ANDERSON — In more ways than one, Alexandria graduate Sabrina Slone made a strong candidate for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's Silver Anniversary Team.
When the team was announced for 2014, that strength made a spot on the team a reality. She will be in the Hall of Fame's women's banquet on April 26 in Indianapolis.
"She was probably the only player in the first half of my coaching career who was strong enough to go right from high school into college," said former Alexandria coach Jon Howell.
Slone played from 1986 to 1989 for the Tigers and amassed 1,146 points, which is fifth on the girls career scoring list at the school. She was All-Central Indiana Conference for three seasons and on the All-Herald-Bulletin Team for three years. She capped her prep career by being named to the Indiana All-Star Team and by being named All-State.
Still, she said, "I was a little bit shocked (to hear the news). It is hard to believe it was 25 years ago. I was very excited to learn of the honor."
The way she learned of her spot on the team made it even more special. "I got a call from Shorty Burdsall (former boys basketball coach at Alexandria). He was the principal when I was there. It meant a great deal to hear it from him."
Even though she remembers fondly a good bit about her days as a Tigers player, it wasn't hard for her to select what she treasures most. "More than anything it was the friendships I had and still have with teammates, opponents and coaches. I maintain fairly good contact with many of them."
She didn't have a spot on the Indiana All-Stars as a primary goal. "My first goals were always team oriented," said Slone. "I wanted to win a sectional, which we never did. Still, (making the All-Star Team) is something every kid who plays basketball dreams about."
Basketball was always a part of her life growing up.
"My dad coached basketball, so I was around it growing up," said Slone. "We used to play in the barns."
"She was crafty and extremely smart," said Howell. "She rebounded like a boy. She shot 3-pointers so easily. It was just a flick of the wrist for her."
Slone would have finished with more points and had even more conference and all-area honors had it not been for an ACL injury she suffered after her sophomore season playing AAU basketball in the summer.
"She came back with like five games left in the season her junior year," said Howell. "Back then, ACL injuries were a lot more severe. They didn't know then what they know now about the surgery and the rehab."
Slone accepted a scholarship offer to play at Wake Forest from 1989 to 1993. A look at the school's record book revealed she is still No. 2 on the career list for 3-pointers made with 153.
"That still makes me a little surprised," said Slone. "I had so many surgeries and injuries. I wish I could have stayed healthy."
She is married now to a former Ball State athlete and has a pair of children. "I have a daughter who is in third grade and a son in kindergarten," she said. "I was fortunate to be able to be a stay-at-home mom for nine years." Now she is no longer staying home.
"I'm back in class," said Slone. "I am teaching business at Frankton. I love being around the kids again. Both of my kids play basketball."
It would have been almost unnatural if they didn't. It runs through the family.