1,598 points.
“I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for Sydney, her family, Trinity Lutheran, and our program,” Lang said.
All-Stars game director Mike Broughton announced the names of 14 players for the girls team. Bridget Dunn of Carmel was included, but is injured and is not expected to play in the games.
Jaynes credited her longstanding involvement with AAU basketball for helping her develop as a player and said she knows the other girls on the All-Stars from playing against them over the years.
“I have grown up with this AAU team and I played with a bunch of the girls who have been honored,” Jaynes said. “I never thought I would be. I’m forever grateful.”
Jaynes said she knew many of the girls who would be competition to be selected for the team.
“All those girls are just as good,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a coin flip.”
The rest of the roster beside Jaynes and Dunn includes: Ally Becki of Brownsburg, Madelyn Bischoff of Roncalli, Courtney Blakely of Hammond Noll, Katie Burton of Fishers, Kaitlyn Costner of Penn, Chole McKnight of Bedford North Lawrence, Meg Newman of North Central, Vanessa Shafford of Linton-Stockton, Brynn Shoup-Hill of Goshen, Jayla Smith of Lawrence North, Trinity Thompson of Michigan City, and Ariana Wiggins. The head coach will be Jeff Allen of Bedford North Lawrence.
Blakely, a 5-7 guard, averaged 31.7 points a game. Wiggins, also a 5-7 guard, is the next highest scorer on the roster at 27.6 points a game.
“I just think it’s really cool because I’ve literally been playing against these girls for years,” Jaynes said, “and now we get to come together. I know their names and their tendencies (on the court). Now we get to play together.”
The finalists for the Indiana Miss Basketball award as the top girls player in the state for this past season are scheduled to be announced by the end of this week. The winner of that award will be announced before the end of the month.
The Junior-Senior All-Star exhibition game is scheduled to be played June 9, although the site has not been announced yet. The first game against Kentucky is set for June 11 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The second game against Kentucky is scheduled for June 12 in Southport.
Ordinarily, the Indiana game would be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, but the building that is home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, will be undergoing renovation at that time.
The Indiana boys all-stars will play in double-headers with the girls on those same dates.
“I’m super-duper excited,” Jaynes said. “It’s a great, great honor.”