From Ballkid to IU Hoosier
Not all Fever ballkids become college or pro basketball players, but the Indiana Fever is proud of its first.
Kelli Agness, one of the Fever's original ballkids during its inaugural season in 2000 and a participant in the Fever ballkid program for each of the past five seasons, has been named to the official roster for the Indiana University women's basketball team. She is the Hoosiers' first women's basketball walk-on under coach Kathi Bennett.
Unfortunately for Agness, like any other athlete susceptible to injury, she suffered a torn ACL during the Hoosiers' preseason and will not play during the 2004-05 season. She will, however, continue as a part of the IU program and fulfill the dream that stemmed from her love of being around the game.
Agness was an all-conference and all-county performer while leading North Central High School to a state basketball title last spring. She also starred in soccer for four years at North Central and was an honor student when she wasn't working with the Fever ballkid program from May through September.
"I’ve had the privilege of working with Kelli over the last five years," said Fever operations coordinator Elizabeth Dewhirst, "and I’m proud of the lady she has become. She’s not only an excellent basketball player but also a wonderful person and friend. I know she will be successful in whatever she does because she is a hard worker and has a big heart."
Dewhirst directs the Fever ballkids who attend all Fever home games, and work before and after each game with the team's coaching and training staff. Boys or girls, ages 14 and up, are encouraged to participate - Agness' brother, Scott, is also a member of the ballkids program. Some of the ballkids' responsibilities include setting up the court before games; sweeping or wiping the floor; distributing water, towels and warm-ups during timeouts; folding warm-ups and towels; and rebounding for players before the game and during halftime.
Being a part of a high school basketball team is certainly not a requirement to be a ballkid. But in the case of Kelli Agness, it certainly makes for a nice story!
The Indiana Fever is currently accepting applications for its ballkid program for the 2005 season. To be considered as a Fever ballkid, applicants must write a letter and submit a formal application. For further information, contact Elizabeth Dewhirst at (317) 917-2867. For an online application, click here.