She's the terrific point guard for Heritage Christian that has three state championship rings to her name. Next year she will take her game to Butler in her home town of Indianapolis, but Claire Freeman still has some unfinished business for her senior year. A fourth state championship is the goal, and along with teammate Kelly Faris (Connecticut), the 2A No. 1 ranked Eagles will be looking to put their team into the annals of Indiana lore as only the second team in state history to win four consecutive state titles.
1. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I fractured my back the summer before my sophomore year. It set me back at the beginning of the basketball season, but I learned and matured so much through those trials.
2. What has been your proudest moment in your basketball career so far?
Definitely winning three state championships. Those might be my proudest moments of all. I also recall after one game I received an e-mail from a player on the opposing team. She told me how she appreciated our teams sportsmanship and how we represent Christ out on the court. At that point I was very proud of our team and how we carried ourselves.
3. Who is the toughest and most complete basketball player you've ever competed against in high school basketball, and what was it about her game that impressed you?
I would have to say the toughest basketball player is someone that I face everyday at practice. Kelly Faris is the hardest working and toughest player to go up against. At times I hate playing against her, but I know that in the long run it is going to make me a better basketball player. The best thing about it is that she is the most humble girl you could ever meet, and we've been playing 1 on 1 since were were six, so I'm used to it!
4. Besides Butler, what other programs were recruiting you and that you considered as viable college options.
I received scholarship offers from three other schools. These three were Miami of Ohio, University of Evansville, and Southern Illinois University. They were all quality schools with an excellent education and great basketball programs.
5. Why did you choose Butler?
It all started back when I was about 8, and I first started going to the Butler summer basketball camps. I have been around Butler all my life which greatly helped with my decision. Butler was the first school who recruited me hard and that always stuck in the back of my mind. I have known the coaches for about four years now, due to the fact that my older sister, Cassie, played there. I was able to build a good relationship with the coaches and one of my main priorities in choosing a college was to know that I could get along with the coaches at the school I chose. I have also come to know the girls that are currently playing there, whom I would have the privilege of playing with, as well as the 08’ and 09’ recruits. I see the Butler basketball program doing great things in the future. A definite factor was the distance and how close it was to home. I would have to say that my main priority and number one reason for choosing Butler was the academics. Butler is a highly accredited academic school and I believe that is most important for my future!
6. What do you plan on studying in college?
I am not exactly sure what I want to major in. I have been considering something in the medical field, such as physicians assistant, physical therapy, or maybe pre-med.
7. What is the best part about the recruiting process? The worst? And what part of the recruiting process was the most unexpected for you?
I enjoyed visiting the separate schools and getting to know the girls on the team. I would have to say that the worst part is the stress and pressure it puts on you to play in front of college coaches. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is always in the back of your mind. After making a decision, it is such a relief to know that you have everything figured out. I didn't really face anything unexpected because luckily my family and I had already been through the process with my sister, Cassie.
8. What advice would you give to younger players who are just beginning to be recruited?
I would tell them to have fun. It is truly a fun experience, but it can turn sour if you're not careful. If you stress too much over playing in front of college coaches and you forget to have fun, then you're forgetting the real reason why you even play basketball.
9. Who has had the greatest influence on your game and why?
First and foremost I have to say that the Lord has given me my abilities and He is the greatest influence. Then I would have to say my dad. Every aspect of my basketball career can be traced back to my dad. We could spend every minute of the day shooting in the driveway, talking about basketball, or watching a random game. He has been taking me to tournaments and giving me post-game speeches since I could walk. Whether its my shooting form or that one bad pass, I can always count on my dad to help. He has always encouraged me and been my number one fan.
10. What is the best life lesson you have learned playing basketball?
I have learned that basketball is so much more than just a game. Basketball is not just about winning or losing, it's about how much fun you have and the friendships you make along the way.
11. If you could play 5-on-5 with any players -- past or present, high school, college or pro, men or women -- which four players would be on your team, and which five would you want to play against?
Well I have to start with Kelly Faris. We have played together for what seems like forever and it's hard to imagine playing without her (what will I do next year!). Then I would have to say Dwayne Wade. I have always been fond of is play and by watching him play in the Olympics I was even more impressed. I would also choose Michael Jordan. I know it's a little cliché, but who wouldn't want to play with him? My final choice would be Dwight Howard, he's my 5 man! For the opposing team I would choose Chris Paul to play the one. At the two would be Reggie Miller, he has always been a hero of mine. The three man would be Larry Bird. At the four I'd put Charles Barkley. And the opposing five man would be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.