COOPER NAMED MAC POY: Ohio University senior and Seton Academy grad D.J. Cooper was named the Mid-American Conference player of the year.
Cooper, The Times 2009 Illinois boys basketball player of the year, has recorded the most assists in the history of the Mid-American Conference and is Ohio's all-time leader in assists (914), steals (323), 3-pointers made (267), games started (136) and games played (140). He also ranks fourth all-time at Ohio in points (2,035).
His 914 assists are the 12th most in the history of Division I college basketball. He also ranks tied for 20th on the all-time NCAA Division I steals list. Cooper is the only player in the history of Division I college basketball to post at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds and 300 steals in a career.
This season, he ranks sixth in the nation in assists per game (7.2) and also leads the 'Cats with 14.2 points and 2.1 steals per game. He has led the team in assists in 28 of 31 games on the year and has posted at least 10 assists seven times.
PEREGRINES' STARR NAMED TO NATIONAL LIST: Purdue University Calumet's Alex Starr was honored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the organization released its 2012-13 NAIA Coaches' All-America Team. Starr was one of 29 student-athletes honored by the WBCA, earning Honorable Mention All-America accolades.
The Plymouth, Ind., native is the first Peregrine to receive the national recognition since Purdue Calumet Hall of Fame member Rita Harper during 1997-98 season.
Starr led PUC this season, earning First Team All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors for the second year in a row. The senior guard averaged a team-high 16.4 points per game, while becoming the fifth player in program history to eclipse the 1,500-point mark. She also moved into second-place on the school’s single-season and career 3-point field goal list, finishing with 85 treys this season and 246 in her career.
PALOMBIZIO, DAWKINS EARN HOF INDUCTION: The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame welcomes their 52nd class of inductees and will honor other boys high school basketball legends Wednesday in ceremonies to be held at Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.
Among the 17 individuals to be inducted are Indiana Mr. Basketball winners Jim Master (1980, FW Harding) and Dan Palombizio (1981, Michigan City Rogers), and two members of state championship teams -- LeVern Benson (1956 Crispus Attucks) and Phil Dawkins 1960 East Chicago Washington).
Small school heroes included in this year’s class are Gene Demaree (1961 New Marion), Dick Piper (1948 Chester Township) and Chad Tucker (1983 Cloverdale).
Others include Chuck Franz (1979 Clarksville), Scott Haffner (1984 Noblesville), Bob Heady (1960 Frankton), Carl Meditch (1955 Indianapolis Tech), Alan Nass (1959 Huntingburg), Bill “Fig” Newton (1968 Rockville) and Bob Rousey (1949 Anderson).
Chesterton's Matt Nover will be among 18 members of the 2013 Silver Anniversary Team – acknowledging their spot as one of the top senior basketball players in Indiana 25 years ago.
Reservations may be made by calling (765) 529-1891. Cost, including a 6 p.m. dinner, is $50.
SEMISTATE TICKETS ON SALE AT MERRILLVILLE: Tickets for the Class 4A North Semistate are on sale from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Merrillville. Tickets are $8. The Pirates will play Carmel at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Lafayette Jeff.
Also, fan buses will leave Merrillville at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for students. Bus tickets are available for purchase until noon today. Use entrance Q to enter the school.
Girls track and field
MCKNIGHT TO JUMP FOR BRONCHOS: Portage senior Jade McKnight, a state qualifier last season in the long jump, has accepted a scholarship to attend Western Michigan University.
"I'm really excited to be able to compete at the Division-I level," said McKnight, a 3.69 student who will major in exercise science.
McKnight will compete in the long jump, 55-meter dash and 800 relay at this weekend's Hoosier State Relays.
WORMINGTON LEADS VU TO WIN: Kyle Wormington (1-3) scattered eight hits over 7 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs in Valparaiso's 6-2 win over Bucknell on Thursday in Auburndale, Fla.
Chris Manning and Mark Johnson each had two hits for the Crusaders (7-10).
BEARS RE-SIGN TACKLE: The Bears signed defensive tackle Nate Collins to a one-year contract Thursday.
The 6-foot-2, 296-pound Collins has appeared in 22 games over three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2010-11) and Bears (2012), collecting 23 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Last season for Chicago, Collins appeared in nine contests, recording 13 tackles and one tackle for loss.
BLACKBIRDS ADVANCE TO THIRD ROUND: The Illiana Blackbirds have advanced to the third round of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League playoffs and will play top seed Wisconsin Rampage this weekend in the Great Lakes Division finals at the Ice Plex, 9900 Terwall Terrace, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
Game 1 will be at 7:45 p.m. today, Game 2 at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and Game 3 (if necessary) at 1:15 p.m. Sunday. For details, go to www.illianablackbirds.com.
Around the horn
Purdue University Calumet men's basketball coach Dan Voudrie is the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 4 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... The Region Sports Network will rebroadcast the Munster-Merrillville Class 4A Michigan City Regional semifinal game at 7 p.m. today on WRTW-FM (90.5). ... Forest Park Golf Course in Valparaiso will host open houses from 3 to 6 p.m. today and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. For details, call Beth at (219) 531-7888 or (219) 241-1111. ... Deep River Bowmen of Valparaiso will sponsor a pheasant hunt Saturday at the Dawn to Dusk Hunt Hunt Club. For details, call Mike Tichenor at (219) 309-6279, or go to www.deepriverbowmen.com or www.dawn-to-dusk.com.