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Mr. Basketball for 2024 Named

Mr. Basketball for 2024 Named

Bidunga voted IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2024

Wildkats' standout is school's third Mr. Basketball, joins a long list of All-Stars from Kokomo


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           Contact: Pat McKee, 317-403-1665

April 23, 2024                                                                   IBCA Director of Special Projects


            Flory Bidunga has earned the top individual award in Indiana high school boys basketball.

            Bidunga, a 6-9 forward from Kokomo, has been named IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2024 in online voting of media and boys’ varsity coaches conducted by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and All-Star game director Mike Broughton, it was announced Tuesday (April 23) as part of the IndyStar Indiana Sports Awards program at Butler University's Clowes Memorial Hall.

            The Mr. Basketball result means Bidunga will wear the No. 1 jersey for the Indiana All-Stars in their annual series with Kentucky. The Mr. Basketball award goes to the top boys’ basketball senior in the state. The Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball awards are part of the IndyStar Indiana All-Star program that dates to 1939. The Miss Basketball award, along with the girls All-Stars, was added to the All-Star program in 1976.

            The complete of the 2024 boys' All-Star team was announced on April 11. The girls' All-Star team was announced March 11, and Chloe Spreen of Bedford North Lawrence was announced as the 2024 Miss Basketball on March 15.

            Bidunga earned the boys top honor after being named on 198 ballots submitted to Broughton in voting that ran from March 13 to April 1. Jack Benter of Brownstown Central was runner-up with 122 votes. Keenan Garner of Fishers placed third with 15 votes followed by K.J. Windham of Ben Davis with 12 votes, Evan Haywood of Brebeuf Jesuit with five votes and Micah Davis of Franklin Community with three votes. There were 362 votes cast overall.

            A Kansas University recruit, Bidunga averaged 19.0 points, 12.9 rebounds and 4.4 blocked shots while converting 81.4 percent of his field goals (236 of 290) and leading Kokomo to a 25-4 record that included North Central Conference and Lafayette Jefferson Sectional championships as a senior.

            In a three-year high school career, the Democratic Republic of the Congo native totaled 1,609 points, 1,132 rebounds and 402 blocks as the Wildkats went 69-17 and captured three sectionals, two regionals, one semi-state and finished as the 2023 Class 4A state runner-up. He also shot a state-record 80.3 percent from the field (689 of 858) and 55.0 percent on free throws (230 of 418) while adding 158 assists, 85 steals and 322 dunks in his career.

            A 2024 McDonald's All-American and 2024 Nike Hoop Summit participant, Bidunga averaged 17.5 points, 13.3 rebounds and 5.3 blocks as a sophomore as well as 20.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a junior. As a junior, from Dec. 29, 2022, to Jan. 7, 2023, he tied a state record with 32 consecutive field goals. He also is No. 2 in state annals with his 402 career blocks.

            In 85 career games, Bidunga posted 72 double-doubles and six triple-doubles -- 32 points, 20 rebounds and 11 blocks against Richmond and 30 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks against Lafayette Jefferson as a sophomore; 22 points, 10 rebounds, 12 blocks against Lebanon and 25 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks against Marion as a junior; and 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks against New Haven and 17 points, 24 rebounds and 10 blocks against Anderson as a senior.

            His career single-game bests are 34 points against McCutcheon as a junior, 24 rebounds against Fort Wayne Northrop as a sophomore and Anderson as a senior, six assists against Westfield and Fishers as a senior, four steals against Carmel as a junior and 12 blocks against Lebanon as a junior.

            Bidunga is the third Mr. Basketball from Kokomo, joining Tom Schwartz in 1945 and Jim Rayl in 1959. Bidunga and teammate Karson Rogers are the program's 18th and 19th boys' Indiana All-Stars as well as the school's 29th and 30th overall All-Stars.

