We have reached the top 5 in our countdown of Outside the Huddle’s Top 50 boys basketball player countdown. This is No. 1 in our annual preseason crowning of the top 5 players in northeast Indiana that we call the ‘First Five;’ our highest individual preseason honor.
The ‘First Five’ was started in 2018, following in the 35-plus year tradition of naming the top five area basketball players, started by a now defunct prep sports department in Fort Wayne. It is our honor to pick up and carry on that tradition with the ‘First Five,’ including our third group of honorees coming this season at the top of our Top 50 countdown.
No. 1 – Caleb Furst, Blackhawk Christian
Fort Wayne doesn’t have Mr. Basketball candidates every year. Furst is not only one of those, but he is a frontrunner for the state’s top individual honor. What can you say about Furst that hasn’t already been said? Furst’s motor is just ridiculously high and it continues to grow, maybe even by the minute. That remains perhaps the most fascinating thing about Caleb Furst: he improves all of the time. Players who come in to the varsity level with the hype and excitement he had as a freshman all tend to level off to a degree. Furst never has. He becomes a better scorer, a better shooter, a better passer, a strong rebounder and a greater interview every game out. There is not a facet of Furst’s game or basketball personality that weakens any given day. He averaged 21.7 points, 14.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 67 percent from the field as a junior.
Furst is fantastic at playing face up and taking his defender off the dribble. You just can’t defend that level of long and quick correctly and Furst takes advantage of that fact. As that part of his game has continued to develop, Furst has become comfortable on an entirely different level offensively. He can step out when need be and he can play like a traditional post with his back to the basket; nothing fazes Furst and you can read that on his face. What may get lost amongst all of his offensive attributes is how good Furst is defensively. It is quite possible and logical to say he can defend all five spots on the floor on a high school level. Not only is his footwork top notch, Furst is wildly intelligent and it causes opposing players to rarely get a good look at the basket when he is in front of them.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CALEB FURST
“Caleb has continued to improve significantly every year. This year, we will continue to ask Caleb to play with a high level of assertiveness and aggression at all times.” – Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson
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