COLLEGE SPORTS

Katie Boone ran the show for VU's best women's teams

2013-02-14T19:00:00Z 2013-02-17T00:02:06Z Katie Boone ran the show for VU's best women's teamsPaul Jankowski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 14, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

As a physician's assistant, Katie Boone works directly with six surgeons and their patients at Franciscan St. Francis Surgery Group in Indianapolis.

Boone, 30, handles the patients from the time they're admitted until after surgery. When she played basketball at Valparaiso University, Boone was a point guard for coach Keith Freeman and rarely came off the floor.

She helped direct some of the best women's teams in school history from 2001 through 2005, including the program's only post-season appearances in the WNIT (2002) and the NCAA Tournament (2003-04).

"I'm most proud of what the team accomplished," Boone said. "It was our first time for post-season play, and getting the experience of playing in the WNIT and the NCAA twice was just one of the best parts of playing the sport for four years."

Not long ago, she received a phone call from Valpo athletic director Mark LaBarbera saying she would be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame.

The ceremony, featuring three other individuals and the mid-1960s cross country teams, will be Saturday in Hilltop Gymnasium.

"I got a voice mail and I was kind of wondering why he was calling for me," Boone said. "He didn't give me any clues, so I was very surprised.

"I guess I just hadn't even thought about it. It wasn't ever anything that I would have expected."

Boone helped revive the program which had struggled to just seven wins the season before her arrival on campus. She wasn't a big scorer, averaging 6.4 points per game for her career with a high of 8.5 as a sophomore.

But she does rank second on the career assist lists with 448, an average of 4.1 per game.

When she played, Freeman said Boone would have been his first pick of any players in the Mid-Continent Conference.

"Katie came in as a freshman and had a great impact," said Freeman, now an assistant coach at Wright State. "She helped lead us to three post-season appearances as well as a final eight appearance in the WNIT. She is one of the best defenders to ever wear a Valpo uniform."

Valpo made its first NCAA Tournament appearance when Boone was a sophomore. She hit a pair of free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining to give the Crusaders a 48-46 victory over Oakland in the Mid-Continent Conference championship game.

She was named tournament MVP that year, and the Crusaders repeated as conference champions her junior year.

"It doesn't seem like that long ago," Boone said. "I still miss it when I'm watching it on TV or going to games."

Boone now lives in downtown Indianapolis. She attended Butler for three years for graduate school, and has been a physician's assistant for nearly five.

A highlight for her was traveling to Haiti two years ago with one of the doctors to perform surgeries and help the people in one of the world's poorest nations.

"It was wonderful going down there and being able to help people that literallly have no other real medical treatment available," Boone said. "There were people who walked 20 or 30 miles down from the mountains just because they knew doctors were going to be there that week. It was very rewarding and humbling, and it was also hard to see some of the things."

Boone said she tries to keep in touch with her former VU teammates, such as current Valpo High girls coach Jeanette Gray.

She attended a game this season when the Crusaders played at IUPUI, and will be traveling to Valpo with her boyfriend and about 10 family members.

"It has been a little while since I've been to campus," she said. "I'm excited."

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