ANDERSON — For the love of the game.
That’s why Anderson Preparatory Academy’s Lanson Jones, Daleville’s Will McKinney and Lapel’s Luke Richardson came to Anderson University for Friday afternoon’s senior boys class basketball all-star game.
“I just love basketball,” Jones said. “Any time I can play, I want to get out and play. It was a lot of fun.”
Jones, who will be attending Ball State University this fall and studying athletic training, certainly had a lot of fun for Team White. Getting the start, Jones played a sparking role and finished the day with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal.
He went head-to-head with McKinney, who came off the bench for Team Red and finished with four points and four boards.
Team White hung on to beat Team Red 98-95 in a 3-point battle.
Like Jones, McKinney came to Anderson on Friday to get one more high school game in before he hung up his sneakers. He, too, will attend Ball State this fall and study business.
“I was kind of shocked at the fact that I got invited,” McKinney said. “I was going to be playing against a bunch of guys that were really good and I might as well take the opportunity to play if I can get it. I wasn’t going to get too many more games in, obviously, so I just wanted to lace them up one more time.”
Both Jones and McKinney stated they’ll be taking part in intramural basketball at the university.
Lapel’s Richardson, who was one of the taller players listed on the roster, attended Friday’s game but was unable to participate due to injury. The Bulldog star was candid about his injury, saying he was involved in a car wreck that broke his right index finger.
He still hopes to play basketball this coming winter and has narrowed his choices down to two colleges. Either Bethel College in South Bend or Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan will land the talents of the Herald Bulletin's 2018 Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Richardson said he’s also been in talks with Bradley and Mercer Universities about potential walk-on spots but would prefer to stay closer to home.
Though he was just a freshman when the Bulldogs won the Class 2A state title in 2016, Richardson points to that moment as the one he’ll remember most from his high school career.
“Getting to just be on the team, it was an amazing experience and something I’ll always look back on,” he said. “Winning that state championship for Lapel, the community always supported us through everything and just being able to bring that home was an incredible experience.”
For McKinney, the moment that sticks out for him was his 34-point, 27-rebound effort against Union City back in February. By himself, he outrebounded Union City by six boards.
“As far as in-game performances I’ll definitely look at that one,” he said. “But it’s more the Friday nights that I’ll look back on. That’s time you can’t get anywhere else; I love that stuff.”
Jones, who was named the Mental Attitude Award winner for Team White, points to a game this past season against rival Liberty Christian as his most memorable moment.
“Our point guard was out with an ankle injury,” he said. “So, I had to step up and takeover and I had like 25 points and we beat them for the first time since I had been playing.”
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