Carmel High School Alumna Inducted into Hamilton County Basketball Hall of Fame
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Carmel High School class of 2009 graduate Chrissy Steffen was inducted into the Hamilton County Basketball Hall of Fame last month. The former shooting guard, All-State player [both junior and senior years at CHS] assisted the Lady Greyhounds in 2008 with their win at the Class 4A state championship and is a record holder [school career scoring record] for which these accomplishments earned Steffen’s induction into the esteemed HOF.
We spoke with Steffen as she reflected on her HOF induction and her athletic career at CHS and Bowling Green State University, from which she graduated in 2013. She shared how her experiences influenced her current career as an Academic Advisor at BGSU.
A Brief Look Back
Like many CHS athletes, Steffen’s passion for sports was nurtured through the Carmel Dads’ Club, as well as elementary and middle school and having been “dragged” to older siblings’ sports activities.
“At a very young age, I had an appreciation for sports,” Steffen shared. “I grew up with three older brothers and was around sports all the time. Looking back, there was a lot of stuff that my parents [John and Patty] were taking me to, on top of my three older brothers’ [practices and events].”
Once in high school, Steffen turned her focus solely to basketball.
“I played other sports, but with Carmel being such a big high school, I focused on basketball during that time,” Steffen said. “When I was a freshman, we were picked as one of the top teams to probably win state. We had a really strong senior class. But it was my junior year when we won state. I think we were surprising to a lot of people, but everything ‘clicked,’ and we worked as a team.”
When asked what Steffen took away from her experiences at CHS, on and off the court, she replied,” I think gaining confidence — not only shooting-wise and being on the court — but [confidence] in my leadership abilities.”
Treasured Times as a Greyhound and a Falcon
Steffen set the CHS career scoring record, totaling 1,427 points as a senior, and led the Metropolitan Conference in scoring during her junior year. She was an Associate Press All-State First-Team selection and a McDonald’s All-America nominee … she averaged 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds her senior year, earning All-State First-Team accolades by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association as well as the Indiana Coaches Girl Sports Association. Additionally, Steffen was a three-time All-MIC (Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) First-Team choice and was also named to the All-Hamilton County First Team three times … as a junior, and helped her team advance and win the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A state title her junior year, after which she was named the tournament’s MVP.
Steffen graduated from CHS a distinguished graduate — National Honor Society and 2009 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Senior Academic All-State — and began her collegiate career as a BGSU Falcon. She is 16th on the BGSU career scoring list, and she ranks fourth in school history in three-pointers made. Steffen also helped the Falcons advance to national postseason play in each of her four seasons, including two trips to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and two appearances in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Transferrable Skills in a Post-Basketball Career
After graduating from BGSU, Steffen completed her master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and eventually returned to BGSU, where she is on staff as an academic advisor after working as an athletic advisor and counselor at the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“I feel like just being around sports in general makes you somewhat a competitive person and want to strive to be the best,” Steffen stated. “And also, how to work as a team. Understanding that people come from different backgrounds and understanding those different dynamics and how to pull strengths and weaknesses from teammates to be the best that you can [be] is something that I learned and have transferred [those skills] to the workplace, for sure.”
Steffen also attributed her time management skills to her high school and collegiate athletic careers.
“Looking back, I really don’t how I did it all,” Steffen said. “No wonder I was tired all the time! And looking back on what I thought were some of my hardest moments, it feels like if I was able to do that, then I can do even more now, and I have figured out how to balance all of that now.”
Returning to Home Court
Steffen, who is not an affirmation seeker, was honored when she was informed that she would be inducted into the Hamilton County Basketball HOF.
Director of Athletics & Activities at CHS, Jim “Jimmy” Inskeep, spoke about why Steffen was inducted this past December.
“Chrissy Steffen set a higher standard during her time at Carmel,” Inskeep stated. “She was a great teammate, and her on-the-court accomplishments are legendary. Chrissy embodies everything you would want in our student-athletes, and she has continued to pay it forward as an adult helping collegiate student-athletes.”
Steffen spoke about what the induction means to her at this stage of her life.
“Dave Nicholson called me in October, and Jimmy Inskeep told me,” Steffen recollected. “Jimmy’s been a big advocate of mine, and I’m appreciative of that. While deep down I am excited about myself, I’m also my biggest critic too. I look back more at what our team had done in general more so than at my individual accolades. But I know I had a pretty good career at Carmel. Really, it’s the people that were involved in the program at the time and less about the wins and losses — that’s what I take away and what I remember the most. I think about the relationships that I had with teammates and coaches, and that was the best part about being on a team and a program like [CHS].”
Steffen was surrounded by family, friends and former coaches at the induction ceremony.
“It was just lovely to be around so many people that have been there for me,” Steffen expressed. “It’s a special gym, and when you walk around the top and see all the different state championships, Indiana All-Stars, etc., you see there is so much tradition in that high school. So, looking back on that team and knowing that we’re on that wall forever — it is definitely something that I’ll remember for a very long time.”