HERMITAGE – A “blue-collar” basketball player may be an old-school term, but all contemporary coaches covet the unselfish, team-oriented athlete.
So while her teammate, Malia Magestro, emerged as the 2nd all-time leading female scorer in Mercer County cage annals (2,169), Addie Flanders finished with 109 points this past season. However they combined to help key Kennedy Catholic High to the PIAA Class 1A Elite Eight.
It’s what makes the game great. There is a role for every player of every skill-set. Without any egos the Lady Golden Eagles ended 22-3, including a 10th consecutive District 10 crown.
And it’s also why Flanders will continue her cage career at Grove City College. She joins Magestro (Youngstown State University) and Mariah Vincent (Westminster College) as KC seniors who will continue their education. Flanders, who compiled a scholastic 3.5 grade-point-average, will major in political science.
“I really like that (Grove City College has) a good basketball program, and I like how the school has a Christian environment – like here at Kennedy,” explained Flanders. She also seriously considered California University of Pennsylvania, but emphasized, “I wanted somewhere that had a Christian environment.”
The 5-foot-8 Flanders fashioned a stellar senior season as a defensive stopper and weak-side rebounder.
“I didn’t get any (varsity) playing time until my eleventh-grade year, then my senior year I started. I was strong on the defensive end, and I think that’s where I secured my playing time ‘cause they needed me defensively,” she explained.
Projected as a 2-guard or small-forward at the next level, Flanders acknowledged, “I need to improve my offensive game” so she can become a more complete player and compete collegiately. Regarding the transition from scholastic to college basketball, Flanders observed, “I think it’s the other girls you’re playing with. When you go to the college level, everyone there is good. They earned their spot there. Plus, the height. And you’re competing with very good players.”
To her point, Grove City College claimed the 2019-20 Presidents’ Athletic Conference crown. The Lady Wolverines won over Washington & Jefferson (54-52) for the program’s first conference championship since 1987 and first NCAA Div. III Tournament berth in 37 years. Coach Chelle Fuss’ Wolverines went 25-3 overall (14-2 PAC), losing in the opening round of the D-III tourney to top-ranked Hope College. Including a 12-game win skein, the 25 wins established a single-season program mark.
“Adelaide matured and improved tremendously from her freshman to senior year as a player and person,” praised Kennedy Catholic Coach Justin Magestro. “She had an extremely high motor and was one of our best defensive players on the team. Even though at times she was undersized she always competed, even if the players were bigger than her. She was relentless on the boards and all of her other intangibles made her a huge asset to the team.
“We wouldn’t have had the success we had for the past three years without Adelaide,” Magestro continued forecasting, “Those intangibles and her will to win will make her extremely valuable at the next level at Grove City College.”
While there was no closure for KC – owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, PIAA canceled the conclusion of its winter and entire spring sports seasons – Flanders felt it was worth the sacrifice and dedication.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get any closure. We weren’t able to continue, and it’s sad we weren’t. But I’m glad that we made it as far as we did,” Flanders said.
A daughter of Leslie and Scott Flanders, she summarized her high school days thusly: “I definitely had a great experience. I transferred (to Kennedy Catholic) halfway through my ninth-grade year. It was easy to make friends, and I’m coming out of high school with a ton of friends that I will continue with. And I’m glad I was able to continue my education here with the teachers and all the other things that they offer here.”