Logansport senior Whitney Jennings is a leading contender for Miss Basketball. (Photo by William Gibson)
She's the type of player who normally comes along just once in a coach’s career, but Logansport head coach Jerry Hoover has been fortunate to have now coached two such players. In the late 1970's, Hoover was the boys head coach at Ben Davis and had the opportunity to coach former Indiana University great Randy Wittman. Heaven smiled down on Hoover for the second time as he now is entering his last season coaching senior Whitney Jennings, who is one of the frontrunners for this seasons prestigious Indiana Miss Basketball award.
Hoover and the Logansport community will not want this season to end as Jennings takes her game to the University of Iowa next year to begin her career as a Hawkeye. Over her career with the Berries, Jennings has put up some amazing numbers and will only add to them this year. An average year for Jennings could place her within the top 10 all time scorers in the state. Jennings, in her three years with the Berries, has put up 11778 points, 498 assists, 264 steals, and 282 rebounds. That's a 24.4 scoring average, 6.8 assists, 3.6 steals and 3.9 rebounds per game – numbers certainly worthy of a Miss Basketball winner. During that three-year span, the Berries have gone 62-11 and are currently the two-time defending undefeated North Central Conference champs.
After her junior season, Jennings picked up some impressive honors that include: Associated Press All-State 1st Team, Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Underclass 1st Team, Hoosier Basketball Magazine 1st Team, Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association 1st Team. She was also a core member of the Indiana Junior All-Star Team.
In addition to being an unbelievable basketball player, Jennings is also an outstanding student. She enters her senior year ranked seventh in her class with a 4.17 GPA. She is a member of LHS National Honor Society and the LHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In addition to basketball, Jennings has earned four varsity letters in soccer and was named to the 2012 and the 2013 Indiana Soccer Coaches Association District 3 First Team.
She has also played three seasons of No. 1 singles in tennis for LHS and has a career record of 68 wins and 6 losses. The LHS girls tennis team has been the NCC champion in 2012 and sectional champion during all three of her years. Jennings was also the individual sectional champion in 2012 and 2013 and was named Honorable Mention All-State in singles by the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association in 2012 and 2013.
“This is crazy, it's all gone by so fast. I think about my freshman year and it seems just like yesterday,” said Jennings.
This year the Berries will have to lean on Jennings heavily as Logansport was hit with graduation losses. Logansport will return some girls that got some playing time last year and will have to hope that they can step in and help replace what was lost.
“We lost a lot due to graduation but we've got some girls that have been working hard this summer and I'm sure that they'll be able to step in and help us out,” she said.
When asked about the possibility of being named Miss Basketball, Jennings was fairly low key about the issue.
“Winning Miss Basketball is something that I've always thought would be pretty cool,” said the sharpshooter. “It's something a lot of girls think about when they're little. But honestly, it isn't something that I think about very much. It would definitely be a great honor and a great boost to the community but it isn't something I spend time thinking about.”
Members of the Berries basketball team recently returned from a goodwill tour of China. While there, they were able to meet students from their sister school and at times display some of their basketball skills.
“It was really a neat experience,” said Jennings. “Our first stop was in Beijing and we got to see so much of the history there. Wherever we went the people were so accepting of us and treated us so well. They applauded when we came in, they had bands that played for us, and we stayed at the best hotels. It was just an amazing trip that I'm glad we made.”
The Berries will once again rely on Jennings, and if she delivers as she has the past three seasons, then the Hawkeye bound senior will end her career with legendary Hoosier names like Shanna Zolman, Stephanie White, and Skylar Diggins.