Coach Renbarger and Caleb Middlesworth Participate In All-Star Weekend

Posted on June 11, 2017 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

Caleb Middlesworth plays for the junior all-stars

Caleb Middlesworth plays for the junior all-stars

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

PLAINFIELD — Oak Hill soon-to-be senior basketball player Caleb Middlesworth and his coach Kevin Renbarger both had a summer opportunity that representatives from a Class 2A programs seldom get.
Earlier this year, both were selected to take part in the Indiana All-Star program, Middlesworth being selected as a member of the junior team and Renbarger as part of its coaching staff.
That experience concluded Thursday night at Plainfield High School in a resounding 134-92 win by the seniors over the juniors, but both hope to take lessons away from the two games that will help the Golden Eagles upon returning to the court next winter.
“For the future it’s pretty big because it’s a showcase of his talents and abilities,” Renbarger said of Middlesworth, who is getting several looks from NCAA Division I programs.
“But as many times as he can take opportunities to compete at this level, against this high of competition – this is the best the state of Indiana has to offer in two separate (grade) classes,” he continued. “So if he can take advantage of that and bring it back to our level, and maintain that level he’s on right now, it improves our game as a basketball team immensely.”
Middlesworth has been no stranger to high level competition, as he’s competed with and against some of the players on the floor Thursday in AAU basketball. But he more than held his own in limited time on the floor.
He was 2-of-4 from the field, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range in scoring five points and pulling down four rebounds and adding an assist in 13 minutes on the floor.
But it was a big picture night for Middlesworth, and one that offered him some perspective on what lies ahead when he graduates from Oak Hill in spring of 2018.
“Coming into (Thursday) and into practice, I didn’t know what to expect or anything, but after the game it’s a truly humbling experience,” Middlesworth said. “You go in thinking, Oak Hill, it’s pretty small, and you go in and play these big guys and it pumps you down a little bit.”
Middlesworth has the month of June off from the AAU circuit before traveling to Las Vegas and Washington for a pair of national tournaments. Oak Hill also has a busy summer shootout schedule beginning this weekend at Fishers Fieldhouse.
He is also concentrating on individual skill development for whatever the future will offer, at Oak Hill and beyond.
“There is always room to grow, you can’t stop getting better,” he said. “I want to develop my game a little more, be a more efficient shooter, a more efficient scorer and develop my game a little more off the dribble.”
Renbarger said the key for Middlesworth, along with returning seniors Tyce Frank, Spencer Ballinger and David Arens, who are all playing on the AAU circuit this summer, will be to maintain any improvements they make once school starts up again.
“They are playing every game against competition that they don’t face at (the 2A) level,” Renbarger said. “I’m hoping they take that and maintain that level and not drop back down to where they were at the beginning of this experience. I think it only makes up better.”
Renbarger said his experience coaching some of the best juniors from the state over the past couple of weeks has been memorable. Particularly the 122-110 loss the juniors dealt the seniors Tuesday night in New Albany.
“That was a lot of fun. Both teams competed pretty hard and got after it,” he said. “This one had more of the feel of an all-star game. The one Tuesday night, you could tell it was more than just an all-star game.
“The whole experience has been great,” Renbarger added. “Being able to meet people haven’t met before – coaches I respect and haven’t had the opportunity to speak with. It’s a nice thing to check off the bucket list, so to speak.”

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