Franklin Central senior Rachel Loobie was ecstatic when she got the phone call that she would be on the girls’ Indiana All-Star team.
“It was a dream come true; something I had always dreamed of in middle school and high school.” She said.
“I thanked God for being blessed to be on the team.”
For several weeks, the 6-0 standout was looking forward to playing with many girls on the team who had either played with her or against her during off-season club ball.
“It was to be the last time to play on the court before everyone moved on to college ball,” Loobie pointed out. “It was going to be so cool to be with them one last time.”
The traditional Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games were scheduled June 5-6 at Georgetown, Ky., and at historic Southport Fieldhouse with an exhibition game against Indiana’s Junior All-Stars, June 3. Due to increased restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one by one traditional senior events went away – no prom, no public graduation ceremony, and no final farewells with schools being shut down across the state. Last week, the two-state series and Indiana’s juniorsenior games were canceled.
“Heartbroken,” Loobie said after being asked about her instant reaction. “You are on the team, so you want to play; no prom, no graduation and no way to showcase the end of my high-school career.”
However, the daughter of a One Mission Society (OMS) missionary recalled the lessons learned about religion and humanity as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic was being felt worldwide.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Loobie said, hiding her original disappointment. “It hit me that there was a lot I would miss out on as a senior but began to look at it as a sign of growth and a learning experience for me. This (COVID-19) was something that had never happened before and that I would be able to look back on it 20 years from now.
“It is an honor to be named as an Indiana All-Star and that cannot be taken away,” she concluded.
The Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games also would have put the final stamp on her total comeback from back surgery that caused her to miss most of her sophomore season on the court. She bounced back in the 2018-2019 season but under new coach Vince Cerbone who succeeded Brian Hacker. The Flashes went a frustrating 2-20, but Loobie averaged 20 points per game, 50 percent of FC’s offensive output. Her senior year was capped with “double doubles” in all three sectional games in leading the Flashes to their first title since 2014.
Loobie averaged 21.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 blocks in her final season. She will continue as a studentathlete at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. The Chippewas won the regular season Mid-American Conference title and finished 23-7. She plans to major in communications.