Mercer’s Drakeford looking forward to Kentucky all-star game

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

She got word she would be part of the Kentucky all-star team that will face Indiana in June a few days before the official announcement was released and Mercer County standout Anna Drakeford admits it was a “bit” of a surprise to her.

She still remembers Seygan Robins and Emmy Souder playing in the Kentucky-Indiana game when she was in the seventh grade after they helped Mercer win back-to-back state championships.

“Ever since then I have wanted to play in the game,” Drakeford, who played varsity as a seventh grader, said.

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Drakeford played in 181 career games and finished her career with 2,226 points along with 651 rebounds and 524 assists. The 5-8 senior guard averaged 26 points per game last season along with 6.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field.

Drakeford, a Thomas More signee, has been shooting, running some and working out with her mother since her high school season ended. She was not invited to play in the Kentucky-Ohio All-Star Game at Thomas More but did not let it bother her, especially knowing she would be playing against Indiana.

“I didn’t take anything personal (about not being invited) because there are so many good players in our state,” Drakeford said.

The Mercer senior thinks playing against Indiana’s all-star team will be a “nice way” to end her high school career.

“Everybody wants to play in the game and it’s nice to say that I am in it and will finish my high school career that way,” she said.

Her teammates against Indiana will include Miss Basketball Trinity Rowe of Pikeville along with Reagan Bender and Angelina Pelayo of three-time state champion Sacred Heart.

“I think we have a really good team. Everybody is really talented,” Drakeford said. “I have played with or against most of them. It’s really a good group of girls.”

Drakeford seldom takes time off from basketball so preparing for games June 7-8 against Indiana does not change her workout schedule.

She’s also excited about what lies ahead for her at Thomas More even though long-time coach Jeff Hans has left to take the head job at Northern Kentucky University. She’s not sure what to expect after a new coach is selected but is confident it will be a fit for her.

“It’s stressful to think that I don’t know who is coming in as coach but I am also sure they will pick a really good coach,” Drakeford said. “I have some ideas about who it might be and they are all good choices, so I am sure it will be a good fit. I knew Northern Kentucky would be looking at him (Hans) because of all the success he has had.

“Changes happen. You can’t really let your guard down. There are always people moving around. As far as I know all the players are staying (at Thomas More) and seeing who the new coach is. I know all the freshmen are staying.

“I have played so many roles over the years that I can be comfortable in any role for the all-star game whether it is coming off the bench, playing point guard, starting or any other role. I do like being a starter the best but nothing is guaranteed.”

Drakeford doesn’t plan to put undue stress on the upcoming all-star games. Instead, she wants to have fun.

“Obviously you want to win and compete against the best players from Indiana but mostly this is to have fun. It’s my last high school stop and I want it to be fun,” Drakeford said. “I hope a lot of people come to watch me play since the game is not that far from home.”

Kentucky will play Indiana at Lexington Catholic High School on June 7 and in Indianapolis on June 8.