When Pat McKee first covered the Indiana All-Stars as a sports writer in 1984, he never imagined coaching the team.
In a few months, McKee will get that chance. The Columbus North girls basketball coach has been selected as head coach for the girls Indiana All-Stars.
“Certainly, I was impressed with that team that year (1984). I never thought, ‘I’m going to be like Tom May some day,'” McKee said, referring to the former Crown Point coach who led the All-Stars that year.
McKee, who was a sports writer and editor in Indianapolis from 1982-2008, also was an assistant women’s coach at Butler University from 1984-88. He coached AAU and travel team basketball from 1989-2004, winning three national championships, and is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Since taking over the North program in 2010, McKee has led it to unprecedented success. In eight years, he has led the Bull Dogs to six sectional, four regional, three semistate and one state championships.
“It’s a really big honor because it’s one person a year that gets that (All-Star coaching) position out of 400 coaches,” McKee said. “But it’s certainly not an individual thing that I’ve achieved. We’ve had really good players here at North, and we have a really good coaching staff. It’s really a program award that has led us to the success that we’ve had over eight years. Without them, this doesn’t happen.”
McKee, who has a 183-33 coaching record, certainly has had talented players. He’s coached four Indiana All-Stars in Courtney Larson, Tayler Goodall, Ali Patberg and Maliah Howard-Bass, plus several other Bull Dogs who have gone on to play college basketball.
Patberg, who led North to the 2015 Class 4A state title, was Indiana Miss Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American.
“We try to give them good structure and good organization, but the players play,” McKee said. “They’re the ones that do the heavy lifting.”
That mindset was one of the reasons why All-Stars game director Charlie Hall picked McKee, who also has experience coaching the Indiana Junior All-Stars, as head coach.
“There aren’t a lot of easy decisions with this job, but this was one of them,” Hall said. “His long-term success is pretty amazing. Every time I’ve commented on his record, he goes right to the players he’s had. So the humility is there. He just seems to check all the boxes.”
Corie West, who just finished her first year at Avon after four years at New Castle, and DeAnn Booth of East Noble were selected as girls assistant coaches. The All-Star team will be picked in March.
New Albany’s Jim Shannon was selected as boys All-Star coach. His assistants will be Scott Radeker of Lafayette Jeff and Mike Hall of South Newton.
The Indiana Junior All-Stars will play games against the Kentucky Juniors June 1 and 2 and against the Indiana Senior All-Stars June 6. The senior All-Stars will play June 8 at a site to be determined in Kentucky and June 9 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“My intent would be to represent the program the best I can and to work with the two other coaches that were chosen to represent Indiana the best we can,” McKee said.
Name: Pat McKee
High School: Christian Brothers College High School, St. Louis
Occupation: Sports Information Director and girls basketball coach at Columbus North, SID for Conference Indiana and Indiana Basketball Coaches Association
Coaching experience: Butler University women’s assistant (1984-88), AAU and travel teams (1989-2004), Columbus North (2010-present)