New Pal’s Stephens to be walk-on at IU


New Palestine’s Ian Stephens is fouled as he drives to the basket in a game against Richmond this past season.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

NEW PALESTINE — School colors and school song will remain the same for New Palestine basketball standout Ian Stephens.

The 6-foot, 6-inch senior forward for the Dragons will be an invited walk-on for the Indiana University men’s basketball program.

Stephens is coming off an outstanding senior campaign where he helped lead the Dragons to the most wins in a single season (23) in school history, a school-record 15-game winning streak and a Muncie Central Sectional championship.

Along the way, he was named Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Large School All-State, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-State, All-Hoosier Heritage Conference and All-Hancock County First Team.

He led the HHC in rebounding for the second straight year, averaging 7.8 per contest. He averaged 15 points per game, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocked shots. He tied for the HHC lead in double-doubles with five.

Stephens said the offer came through a connection with Jordan Hulls, the former IU guard who is now IU’s Team and Recruiting Coordinator. Stephens had played for Hulls former AAU team, JH1 Elite.

“Because I played (for his AAU team), he was like, ‘We have a spot and I’ve watched your games before.’ (IU head coach) Mike Woodson had a knee replacement, so it’s taken awhile, because (Woodson) has been out of his office, before getting the final word.”

Stephens had some scholarship offers, including from NAIA Indiana Tech, where his former New Palestine teammate Steele Brasfield plays.

“The experience I am going to get playing for IU is something that you can’t trade and make up for with any amount of money,” Stephens said. “The history of that team and culture, I want to be a part of it. I’m excited for it.”