Athlete of the Week: Mt. Vernon guard develops a passion for basketball


Ellery Minch quit playing basketball in first grade because she didn’t like it.

Fate intervened in terms of a parental bribe.

“My dad played in college, so he was pretty upset when I quit,” Minch said. “Shortly after that, we were at Target, and I really wanted this polar bear. He bribed me with that and said if I played my next year, he would get me the polar bear. I haven’t stopped playing since.”

Now a Mt. Vernon High School junior, Minch still has that stuffed animal and has several NCAA Division I college basketball offers to go along with it. The offers include the University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo and Butler University.

Mt. Vernon junior Ellery Minch was the leading scorer for Mt. Vernon this season. (Photo courtesy of Ellery Minch)

Minch, whose father Ted played at Florida Atlantic University, said she will likely wait to see if other offers come in after AAU play this summer.

“She has become an all-around player,” Mt. Vernon coach Julie Shelton said. “She had to play point guard for us many times this year and she has also gotten a lot better in the paint. So, her versatility is her biggest improvement. She leads more by example but is always working hard and doing what she is supposed to with a great attitude.”

The 6-foot-3 Minch averaged 16 points and six rebounds for the Marauders (19-7), who won conference and sectional championships before losing in the regional.

“She is an amazing team player who is extremely unselfish and coachable and just wants the team to win and isn’t worried about her own stats,” Shelton said.

Shelton said Minch started some games as a freshman and every game the past two seasons. She averaged 17.5 points per game as a sophomore.

“I used to be pinned as a 3-point shooter, for the most part,” Minch said. “But the past two years, I’ve been working on improving other aspects of my game, driving and pull-up shots and posting up. I think I did a good job of improving my ball handling. I did have to bring the ball up because I did have to play point guard.”

Minch considers herself a small forward but said she played all five positions for the Marauders this past season. She plays on the Indiana Girls Basketball program’s 17U team.

“I want to continue to work on my foot speed and getting that quicker,” she said. “I’m working on moving laterally and agility. I want to be able to make those moves against quicker, faster opponents at the national level.”

Minch said she is honored to be named to play in the new Indiana All-Stars Futures Game, which includes freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The game will be played June 10, the same days as the Indiana-Kentucky All-Stars doubleheader at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“Ever since I’ve been somewhat little, I always wanted to be an Indiana Junior All-Star and or Indiana Senior All-Star,” Minch said.

Favorite athlete: James Harden

Favorite TV show: “Breaking Bad”

Favorite subject: Anatomy

Favorite movie: “Step Brothers”