            Past Kokomo High boys selected to the All-Stars were Chet Gabriel (1940), Carl Campbell (1941), Jack Turner (1942), Gene Turner (1944), Schwartz, Maurice Conwell (1946), James "Junior" Phipps (1952), Jim Butcher (1955), Paul Conwell (1956), Rayl, Ron Hughes (1961), Rich Scott (1961), Jim "Goose" Ligon (1962), Brian Hogan (1988), Lee Coomler (1996), D.J. Balentine (2012) and Tayler Persons (2014).

            Kokomo girls previously named All-Stars were Tiffany Longworth (1993), Cari Stover (1993), Mistina Oliver (1993), Debbie Benziger (1994), Tamie Stiner (1997), Heather Cusick (1999), Hillary Beck (2001), Anne Thatcher (2003), DeUnna Hendrix (2003), Audrey McDonald (2006) and Kayla Drake (2008).

            John Peckinpaugh, the 2024 boys' All-Star head coach, is the third Kokomo coach to lead the All-Stars. He joins a list that includes Mike McCroskey, the girls' head coach in 1994, and Charlie Hall, the girls' head coach in 2003.

            In going to Kansas, Bidunga is the second Mr. Basketball and sixth boys' All-Star to join the Jayhawks. The previous KU-bound Mr. Basketball was David Magley of South Bend LaSalle in 1978. The other previous All-Stars who played at Kansas were Bud Dunn of Gosport in 1940, Clyde Lovellette of Terre Haute Garfield in 1948, Ron Loneski of Hammond Bishop Noll in 1955 and Bob Hickman of Terre Haute Gerstmeyer in 1956.

            While in high school, Bidunga has been a two-time Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year and a two-time MaxPreps Indiana Player of the Year. He also has been a 2023 Naismith third-team All-American, a three-time IBCA Supreme 15 honoree, a 2023 AP first-team All-State selection, a 2022 AP second-team All-State pick, a three-time team MVP, a three-time all-NCC pick and a three-time area MVP and All-Area honoree by the Kokomo Tribune.

            Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball traditionally wear No. 1 jerseys for the respective Indiana Boys All-Stars and Indiana Girls All-Stars in the annual series with Kentucky. The All-Stars will face the Indiana Junior All-Stars in an exhibition doubleheader on June 5 at Kokomo. The All-Stars follow with their home-and-home doubleheaders with Kentucky -- June 7 at Lexington Catholic High School and June 8 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

            The Indiana portion of the All-Star Games is organized and produced by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. The Indianapolis Star, with its IndyStar brand, is the title sponsor. Hoosier Shooting Academy is a presenting partner of All-Star Week, and Energy Systems Group is a presenting partner of the June 8 All-Star doubleheader at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

            A list of Mr. Basketball honorees follows.


Indiana Mr. Basketball honorees

1939: George Crowe, Franklin

1940: Ed Schienbein, Southport

1941: John Bass, Greenwood

1942: Bud Brown, Muncie Burris

1943: not awarded (World War II)

1944: not awarded (World War II)

1945: Tom Schwartz, Kokomo

1946: Johnny Wilson, Anderson

1947: Bill Garrett, Shelbyville

1948: Bob Masters, Lafayette Jeff

1949: Dee Monroe, Madison

1950: Pat Klein, Marion

1951: Tom Harrold, Muncie Central

1952: Joe Sexson, Indianapolis Tech

1953: Hallie Bryant, Indianapolis Attucks

1954: Bobby Plump, Milan

1955: Wilson Eison, Gary Roosevelt

1956: Oscar Robertson, Indianapolis Attucks

1957: John Coalmon, South Bend Central

1958: Mike McCoy, Fort Wayne South

1959: Jimmy Rayl, Kokomo

1960: Ron Bonham, Muncie Central

1961: Tom VanArsdale, Indianapolis Manual, and Dick VanArsdale, Indianpolis Manual

