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Northwestern guard McKenna Layden handles the ball as Carroll guard Madison Wagner defends in a game on Dec. 20, 2022, at Northwestern. Layden, who scored 40 points that game, was named to the Indiana All-Stars on Tuesday.

McKenna Layden got a phone call Thursday that she’d been waiting for since her freshman year.

Mike Broughton called to let the Northwestern senior know she’d been selected for the Indiana All-Star girls basketball team.

“I was super excited,” Layden said of the call from Broughton, the Indiana All-Star games director. “Obviously there’s a lot of good girls in this grade. I’m super excited and honored to be picked.”

Layden’s sister, Madison, was an All-Star in 2020. But the series was put on hold that summer as the COVID pandemic halted sports and large gatherings across the nation. That was when McKenna Layden was a freshman in high school.

She said the goal of making the All-Star squad started “probably when I entered high school, and then obviously when Madison was chosen for the All-Stars. And her not being able to play in those games really sucked. Just me having a chance to play in those games with all those girls will be super fun.”

The fun has already started. Layden is the third All-Star in the family after Madison in 2020, and their father Jeff, a 1993 Lawrence North grad.

“Yeah, it’s super special,” Layden said of the family connection. “I’ve known basketball my whole life, that’s pretty much all I’ve ever done, so just having that in our family is super special. And also being able to rub it in my mom’s face that she’s the only one not an All-Star is pretty fun!”

Mom’s got her own credentials. Kathie Layden is a five-time state champion coach and the original 1,000-point scorer in the family. She and Jeff guided two kids to this stage, where Layden will now embark on an All-Star journey that culminates with the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series this June.

The Indiana All-Star girls will first hit the court on June 7 against the Junior squad. Then on June 9-10, they play a two-night series against Kentucky, with the opener at Owensboro, Kentucky, and the closer in Indianapolis at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The rest of the All-Star squad includes Miss Basketball Laila Hull, Pioneer’s Ashlynn Brooke, Hamilton Southeastern’s Olivia Brown, Ben Davis’ Cristen Carter, Hobart’s Asia Donald, Indianapolis Cathedral’s Layla Gold, South Bend Washington’s RaShunda Jones and Amiyah Reynolds, Hamilton Southeastern’s Riley Makalusky, Bedford North Lawrence’s Karsyn Norman, Columbus East’s Saige Stahl, and Forest Park’s Amber Tretter.

“I’m definitely looking forward to just playing with all the girls in my grade one last time before we all go to college.”

Layden is familiar with nearly the entire team from travel ball, and as part of the Junior All-Star squad last season. There’s a couple players she has a special connection with and is eager to team with this summer.

“I played travel ball with Saige Stahl,” Layden said. “She’s one of my really close friends.”

The other is future Purdue teammate Jones.

“I’m so excited,” Layden said. “She’s a great player and being able to play with her in high school, obviously before we go to Purdue and become teammates for the next four years, is going to be super fun.”

Layden signed to play at Purdue in November, where she’ll join forces with sister Madison. The Boilermaker women’s basketball team is back in the NCAA Tournament this week for the first time since 2017. Purdue faces St. John’s on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Obviously we grew up as a basketball family so all of this right now, and the madness of March, is just crazy and it’s just been super fun and exciting at home,” Layden said.

Making the All-Star team is the capstone on a career which saw Layden score 1,616 points, which ranks No. 4 in Howard County history. She helped Northwestern reach the Class 4A championship game as a freshman and win a Class 4A sectional title in 2022. As a senior in the season that just finished, she averaged 21.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as the Tigers went 17-5.

Layden is the fifth Indiana All-Star basketball player from Northwestern, following her teammates Madison Layden and Kendall Bostic in 2020 on the girls side, and Tayson Parker (2020) and Austin Parkinson (2000) on the boys side.

“I just want to thank everyone who voted and picked me to give me this opportunity,” Layden said. “[I’m] just going to make the best out of it.”


Zionsville’s Hull was named Indiana Miss Basketball on Monday and will wear the No. 1 jersey for Indiana in the All-Stars’ series against Kentucky in June.

Hull garnered 70 votes from online votes by media and varsity coaches. South Bend Washington’s Jones and Reynolds were second and third with 46 votes and 30 votes, respectively.

A 6-foot-1 guard who will play at North Carolina, Hull averaged 22.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.4 steals for Zionsville, which finished 20-3. She shot 52.3% from the field, 42.2% from 3-point land and 82.2% from the line.

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