The choice was easy for us in northeast Indiana. Turns out, it was throughout the state as well.
The Indianapolis Star released the news at noon on Friday that Blackhawk Christian senior Caleb Furst has been named 2021 Indiana Mr. Basketball.
Furst becomes the sixth player from Fort Wayne and Allen County to win Indiana Mr. Basketball, joining Mike McCoy in 1958 (South Side), Willie Long in 1967 (South Side), Jim Master in 1980 (Harding), Deshaun Thomas in 2010 (Bishop Luers) and Caleb Swanigan in 2015 (Homestead).
The 6-foot-10 Purdue signee averaged 21.4 points, 14.1 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.2 blocked shots per game for the Braves, which won their second-straight state championship earlier this month in a 55-40 victory over Parke Heritage. Furst finished that game with 20 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots.
“Caleb has been incredible for us all four years, but especially this senior season with all the adversity,” said Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson earlier this month. “He is as easy to coach as anyone on the team and he truly strives to make everyone better around him, but not to the point where it is affecting his dominance.
“It has been special being a part of his journey.”
Furst is just the second player ever to be named Indiana Mr. Basketball from Class 1A or 2A. While playing up in 2A due to success factor, enrollment-wise Blackhawk Christian is just a 1A school. The only other Indiana Mr. Basketball to come from a 2A or 1A school in the class basketball era was Thomas in 2010 from Bishop Luers.
Furst was voted Mr. Basketball on 73 ballots, easily distancing himself from future teammate Trey Kaufman-Renn of Silver Creek, who finished with 47 votes.
Blackford guard Luke Brown, who finished fourth all-time in career scoring in the state, notched 40 votes. Lafayette Jeff’s Brooks Barnhizer was fourth, followed by Lawrence North’s Shamar Avance and South Bend St. Joseph’s J.R. Konieczny.