Despite having two older brothers who played basketball at Columbus East, one of which just completed his career at Purdue, Caroline Frost was content sticking to volleyball.
But after wrapping up her senior volleyball season, the Frost was ready for another challenge. She decided to play basketball for the first time since middle school.
“I wanted to enjoy my senior year with all my friends, and coach (Kaitlyn) Phillips just kind of persuaded me into it a lot,” Frost said. “Every time she saw me, she was like, ‘Hey, you want to play basketball?’ and I was like, ‘No, I want to work at Texas Roadhouse and make money.’ Then, as time went on, I was thinking about it, and I didn’t want to waste this chance away with my friends my senior year. I had to think a lot about it and what I really wanted to do, and I think I made the right choice.”
So does Phillips, who took over the East girls basketball program this summer.
“She’s friends with a lot of our kids, so when I met her this fall, I was pushing her pretty heavy to try out, and she did, and honestly, from the very first day that she stepped on the court, she competed so hard in practice,” Phillips said. “We saw all the potential in practice from her. It took a few games for her to start to get her groove and her confidence, but now that she’s finding her way, this rhythm that she has about her has completely changed the dynamic of our team.”
After a little bit of a slow start, Frost has flourished. She had her biggest game on Tuesday, when she recorded her first double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 43-38 win against Floyd Central in the Hoosier Hills Conference opener.
“I honestly was really surprised,” Frost said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Frost followed up that game by resetting her career-high scoring output with 13 points and leading the Olympians with eight rebounds in Saturday’s 63-27 loss to Jeffersonville.
The 6-foot-1 Frost came off the bench to begin the season, but has worked her way into the starting lineup.
“At first, I felt very tense and really just not natural at all,” Frost said. “Volleyball came naturally to me. This has not come naturally to me whatsoever, so those first two games, I was intimidated, but now, I feel like I’m way more comfortable. Over the past few weeks, practices have gone well, and I feel like I’m getting better each time I’m in practice and just touching the ball. Then, I’ve been using a lot of my resource time just getting shots up since I had not been practicing or playing for three years.”
“I think a lot of it was getting used to the physicality,” Phillips said. “In volleyball, she’s not getting pushed around at all. She’s just there in her own lane jumping back and forth. In basketball, she’s getting bodied on the post a lot, so I think when she’s been able to get used to that physicality and welcome it, that has been a huge game changer in her. Then, once she starts to hit shots and has good defensive possessions, she has the confidence now that she needed in herself.”
Frost is planning to attend Purdue and major in marketing. She hopes to play club volleyball.
East is 3-9 going into Thursday night’s battle at Columbus North.
“I think we’re playing really well together, and we all have a good team connection where we get along super well on the court and off the court, and I think it’s finally translating into our game,” Frost said. “I feel like this is good going into North (this) week. We’re going in the right direction, so that’s a positive. I really want to win our conference and win our sectional. I feel like we really have a chance.”