Athlete of the Week: University senior forward born to play basketball


It was natural that Kelsey DuBois would take a liking to basketball.

“My mom was a high school coach while I was growing up, so I lived in the gym,” DuBois said. “Starting in kindergarten, I would go to the gym right after school and dribble laps around with my brother until she started practice.”

DuBois’ mother, Jessica DuBois, was an assistant girls basketball coach at Hamilton Heights High School at the time. She later was an assistant coach at Plainfield and head coach at Western Boone.

University High School basketball player Kelsey DuBois averaged 15.3 points and 11.2 rebounds last season. (Photo courtesy of Jasper Owens)

DuBois, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, averaged 15.3 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for University (20-5), which lost in the regional.

“Kelsey is a coach on the floor and can do anything,” said Justin Blanding, coach of the Carmel-based high school. “She can really shoot the ball finish inside and defend the paint. Kelsey learning how to dominate a game in all aspects of the game to win has been the biggest improvement for her over four years. She can dominate a game and not score a point.”

DuBois, a four-year starter and Noblesville resident, said she made the most improvement in her confidence this season.

“I don’t feel like I ever fully trusted the work I put in during the offseason, but this year Coach Blanding really got on me about trusting my skills,” DuBois said. “This really shows offensively and how I stretched the floor a lot more by shooting threes and driving from the wing. I also feel like it shows defensively by pressuring on the perimeter more and blocking shots more often.”

The Trailblazers lost in the semistate in 2022 and 2021. University finished 22-2 in 2020, losing in the sectional semifinals.

“The thing I find most special about the team is our willingness to make sacrifices and put in a ton of work,” said DuBois, who averaged 13.7 points and 10 rebounds for her career. “There was never a free period where you wouldn’t see one of us in the gym. In 20 years, none of us will remember how many games we won, but we will remember the 6 a.m. practices where Coach Blanding would make us run 16s (laps). Our run never felt special. It was just proof that those tough mornings were worth it.”

DuBois said her bond with senior Payton Seay was special, too. Seay averaged a team-high 20 ppg last season.

“Payton and I have been playing together since the fourth grade. Every pass and cut we made felt like second nature,” DuBois said. “We have watched each other grow up not only as basketball players but as people.”

DuBois, who played golf at University, will play basketball for New York University next season.

Favorite subject: History

Favorite athlete: Annika Sörenstam

Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”

Favorite Movie: “Despicable Me”