The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the four recipients of their year-old “Gifts of the Game” scholarship program.
Gracie Crulo-Rood of Bedford North Lawrence, Jackson Jones of South Bend Clay, Jarod Stevens of Tri and Kayla Washington of East Chicago Central have been selected as the recipients of four-year renewable college scholarships worth up to $4,000 each.
Gracie Crulo-Rood has been a two-year team captain on Bedford North Lawrence teams of note. In her first three seasons, the Lady Stars have a 67-16 record, captured three sectional titles, two Hoosier Hills Conference championships, a regional championship, reached the 2018 4A south semi-state and made a 2018 Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic appearance. Crulo-Rood has also been a member of the BNL track team and a student athletic trainer for their football team. Involved in the Beta Club, Key Club, Santa Stars and Riley Dance Marathon, she was President of BNL’s Champions Together initiative supporting Special Olympics, along with volunteer work with the Boys & Girls Club, Just Kids Daycare and the Kiwanis Fish Fry. She is the daughter of Karen Crulo of Bedford.
Jackson Jones is a three-year varsity player at South Bend Clay H.S. and a three-sport athlete. Earning varsity letters in basketball, football and baseball, he was a 2019 football team captain as a three-year letterwinner in that sport and was voted “Most Improved” for the 2019 Clay baseball team. Beyond athletic accomplishments, he is secretary of his class, has been involved in the Christian youth organization Young Life and has assisted with a local canned food drive for three years. He is the son of Gina and Jonathan Jones of Granger.
Jarod Stevens has been a four-year participant in three sports at Tri H.S. Previously a recipient of team Mental Attitude and Most Improved awards in basketball, he has also participated in baseball and tennis throughout his high school career. He has maintained a busy schedule with a 3.9 GPA that ranks him 3rd in his class, as President of the Tri chapter of National Honor Society, a three-year member of student council and a member of Whittier Lane Baptist Church. His classroom success gained him 2019 academic all-state honors in tennis. The son of Aaron and Hope Stevens of Spiceland, he plans to attend Purdue University to study physics or engineering
Kayla Washington has been a busy and successful young woman at East Chicago Central H.S. A two-year starter and senior co-captain on their girls basketball team, she was 1st team Great Lakes Athletic Conference and earned the team Most Improved award in her junior season. She has also participated in volleyball and track, earning team Mental Attitude and Most Improved awards in track & field. A member of Spanish Club, the Prom and Homecoming committee and “Girls Rule” Club, she has been a volunteer with the Tri-City Special Olympics Games, East Chicago Parks & Recreation Summer Camp and the Lake County Fair. Additionally, she is involved with the YMCA of Hammond, New Cosmopolitan Church of Chicago and the Hammond Sports Complex. She is the daughter of Rashonda Henderson and Richard Washington of East Chicago and plans to attend Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana.
The “Gifts of the Game” scholarship program was created to recognize high school seniors who have been involved in Indiana high school basketball as a player, manager, statistician, student trainer, or other similar role with consideration given to their scholarship, leadership, and extra-curricular activities.
The name “Gifts of the Game” is a nod to both the financial gift Indiana high school seniors will be receiving, as well as the benefits basketball has played in the lives of those associated with the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and this program. In its 2nd year of existence, $8,000 in college scholarships will be given this year through the program.
Funded through the 2nd largest private donation in Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame history, the scholarship fund is open to further contributions to increase the amount and number of scholarships given.
Interested donors may contact Chris May, Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 529-1891 or Jared Green, Member Engagement Manager at email@example.com, (765) 529-1891 for more information or to make a contribution. Contributions may be sent to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, One Hall of Fame Court, New Castle, IN 47362 with an appropriate note in the memo line.