2008-16: One Player’s Journey to Making a High School Team


Spencer Aaron’s travel 8th grade team poses after they win a game.

By: Tyler Smith


The young and lanky kid knew he had the potential to be good the very first time he touched a basketball and stepped onto the court.  His only issue was the need to redirect some of his outgoing energy and enthusiasm and turn it into hard work and dedication to develop precise fundamentals that would set him apart from his grade level.  For freshman Spencer Aaron, basketball has always played a role in his life, and it has left him with the lesson to always work hard to achieve your goals.

“I started playing basketball in second grade, but I could not dribble, shoot or anything and enjoyed football more at the time,” Aaron said. “I actually didn’t start really getting into basketball until third grade.”

Aaron still was very young at the time, but third grade is when he started taking basketball very seriously and joined competitive teams to help improve his overall skill set.

“I started playing competitive basketball with Hoosier Hoops in third grade,” Aaron said. “There were kids on the team from Danville, Carmel and Avon.”


Spencer Aaron poses for a picture. Aaron has played basketball since 2008.
Spencer Aaron poses for a picture. Aaron has played basketball since 2008.

After his first year of travel basketball, Aaron had improved but faced large obstacles during his fourth grade year.

“In fourth grade I developed a bone spur in my right knee,” Aaron said. “I also had developed a stress fracture on my left knee cap.”

The combination of the injuries Aaron suffered caused him to miss his whole fourth grade basketball season. However, after a lot of work he was able to come back and joined a well-known travel basketball team.

“I played on E3, a team sponsored by NBA player Eric Gordon during my sixth-grade season,” Aaron said. “I was amazed how good some other kids were. One of the opponent’s players had an in-game dunk against us.”

All of this preparation playing AAU basketball lead to Aaron trying out for his school team at Center Grove Middle School North during his seventh grade year.

“We focused on running structured plays with screens and strategy and didn’t focus on just running up the court and shooting,” said Aaron.

Aaron also made his eighth grade team during middle school and was able to cap off his middle school career with a memorable win.

“We won county in eighth grade against Franklin Middle School,” Aaron said. “That was a great win for the team because we lost to them in county in seventh grade, and I felt we had a great chance to win the game.”

Aaron started in every game in middle school except for one between his seventh and eighth grade years.  His focus shifted to preparing for high school

Spencer Aaron's travel 8th grade team poses after they win a game.
Spencer Aaron’s travel 8th grade team poses after they win a game.

basketball as soon as middle school basketball ended.

“We paired up with a lot of the players at Middle School Central and immediately joined a travel league that competed against other teams in the region to prepare for our freshman year,” Aaron said.

Ever since the season ended for this team, Aaron and many other freshman have been attending workouts and open gyms working to improve their strength and continue to develop their skills.

“Lifting makes us tougher players,” Aaron said. “The extra strength I’ve put on has also helped me develop my skills, and I have improved my shooting a lot since middle school.”

Tryouts for the high school basketball team took place in mid- November, and Aaron’s preparation was enough to earn him a roster spot on the freshman basketball team.

“I would like to play basketball throughout high school not only because of the basketball aspect, but because it gives me the added bonus of making lifelong friends,”  Aaron said. “Making the team this year was exciting and I look to continue to improve my basketball skills.”