By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence senior Chloe McKnight has verbally committed to play college basketball for the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne.
McKnight paced BNL in scoring at 14.1 (while hitting 71 3-pointers) and added 4.9 rebounds last season as the Stars won the Class 4A regional before falling to eventual state champion Lawrence North in the semistate.
She was selected for the Underclass All-State Supreme 15, and she was also chosen for the Indiana Junior All-Stars. McKnight was named First Team by the Hoosier Hills Conference coaches.
McKnight will join one of the top NAIA programs in the Midwest. The Cougars went 23-7 last year (ranked No.11 in Div. II) and qualified for the national tournament (which was cancelled).
“I just felt like I got along with the coaches really well, they made it feel like a home away from home,” McKnight said of her decision. “Even though we didn’t get to play this spring (AAU tournaments were cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic), it still would have been my favorite.”
Saint Francis coach Jason Ridge owns a 93-63 record in five seasons. He has signed another elite shooter for his program.
“The whole team shoots the ball,” McKnight said. “They shoot 3-pointers, and that’s pretty much what I like to do.”
McKnight is more than a shooter. She added strength to her frame and toughness to her game the last two seasons.
“I feel like my maturity has gotten better, knowing my role,” she said. “I need to work on my ballhandling, get stronger, be more consistent with my shot. The college game is way more physical.”
After being idle from on-court competition since Feburary, McKnight will get the chance to return to action on July 7 when BNL begins its conditioning and practice sessions (allowed by the IHSAA during the current pandemic).
“I’m really excited,” she said. “We haven’t been able to play, except for outside, and it’s just not the same. Being in the gym is just different.”
McKnight will join BNL athletes Taylor Norman (golf) and Brayton Bailey (men’s basketball) at the university.