After struggling with some health issues over the summer, this girls basketball season was an uncertainty for Greencastle-Antrim's Chloe Hoover.
Although she was unable to particpate in any team camps over the summer and spent the fall playing volleyball, Hoover has made a spectacular comeback as the Blue Devils' leading scorer.
"I was afraid I wasn't going to improve much at all, but I've shocked myself even with how well I've played this season," Hoover said. "I think I've filled the role of leader and started to play better team ball."
Hoover is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
Despite the Blue Devils' .500 start, Hoover has been a clear standout. She is averaging 15.6 points per game; she has scored in double figures in every game but one this season.
This week, Hoover led the Blue Devils to a 57-35 victory over James Buchanan by scoring 25 points, including three 3-pointers. She also tied with Jane Herman for a team-high four steals.
"That was a combination of outside shooting and being real active on the press so she could get the easy layups," Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said. "We look to her all the time. Our young kids have some ability, but scoring is a big deal, so we look to Chloe to put points on the board for us."
Hoover has been playing basketball since first grade, and although she is not overlooking this season, she is already preparing for her senior year. The Blue Devils are a young team this season with no seniors on the squad, and they feel with the experience coming back next year, they'll be able to make a push for districts.
"We aren't losing anybody and just gaining people, so nothing is going to hurt us," Hoover said. "We play really well as a team, and I'm going to give it all I have this year to prep and practice every time I can, so I can go out there and make my senior year the best it can be."
One of Hoover's biggest strengths is her diversity. Not only can she damage teams from beyond the arc, she also can drive to the basket and get to the foul line when necessary.
Rhine's biggest concern moving forward is that teams will home in Hoover because she's put up such big numbers. But because Hoover continues to work hard, Rhine said he thinks she'll be fine.
"The second time around, teams are going to start double-teaming her, but she does whatever you ask her to do, and she's just a great kid," Rhine said.
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chloe Hoover, Greencastle-Antrim
Sport: Girls basketball
Parents: Greg Hoover and Susan Bowen
Interests: Hoover also plays volleyball for the Blue Devils.
Surprising fact: She has to have her socks be at the exact same height every time she steps onto the court.
Favorite college team: North Carolina
Athlete most admired: Michael Jordan
Most influential people in athletic career: Her parents
Statistics: This week, Hoover scored 37 points in 2 games, including 25 in a 57-35 victory over James Buchanan. She also had a team-leading 4 steals against the Rockets and added three 3-pointers.