AP NEWS

A lot for Ott

March 7, 2019

La PORTE — It was a circuitous journey for Riley Ott this basketball season.

The La Porte senior point guard got hurt halfway through the season, missing five games with a left shoulder separation. Not only did her status jeopardize the team’s future, it called into question her qualifications for postseason honors, most notably Indiana All-Star accolades, something she’s strived for several years.

“It’s always been a dream of mine honestly,” Ott said. “Back in the third grade, there was a picture of me and one of the Indiana All-Stars back then, so it’s always kind of been in my mind. So I really wanted to achieve that. And if I do get selected for it, that’d be an awesome accomplishment. I would be very honored to do that. If I do end up getting it, it’s really important for me to be there for my community basically, representing them, as well as Indiana.”

Ott earned “Supreme 15” accolades last week by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. The “Supreme 15” is the top All-State honor awarded and senior players were voted to that group without consideration for school size.

In addition, she participated in Hoosier Basketball Magazine’s top 60 workout on Sunday at Marian University in Indianapolis. That is part of the process in picking the Indiana All-Star Team, which will be announced this week.

“It was a great experience,” Ott said. “We went through drills. We scrimmaged a couple games. It was a hard, intense workout. It was really benefical, even if nothing comes out of it. Just being able to shoot and just play against good competition is always a good thing to have. I know a lot of the girls who were there and it was really fun being able to play against them and to encourage them and to play with them throughtout that whole Top 60 workout.”

Ott will look to add to her tremendous resume of basketball accolades by being named an Indiana All-Star. She’s aiming to become the first Indiana girls All-Star from La Porte since Beth Lapaich in 1996.

Ott’s coach, the Slicers’ Rob Walker, understands the importance of being recognized as one of the best 15 players in Indiana with the “Supreme 15” honor.

“Being named to the Supreme 15 makes you think she’s at least going to be in their consideration (for the All-Stars),” Walker said. “There’s so many great players who played this year in the state, to be named to the “Supreme 15” is a terrific achievement, and just to be in consideration is just an honor in itself. I don’t think it would take away from what I believe, and that is she’s an Indiana All-Star.”

Ott hopes the selection enhances her chances of bigger things to come, but even if she isn’t tabbed an All-Star, she’s still proud to claim the “Supreme 15” recognition.

“Especially being on the “Supreme 15”, that was a big accomplishment,” Ott said. “I’m honored to be on that. Last year, I only got Upperclass All-State, so this year getting “Supreme 15” is a really big accomplishment for me.”

The 5-foot-6 Ott was able to achieve the aforementioned honors despite missing three weeks with the shoulder separation in the middle of the season.

Following her injury, Ott said she might have lost her All-Star chance, besides not being able to help her La Porte team.

“Missing those five games really put a dent in my confidence really,” Ott said. “Just because I didn’t know what was going to happen. And I didn’t know if I was going to get any of these accolades or not, just because of that injury.”

Walker added she came back more determined than ever after she got hurt.

“She came back so strong, especially against Plymouth,” Walker said. “She excelled against Plymouth, who was in the regional, with 29 points. That was an all-around game. That was a showcase-type of game. In the opener against Penn, against another really good team, she really shined in that game. She played well against the best teams, which is always a measuring stick.”

Ott was extremely pivotal in the Slicers’ 16-8 record, including a third-place finish in the uber-competitive Duneland Athletic Conference with a winning mark of 4-3.

Besides all of her postseason honors, Ott’s 1,486 career points left her a mere 25 shy of breaking Lapaich’s La Porte girls career scoring record of 1,510 posted between 1993 and 1996.

Ott averaged 17.2 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.2 steals. Plus, she was reliable at the free-throw line, shooting 79 percent.

Ott will continue her basketball exploits at Purdue Fort Wayne next season.