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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Staying close to home

Friday, November 14, 2003

Northview senior basketball player Logan Whitman (front center) signs his letter-of-intent on Thursday morning to attend Indiana State University to play basketball. Attending the signing were (back left to right) Northview basketball coach Mitch Lancaster, (members of Whitman's family include) grandmother Chitra Jeffries, grandfather Tony Jeffries, Whitman's father Jim Zimmerman Jr., grandmother Jane Zimmerman, mother Debbie Zimmerman, and grandfather Jim Zimmerman Sr. Also attending the signing were Northview principal Ken Wallace and Athletic Director Charlie Jackson.

Fans of Northview basketball have seen Logan Whitman achieve some special milestones over the past several years.

On Thursday morning they were assured of being able to perhaps see a few more within a short drive.

Whitman signed a letter of intent to attend Indiana State University on a basketball scholarship on Thursday surrounded by family and coaches.

"I really liked the coaches (at ISU) and the program," commented Whitman. "It's still close to home and my family will be able to see me play."

While many high school seniors are anxious to get away from home to attend college. Whitman expressed the opposite sentiments about continuing his education and basketball career. "When I was a kid I wanted to get away," said Whitman. "But as I got older and more mature I wanted to stay close to home."

The 6'2 senior guard heads into his final year of high school basketball with a lengthy list of accomplishments on the hardwood in a Northview uniform.

Whitman scored his 1,000th point last season with a pair of free throws versus Sullivan on Jan. 31 that helped provide a 68-64 victory. The shots also helped clinch another Western Indiana Conference title for the Knights and gave them a second straight unbeaten record in the conference.

From his freshman season, Whitman has been a key competitor for the Knights. He averaged 12.8 points per game (ppg.) in that first season on the way to being named to the All-Sectional Team and receiving Honorable Mention All-State Honors.

The list continued to grow in his second season when he poured in 18.9 ppg. to receive All-WIC honors along with another Honorable Mention All-State berth as part of the 4th Team All-State. That Northview squad finished 21-3 for the year and set up Whitman's junior season and another 21-3 mark. He would average 21.8 ppg. along with 4.8 rebounds per game (rpg.) and 2.8 assists per game (apg.). His 94 3-pointers for the season is almost certainly a school record and helped him become a member of the Junior All-State team that played an exhibition contest versus the Indiana All-stars that face Kentucky's All-stars each season. Whitman will begin his senior season with 1,175 career points.

"He's got a deep love for the game," said Northview coach Mitch Lancaster. "He creates opportunities for himself and his teammates. (Whitman) is great fundamentally. I'm as happy as can be for him."

His outstanding three-year career to this point has earned Whitman recognition as one of the "Tremendous 26" players in the state as well as notice as a Mr. Basketball Candidate this season as the Knights try to accomplish the one goal that has seemed to elude them in recent years. A Sectional title.

"This is a huge season for (the team)," noted Whitman. "We've all been playing together for a long time and (a sectional title) is our goal."

At Indiana State, Whitman will likely join invited walk-on freshman Elliott Booe, a former high-scoring guard from Clay City High School.

Whitman sees himself at the guard position at the college level as well. "I think I'll probably fit in at the one or two spot. I'll fit in the perimeter game."

For coach Lancaster, seeing one of his athletes reach the next level is something special. "It's a bit of a new experience for me," commented Lancaster. "But this is great for the program, I think it'll inspire some kids who'll see what hard work can achieve. I think this group (of seniors) has really done a great job of bringing this community together."

And in the years to come the community will have the chance to watch Whitman, and perhaps more of his teammates, take the next step in their basketball careers just a short little trip down Highway 40.

Logan Whitman high school statistics

Fr 12.8 pts/game

So. 18.9 pts/game

Jr. 21.8 pts/game

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