By Brad Morris
Maren McCallister has put up thousands of shots in South Bloomfield’s Marvin Webster Memorial Park to hone her craft as a scorer.
And while that work helped McCallister recently earn Division III Player of the Year honors from the National Christian School Athletic Association, the recent New Hope Christian Academy graduate knows that the support she has received over the years is another component to the success she has enjoyed on the hardwood.
“It means a lot to be named National Player of the Year,” McCallister said. “I’m very grateful for all of my coaches, teammates, family, and friends because I truly wouldn’t be the player or person I am today without the support and love from them!
“I am very glad that my hard work paid off over the years and I highly encourage younger girls to get in the gym as much as they can because it truly does pay off!”
McCallister had a banner senior season for the Statesmen and averaged 24.5 points, 9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
She helped lead the Statesmen to an 18-win season and a third-place finish in the Ohio Christian School Athletic Association. McCallister was recognized for her exploits by earning third-team All-Ohio honors and being named the first winner from New Hope of The Jeff Sheets Award, presented to the most outstanding senior girls basketball player in Pickaway County.
McCallister finished her career with 1,752 points, which puts her fifth all time on the greater Pickaway County scoring list behind Shayna Harmon (1,893, Teays Valley), Ridge Young (1,798, Logan Elm), David Myers (1,796, Williamsport) and Alyssa Evans (1,776, Amanda-Clearcreek).
Teammate Jenna Tripp was also recognized by making the Division III Northeast Super Region team. Tripp averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists, and will next suit up for Ohio Christian, an NAIA institution which will be making the transition to NCCAA Division I in the 2024-25 school year.
“I was so happy to see Jenna’s hard work translate into some recognition,” New Hope coach Brian McCallister said. “She’s always been a great catch-and-shoot player but has spent many hours in the gym working to become a complete offensive player. Her basketball IQ is outstanding and will be a great coach someday. The leadership she’s given us on the court the last four years will be greatly missed.”
With high school behind her, McCallister is preparing to make the transition to college basketball and playing for Concordia University an NAIA institution, located in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“My senior year ended pretty well, and I am very excited to head to Concordia!,” McCallister said. “As soon as I get back from vacation, I will start heading up Tuesdays and Wednesdays for open gyms and our summer league games which will be very exciting.
“Recently, I’ve just been doing my summer workout packet that Coach Schlump (Concordia’s head coach) gave me which consists of lifting, running, agility and different shooting drills. When I’m not doing that, I still like to go to Marvin Webster Park and play on the court there. Overall, I’m just trying to stay in shape and become a stronger, more versatile player.”