Hobart’s Donald quietly leads the state in scoring
HAMMOND – Hobart senior Asia Donald doesn’t have the typical shooter’s mentality, although she leads the state in scoring, averaging 28.5 points per game for the 13-10 Brickies.
“I don’t want to seem like I want to be a selfish player,” she said. “My teammates can also score, so I tried to find shots for them.”
Donald, who is second in Northwest Indiana in rebounding with 11.4 rpg, found teammate Riley Weber in the lane for an easy layup to put Hobart up 57-51 with 55 seconds left in Friday’s game at Hammond Central. The Brickies clinched the 62-53 victory as Donald finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
She said seeing her teammates have more success is her favorite thing about this season, along with a winning record for the first time in Donald’s four varsity seasons.
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“She’s an incredibly unselfish player,” first-year Hobart coach Alaina Richter said. “I love that about her, and of course she gets the girls going too. The girls feed off her energy out there. It’s not just the 30 points she brings, but it’s the energy she brings and the excitement.”
Hobart led (8-14) at every stop against Hammond Central, but it was 33-31 at the half. Donald hit a 3-pointer and then got a steal and a bucket to put the Brickies up 40-34 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
The next time on the floor, Donald was whistled for her fourth foul, benching her until just under 6 minutes left in the fourth. She helped the Brickies hold off the Wolves. Jesse Neace added 13 points for Hobart, and Emma Ortiz chipped in with 10 points.
Hammond’s Aniyah Henry led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Indiah Hutchinson added 17 points.
Donald, a commit from Indiana State University, is listed as a guard forward, but she is not limited to one or two positions. She is 5-foot-7 and shoots 46% from the field and 78% from the line. She scored 36 points against Michigan City.
“She kind of does everything,” Richter said. “I feel she plays all positions – point guard, guard, forward. She gets in there, and she gets rebounds. She brings the ball up the court. She can knock it off the wing. She can pretty much do it all, so I really shouldn’t have put like PG, G, forward, all positions.”
Making Donald’s accomplishments even more impressive is that she missed five games after injuring her hamstring in a 47-30 loss to South Bend Adams on Dec. 28 in the Lake Central Holiday Tournament. She slowly works her way back.
“I’m at 80 to 90 (percent) right now,” Donald said. “It really doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Richter said Donald has been limited the past few games.
“I’m just happy to have her back, and of course the whole team is happy to have her back,” she said.
How quickly Donald responded to treatment and made herself ready to play is a testament to how hard she works.
“She’s just a great kid all around,” Richter said. “She’s not only a great basketball player, but she’s a good person. Her teammates all love her, and I think they respect her and her game and the work she’s put in. Asia is not the player she is just by accident. She puts in work all year round. I think the girls know that she’s good because of that, and she sets a good example for my younger girls, which I appreciate.”
Donald said her parents, Alethia and Darrian, helped her the most in her career. Darrian was a multi-sport athlete at Lew Wallace. She is looking forward to Tuesday’s game against Kankakee Valley at the Class 4A Lowell Sectional.
“I want to get my shot a lot better because my shot has been a little slack since the injury,” she said. “I’m working on more moves, more finishing and helping my teammates win the division.”
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