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Raines to be recognized by Pacers

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Raines [Order this photo]
Although Northview High School senior Spring Raines has received several awards and honors this year, she was unaware of one.

The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, in conjunction with the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, began honoring high school boys' and girls' basketball players this year with a Player of the Week award.

According to IBCA Special Projects Coordinator Pat Aikman, this was the first year for the honors.

"The Pacers and Fever are (two) of our major sponsors," Aikman said. "This is part of their sponsorship."

Through her efforts, Raines was named Player of the Week twice.

And on Wednesday, Northview's all-time leading scorer, will be honored by the Pacers, at Conseco Fieldhouse, when they face the Toronto Raptors. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"She was very amazed," Spring's mother, Kristi Cundiff, said, "and very shocked that she had been recognized by the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever as being a standout in the state. Obviously she was very grateful that they thought that highly of her."

"I was shocked," Raines said. "It didn't really hit me until later."

Cundiff said the family was unaware of the Player of the Week honors until receiving an e-mail from Aikman. But she said the family would be at Wednesday's game.

Raines said she received a certificate during the season being recognized as a Player of the Week, but was unaware of the connection between the Pacers, Fever and the IBCA.

"I didn't know I was going to be honored again," she said. "I had no idea. But this makes me feel good. I think it's going to be fun and a great honor to be there."

Raines is one of six high school athletes who will be honored at the game Wednesday. Joining her will be 2009 Miss Basketball Skylar Diggins (South Bend Washington), Mur Hagerman (Pendleton Heights), Jake Odum (Terre Haute South), J.R. Mahurin (Rockville) and Blake Metcalf (Plainfield).

"I think it's very significant," Aikman said, "to recognize high school basketball throughout Indiana and to honor these kids."

All the athletes will receive a certificate for being recognized as a Player of the Week more than once.

"I think it's exciting for her to come from a small town and achieve everything that she has achieved in her high school career," Cundiff said, "not just her academic work, but to be a standout in basketball. It seems like the honors just keep coming her way. I think she's very deserving."

In January, Raines broke the school's scoring mark, surpassing Julia Whitted.