Ashlynn Shade — UConn recruit and Miss Basketball lock — leaves Noblesville for prep school

·3 min read

The state's best high school girls basketball player is on the move.

Noblesville senior guard Ashlynn Shade, a UConn commit, confirmed Tuesday she is transferring to La Lumiere, a prep school in La Porte, to "prepare for the next chapter" of her life.

"While this decision was not easy, I am confident I am making the best decision for my personal development and family," Shade wrote in an email to IndyStar.

In a separate statement, Shade's father, Matt, wrote it was "more than just a basketball decision," adding his daughter communicated with family, friends and teammates about her decision this past Sunday and Monday.

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"We have talked as a family that there might be negative feedback because of the love and tradition of Indiana high school basketball," he continued. "Ashlynn is prepared for her next journey because she has 100% support from all the family, friends and teammates she spoke with Sunday and Monday. Ashlynn loves Noblesville High School and will always consider herself a Miller."

Noblesville High School junior Ashlynn Shade (12) during the second half of an IHSAA Girls’ Basketball Class 4A State Championship game against Franklin Community High School, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Noblesville won 76-52.
Noblesville High School junior Ashlynn Shade (12) during the second half of an IHSAA Girls’ Basketball Class 4A State Championship game against Franklin Community High School, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Noblesville won 76-52.

Shade was the odds-on favorite to win Indiana Miss Basketball but now is ineligible by moving from an IHSAA school to a prep school. She averaged around 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Class 4A state champion Millers last season. She accumulated 1,698 points, 606 rebounds, 282 assists, 314 steals and 17 blocks over three varsity seasons (78 games played), and chose the Huskies from a list of finalists that included Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

“We wish Ashlynn the best," Noblesville athletic director Leah Wooldridge said in a statement. "Our mission will not change and we will continue to focus on being the best team we can be. We have high expectations for this year and we will continue to work hard every day to get better.”

The Millers did not graduate any seniors last season, and are expected to return the rest of their 2021-22 roster. They are scheduled to host La Lumiere on Friday, Jan. 6.

Ranked sixth in her class by ESPN, Shade has been the center of attention since she was a middle schooler, earning four Division I offers (two Big Ten, a Big East and an ACC) before her freshman season.

Suffice it to say, she lived up to the hype.

Shade announced her arrival as a freshman with 26 points against eventual 4A champion Lawrence North in her debut, and finished the season averaging 20.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. A year later the prolific prospect led Noblesville to its first sectional title since 2014-15, logging 23.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.3 steals per game.

And then there was last season.

Shade went off in her 2021-22 debut, single-handedly orchestrating a 19-4 season-opening run at Lawrence North en route to a game-high 33-point effort. She showed no signs of letting up the rest of the way, putting up 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting against fellow UConn commit Ayanna Patterson in late November and dropping 22 on defending state champion Crown Point in December.

The 5-10 guard was equally prolific in the postseason, guiding Noblesville through the state's toughest sectional, before taking out No. 1 Homestead, No. 9 Snider, No. 5 Crown Point and No. 2 Franklin to secure the program's first state title since 1987. Of note: Shade became the third player to match Reicina Russell's 4A championship game scoring record with 31 points on 13-of-22 shooting against the Grizzly Cubs.

"Ashlynn really accepted that challenge. She's been unbelievable," coach Donna Buckley said afterwards. "Don't get me wrong. She's so good all the time. But she's been next level. Totally unstoppable. I've never seen anything like it."

Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: UConn recruit Ashlynn Shade transfers from Noblesville to La Lumiere