FORT WAYNE | Last weekend, Merrillville coach Amy Govert was talking to Maegan Callaway of Mooresville at an Indiana All-Star practice. They were working on an inbounds play, and Govert asked the 6-foot-1 Callaway to make some space with a screen.
Callaway responded: "You want me to clear out the lane? If you want me, to I will."
Govert, also an All-Star assistant, has something in common with Callaway and Fort Wayne Canterbury's Tabitha Gerardot. Govert played softball at Valparaiso University, while Callaway and Gerardot will play basketball for Keith Freeman at VU after the All-Star schedule concludes this week.
The Indiana All-Stars will play the Junior All-Stars tonight in Rushville.
"Valpo should be very excited about both Tabitha and Maegan," Govert said. "Both are terrific basketball players who work hard, and both are very smart kids. I haven't had a chance to talk to them about VU and what to expect yet. We've been too busy.
"But we will get a chance before this is all over."
Gerardot is a 6-foot post player who averaged 21.6 points a game for Canterbury, the three-time defending Class A state champion. She was home-schooled by her mother Pam until she reached high school, where she played volleyball and hoops.
She said her mother was a tough teacher and Tabitha plans on majoring in Spanish and French at Valpo, in hopes of becoming an interpreter.
Gerardot credited Freeman for being the first Division-I coach to start recruiting her in the summer after her sophomore year. She said that practicing with the high-level talent on this season's All-Star team is getting her ready for play in the Horizon League.
"These practices are a lot more intense and a lot more physical than what I'm used to," Gerardot said before scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds in Monday's 84-83 loss to the Juniors on Monday at Fort Wayne Luers. "This has not been like high school, this is a much higher level. I've got to keep working on my defense and my aggression. This will help me get ready for VU."
Govert said she's been impressed with Gerardot's desire to improve and her work ethic.
"Tabitha's always asking questions," Govert said. "She's very versatile. She can hit the perimeter jumper, she can drive to the basket and she can finish around the basket."
Callaway, who scored two points and grabbed four rebounds in Monday's game, is 6-foot-1 and averaged 17.7 points a game for Mooresville, where VU standout Lauren Kenney played as a senior when Callaway was in ninth grade.
Callaway played many sports as a youngster but learned to love the competitiveness of hoops.
"My family is very competitive," Callaway said. "Even when we're eating dinner, we're competitive. We'll race to see who can get done first. I like playing really physical and really big. I look at the basketball floor like a boxing ring.
"That's how I play. I hope everyone there likes it."