March 13, 2019On the second floor of the North Harrison gymnasium, one wall features the photos of three girls' basketball Indiana All-Stars Kim McMillin, Tara Miller and Julie Swarens.
Back in sixth grade, current North Harrison senior Lilly Hatton took a photo on her iPod touch of the framed photos and turned it into a daily reminder.
North Harrison's Lilly Hatton was named one of 13 Indiana All-Stars. Photo Courtesy Indiana All-Stars
"I took a picture where the jerseys are, and I put a little square on my photo," Hatton said. "It was my screen saver, so I would always see a spot for me to be an All-Star. It was a constant reminder of what I was shooting for with my career with North Harrison. It's remarkable it's going to happen."
Last week, Hatton received a call she had put countless hours in the gym hoping to one day receive. She was selected as one of 13 Indiana All-Stars.
"It's a symbol of having a successful high school career and impact for our program," Hatton said. "It's been my goal for as long as I can remember to have my jersey on the wall."
For four years, Hatton was tough for many teams to stop not only offensively, but to score against her shot-blocking ability.
Team-wise, Hatton has been part of a Lady Cats team that finished with a 93-16 record, sixth-best in terms of winning percentage state-wide, during her four years. She was also part of two Class 3A state runner-up finishes (2016 and 2017).
"Lilly is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached," North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. "She has earned every accolade she gets. It's truly special to become one of the four people now with All-Star jerseys on the gym wall. She is in great company."
Hatton set the career mark in several categories at North Harrison, including points (2,052), rebounds (949), blocks (490), field goal percentage (58.9) and points per game (18.8), to go with many other game and season records. Her 490 blocks ranks second all-time in the state.
"Hitting 2,000 points was pretty monumental," Hatton said. "Being second in the state in blocks is pretty cool. Not a lot of girls block shots, so it is cool that I'm No. 2."
In her final season in Lady Cat blue and white, Hatton posted averages of 24.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
After the season ended, Hatton had surgery on her shoulder, which prevented her from participating in Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Top 60 seniors workout. With a recovery time of four months or less, Hatton is expecting to return to the floor in time for the All-Star games.
When at the Top 60 workout, Hatton, along with the other participants, put on the No. 1 Indiana All-star jersey for a photo. The No. 1 is reserved for Miss Basketball, which will be announced May 5.
"My goal has been to be on the All-Star team, but if I become a Miss Basketball finalist, that's great," Hatton said. "I'm excited and thrilled to be on the All-Star team. Anything else would be icing on the cake."
The phone call about making the team was special, as well.
"When I saw the call come through, I picked it up immediately," she said. "When he told me I made the team, I was ecstatic. My dad (Steve Hatton) was in the other room and he started celebrating. It was awesome."
Hatton said at the Top 60 workout, they were told 24 NCAA Division I players were participating, including several with Division I offers that were opting to play at a different college level.
"It made me realize the depth this class has," Hatton said.
Joining Hatton on the All-Star team are Jorie Allen (Bedford North Lawrence), Shaila Beeler (Warren Central), Sydney Freeman (Central Noble), Carissa Garcia (Fort Wayne Concordia), Amaya Hamilton (Hamilton Southeastern), Rikki Harris (North Central), Lilly Hatton (North Harrison), Emma Nolan (Marquette Catholic), Maddie Nolan (Zionsville), Sophia Nolan (Marquette Catholic), Hannah Noverokse (Michigan City), Riley Ott (LaPorte) and Cameron Tabor (New Castle).
"I'm friends with a lot of girls who made the team, but I was excited to see Riley Ott of LaPorte make it," Hatton said. "We played AAU together two years ago, and we've kept in touch since then. When we saw each other at the workout, we both were hopeful to make it together. I'm excited to spend some time with her the week we are training with the All-Stars."
Hatton said she's also touched base with Jorie Allen. Her sister, Jenna Allen, now a senior at Michigan State, offered insight on the All-Star week.
"Jenna said it's a great time, a lot of fun and a preview of college life because we will live on campus at Marion (University) for a week," Hatton said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to play with other great players from across the state."
Signed to play at Wofford College (S.C.), Hatton is looking forward to moving down to Spartansburg, S.C., soon. Come August, the Terriers are taking an international basketball trip to Italy and Switzerland, something Hatton is eagerly looking forward to doing.
The fourth All-Star from North Harrison, Hatton said she is proud to be part of a tradition-rich program.
"Someone like Tara Miller, I respect her so much. She worked out with us one summer, so I know how talented she is," Hatton said. "To be recognized with players like that shows North Harrison has a good tradition of girls' basketball. It's nice knowing I'll add to that."
Keeping an eye on future Lady Cats will be on Hatton's mind, as well. She looks forward to keeping up with friends that are seniors-to-be along with budding young talent Ali Saunders and Diana Burgher, both of whom played varsity as freshmen.
"I hope they all have that same success and look back on high school with as much joy as I do," Hatton said. "It was an amazing ride all four years."
The Junior vs. Senior exhibition game is set for June 5 at a site to be announced. The first game against Kentucky will be June 7 at Bellarmine University's Knights Hall in Louisville. The final game against Kentucky will be June 8 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. All three dates will be doubleheaders with the IndyStar Indiana Boys All-Stars.
Brownsburg's Debbie Guckenberger will coach the All-Stars and will be assisted by Mike McBride of Eastern (Pekin) and Crown Point's Chris Seibert.