1962: Larry Humes, Madison

1963: Rick Jones, Muncie Central

1964: Dennis Brady, Lafayette Jeff

1965: Bill Keller, Indianapolis Washington

1966: Rick Mount, Lebanon

1967: Willie Long, Fort Wayne South

1968: Billy Shepherd, Carmel

1969: George McGinnis, Indianapolis Washington

1970: Dave Shepherd, Carmel

1971: Mike Flynn, Jeffersonville

1972: Phil Cox, Connersville

1973: Kent Benson, New Castle

1974: Steve Collier, Southwestern (Hanover), and Roy Taylor, Anderson

1975: Kyle Macy, Peru

1976: Dave Colescott, Marion

1977: Ray Tolbert, Anderson Madison Heights

1978: David Magley, South Bend LaSalle

1979: Steve Bouchie, Washington

1980: Jim Master, Harding (Fort Wayne)

1981: Dan Palombizio, Michigan City Rogers

1982: Roger Harden, Valparaiso

1983: Steve Alford, New Castle

1984: Delray Brooks, Michigan City Rogers, and Troy Lewis, Anderson,

1985: Jeff Grose, Warsaw

1986: Mark Jewell, Lafayette Jeff

1987: Jay Edwards, Marion, and Lyndon Jones, Marion

1988: Woody Austin, Richmond

1989: Pat Graham, Floyd Central

1990: Damon Bailey, Bedford North Lawrence

1991: Glenn Robinson, Gary Roosevelt

1992: Charles Macon, Michigan City Elston

1993: Maurice “Kojak” Fuller, Anderson

1994: Bryce Drew, Valparaiso

1995: Damon Frierson, Ben Davis

1996: Kevin Ault, Warsaw

1997: Luke Recker, DeKalb

1998: Tom Coverdale, Noblesville

1999: Jason Gardner, North Central

2000: Jared Jeffries, Bloomington North

2001: Chris Thomas, Pike

2002: Sean May, Bloomington North

2003: Justin Cage, Pike

2004: A.J. Ratliff, North Central

2005: Luke Zeller, Washington

2006: Greg Oden, Lawrence North

2007: Eric Gordon, North Central

2008: Tyler Zeller, Washington

2009: Jordan Hulls, Bloomington South

2010: DeShaun Thomas, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers

2011: Cody Zeller, Washington

2012: Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern

2013: Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern

2014: Trey Lyles, Indianapolis Tech

2015: Caleb Swanigan, Homestead

2016: Kyle Guy, Lawrence Central

2017: Kris Wilkes, North Central

2018: Romeo Langford, New Albany

2019: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Center Grove

2020: Anthony Leal, Bloomington South

2021: Caleb Furst, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian

2022: Braden Smith, Westfield

2023: Markus Burton, Penn

2024: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo




2024 IndyStar Indiana All-Star key dates

               Sunday, June 2 — Indiana Juniors vs. Kentucky Juniors at Scottsburg's Charles E. Meyer Gymnasium (375 E. McClain St., Scottsburg, IN 47170) — girls, 2:00 p.m.; boys, to follow; admission, $10 per person at the door (adults, school-aged students; pre-school children are free).

                Monday, June 3 – Indiana All-Stars “Futures Games” doubleheader at Hamilton Southeastern (13910 E. 126th St., Fishers, IN 46037) – girls, 6:00 p.m., boys, to follow; admission, $10 per person at the door (adults, school-aged students; pre-school children are free).

                Wednesday, June 5 — Junior-Senior All-Star game at Kokomo (200 S. Apperson Way, Kokomo, IN 46901) — girls, 6:00 p.m.; boys, to follow; admission, $10 per person at the door (adults, school-aged students; pre-school children are free).

                Friday, June 7 — Indiana at Kentucky at Lexington Catholic High School (2250 Clays Mill Rd., Lexington, KY 40503 — Senior girls, 5:30 p.m.; Senior boys, to follow (about 7:30 p.m.). Tickets go on sale on May 1 at kentuckybasketballcoaches.org.

                Saturday, June 8 — Indiana vs. Kentucky at Gainbridge Fieldhouse (125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN 46204) — Senior girls, 5:00 p.m.; Senior boys, to follow (about 7:30 p.m.). Tickets (priced from $10 to $100 each) are available at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse Box Office and at Ticketmaster.com.


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