Speidel named an early all-star

As Charlie Hall, the director of the IndyStar Indiana All-Star Game, began to consider players to honor on this year’s team, one thing was a certainty.

Columbus North senior Josh Speidel, whose season was cut short by a serious auto accident Feb. 1, deserved a spot.

Hall announced Monday that Speidel was an Indiana All-Star.

“It really was not that complicated,” Hall said. “It was the right thing to do.

“Every year there are five to eight kids where it is obvious they are All-Stars. I was putting that list together, and Josh’s name came up. I thought, ‘Let’s start the team off with Josh.'”

Hall said he won’t announce the rest of the team until, tentatively, the second week of April. He didn’t want to wait to announce Speidel as a member of the team.

“I thought it might be a nice boost for Josh’s family and the Columbus North community at a tough time,” Hall said.

Lisa Speidel, Josh’s mother, said Tuesday that the honor is much appreciated by her family.

“Josh has worked really hard,” she said. “Since he was very young, being an Indiana All-Star was a dream of his. This makes us proud.”

Josh Speidel remains in a coma at the Select Specialty Hospital in Indianapolis, but Lisa Speidel said her son is making small gains.

“We’re seeing improvements every day,” she said. “They are small, but huge for us. He will continue to trend forward and make gains.”

Lisa Speidel said her son has been able to open his eyes for longer periods and he has displayed more movements in his body.

“Twenty-four-seven, we are receiving words of encouragement and prayers,” she said. “Folks are stopping by and telling us to keep fighting.”

Hall said he hopes that Josh Speidel eventually will be able to celebrate his selection as an Indiana All-Star.

“When he wakes up from his coma, it would be nice to have this news in hand,” Hall said. “He has earned it.”

The award will give people time to think about Josh Speidel’s considerable basketball skills. He was averaging 25.6 points a game and 9.3 rebounds this season.

“Feb. 1 and what happened on that day doesn’t define Joshua’s career,” Lisa Speidel said.

Hall said the designation as an Indiana All-Star is a career achievement.

“His uniform should hang in the Columbus North gymnasium,” Hall said. “He clearly has earned being an Indiana All-Star.”