Rachel Loobie transforms into team leader
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By Nathan Pace
One of the highly recruited players in the Indy area has her focus on more than basketball. Franklin Central junior Rachel Loobie is passionate about her future career, too. She can be heard on the school’s radio station, WRFT, and seen on the school’s television broadcast, FCTV.
“I go on once a week,” Loobie said on WRFT. “It’s basically practice for journalism.”
Her future choices of colleges with well-known journalism/media and athletic programs that have offered her scholarships include Ball State, Toledo, Kent State and Xavier. While playing high school and club basketball and volleyball is tough, Loobie finds time for everything.
“Just prioritize things, what is more important, give time to that and a little less time to the things that are not as important,” Loobie said.
Her freshman and sophomore seasons were a bit frustrating after missing most of last year due to injury. As a junior, the six-foot basketball player is working with an inexperienced squad with a 2-17 record prior to press on Jan. 22. Her mom, Susan, has seen her daughter grow and mature through adversity and stays positive with her teammates.
“She continues to say, ‘I have to include my team,’” Susan said. “Some of the lessons you have learned about team you can’t learn about without going through this sort of thing. That takes a mature attitude to see that.”
Rachel has helped her mom at work, One Mission Society, in Greenwood to have a school supply drive at FCHS for a school in Kenya. While she is proud of her daughter for her basketball success, her academic success is another trait she admires.
“People have overlooked her academic ability because of her basketball success,” Susan said. “She scored very high on her PSAT and she is getting letters from colleges about her academics.”
Franklin Central has had a difficult schedule with its first year in the rugged Hoosier Crossroads Conference and under a new coach. First-year Flashes coach Vince Cerbone is optimistic the tough schedule will help the Flashes achieve in sectionals that start in less than two weeks.
“I really believe that we are one of the top three or four schedules in the state and having lost seven or eight of our top nine players from last year that’s a tough feat,” Cerbone said.
“That puts a lot of pressure on Rachel. She is outstanding; she leads us in scoring, rebounding, block shots and is one of our leaders in assists. She has a balanced game, she can play inside and outside and it’s nice to have her handle the ball for us and be our primary scorer and distributor at times.”
Through 15 games, Loobie has scored 261 of the team’s 573 total points for the season. She also collected 149 rebounds to give her an average double-double of 18.6 points and 10.6 boards a game. Loobie began earning many varsity minutes as a freshman and now her role has changed into team leader.
“When I was a freshman, we had a few really good seniors, so I was a bit nervous coming in,” Loobie said.
“But I really meshed with the team. Now that those seniors are gone, I have grown into more of the leader that they were to me.”
Her teammates recognize her leadership including senior Amelia Magyar, only one of just two seniors on the young FC roster.
“She pretty much carries us,” Magyar said. “It’s not just on the court; it’s in real life, if you need picked up, Rachel’s got you.”
One of her favorite games was winning a sectional semifinal game two years ago against New Palestine, 38-37. The Flashes lost in the sectional final that year, but Loobie hopes to pass that sectional hurdle in her final two seasons.
“New Pal inbounded the ball and missed the lay-up which could have tied the game and we were really happy about that,” Loobie said with a smile. “Our goal always is to succeed in sectionals. Every game we play is to get better and get prepared for that.”
Meanwhile, she is preparing for a possible media career.