(La Porte County, IN) - She makes everything on a basketball court from shooting to running a fast break almost look easy.
Ashlynn Shade, a 5’ 11” senior at La Lumiere School, has been named a McDonald’s All American.
Shade said she was in class using an iPad when notified in a text message on January 24 of her selection from more than 700 girls nominated from across the country.
She clicked the link and up on the screen came a video about her being chosen to participate in the most celebrated post season high school All American girls’ basketball game.
Shade said it was surreal to think she was viewed in the same light as some of the best girls’ basketball players who ever played.
“It’s such an honor to be part of that list because it’s so, like, historically amazing,” she said.
Shade, who has committed to the University of Connecticut, will play for the 12 member East squad on March 28 at the Toyota Center in Houston. Joining her on the Huskies next season is KK Arnold of Germantown, Wisconsin chosen to play on the West team.
Shade said she knew the players were going to be announced that day but went to school trying not to think about it or get her hopes up too high.
“I’m just glad to be part of it. It was just like totally unexpected,” she said.
Shade led Noblesville to the Indiana High School girls’ basketball state championship last year and was considered the overwhelming favorite to be named Indiana Miss Basketball for 2023.
Since La Lumiere outside La Porte is a college prep school, the Lakers are not eligible to compete in the state tournament. Shade is also not eligible for Indiana Miss Basketball.
Nevertheless, Shade said she made the right choice to attend La Lumiere and live in a dorm on campus away from her family about 30 miles north of Indianapolis.
She said the decision was tough but one she felt was best for her growth academically and on the basketball court. Shade said she also believes the move has helped her to become more independent to further help in her transition to college.
“I had a lot of great friends on that team. We built a lot of great memories, but I’m super happy about the decision I made and I don’t have any regrets about it,” she said.
The Lakers (8-9) are in their fourth season of upgrading the program to compete against top competition mostly from Indiana and Illinois.
Shade scored 25 points Saturday in a loss against undefeated South Bend Washington, which is No. 1 ranked in the state and No. 7 ranked in the nation. Earlier in the season, she poured in 44 points against No. 13 ranked in the nation, The Webb School outside Nashville, Tennessee.
“We’ve played the hardest schedule in the country and feel confident in saying that,” said Lakers Head Coach Matt Marvin.
Shade is averaging 24 points, 9 rebounds and five assists a game. She’s shooting 55-percent from two point range and 40-percent from beyond the three point line.
“She doesn’t miss open shots. It’s pretty incredible to watch,” Marvin said.
He also cited her physical strength, instinct and unselfish play as among her other strong points on the court.
In second grade, Shade said she actually hated basketball when she first competed on a boys’ team coached by her father, a physical fitness instructor. She tried other sports before returning when her elementary school later started a girls’ basketball program.
Shade said it’s been a labor of love ever since with a hard work ethic passed down from her parents. She also credited her success to coaches, teammates and friends over the years.
“Obviously, I put in the work and put all of the time and effort into it, but it’s not an individual thing for me. It’s a family thing. It’s a circle thing,” she said.