FORT WAYNE – When Toledo Whitmer senior guard/forward KeShyra McCarver was in second grade, she was playing on an AAU team with eighth-graders.
Eventually, the Toledo Lady Ballers program split, and McCarver competed with players closer to her age.
The experience helped develop her into a more aggressive player.
It has served her well with an accolade-filled high school career, an all-star appearance on the Ohio team for the Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic on Sunday and a college scholarship at IPFW.
It grew me into the player I am today, just a fearless player and go out there and get the job done, she said. I was always the youngest player on the team, and a lot of people said I was the youngest but I had the biggest heart.
It just taught me to work hard no matter what, no matter who you are playing with or against. You can do anything anybody else can do, no matter if they are bigger, stronger or faster. You just go out there and play and be fearless and don’t let anybody stop you.
A three-year starter for Toledo Whitmer, the 5-foot-10 McCarver was named the Three Rivers Athletic Conference and the District 7 player of the year and earned first-team Division I All-Ohio honors as a junior after averaging 18 points and 8.7 rebounds.
As a senior, McCarver averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
My dad put a ball in my hand, and from there just continued to play and get better, McCarver said. The biggest thing I have always had to deal with was adjusting to different styles of play and playing with different girls and personally getting better with conditioning and getting quicker, things like that.
McCarver went over the 1,000-point plateau in her career at Whitmer.
KeShyra is a very strong wing who is a mismatch problem for our opponents, IPFW coach Chris Paul said in a statement after McCarver’s signing in November. She is a very smart player and a true competitor who knows when to take advantage of opportunities given to her.
Playing in the Nancy Rehm game at Saint Francis gives McCarver a chance to introduce herself to Fort Wayne women’s basketball fans.
It’s a starting ground for me where I can set the tone in Fort Wayne and show them what I am about for next season, she said. (IPFW) was a family fit. It was perfect.
I am just going to go out there and have fun and play with girls I have played with growing up and play in my last high school event before I go to college.
I am looking at it to have fun but also to win because I am a very competitive person.