Whitney Jennings to speak at inaugural Sports Awards

Whitney Jennings will be the Guest of Honor at the Pharos-Tribune’s inaugural Sports Awards to be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at McHale Auditorium.

Jennings will speak and Mike Montgomery will emcee at the event, which will recognize the top student-athletes from the four Cass County high schools.

Jennings, 28, recently got married on May 10 to Parker Sanburn, who was a baseball standout at Kokomo High School who went on to play at the University of Arkansas and later signed with the Texas Rangers. The right-handed pitcher played one year in the Minor Leagues before calling it a career.

The couple resides in Indianapolis. She works remotely as a healthcare recruiter for a staffing agency and he works in medical sales.

Jennings said she has not yet went through the process of legally changing her name to Sanburn but plans to in the future.

She made a name for herself at Logansport as arguably the greatest athlete in LHS history. Her No. 15 jersey is retired for the Logansport girls basketball team.

Logansport’s diminutive superstar scored 2,641 points for the Berries and won three NCC titles, two Class 4A sectional titles and a regional title in 2014.

It was 10 years ago that Jennings was named Miss Basketball and wore the No. 1 jersey for the Indiana All-Star team. She went on to score 1,675 points in two seasons at Iowa and two seasons at Butler.

She started for two years at Iowa, including on the Hawkeyes’ Sweet 16 team as a freshman. But she wanted to go to school and play closer to home and transferred to Butler.

She helped Butler improve from six wins to 15 in Year 1 and from 15 wins to 23 in Year 2 for a 17-win turnaround in just two seasons.

She went on to get her MBA at Ball State. She was an assistant coach at Butler for three seasons before departing in 2022 when Kurt Godlevske was dismissed.

Jennings was the Caitlin Clark of her time at Logansport, drawing huge crowds for even midweek regular-season games at the Berry Bowl.

Huge crowds are nothing new for Indiana girls basketball fans, as evidenced by the large crowds for regional, semistate and state finals games for awhile now. Pioneer drew huge semistate crowds at the Berry Bowl during its recent state runs. Lewis Cass had a huge crowd at its semistate game at the Berry Bowl this year. Caston had a run to the semistate this year as well and has enjoyed a large following for years.

Jennings said it’s nice to see fans at the national level catching up thanks to Caitlin Clark Mania.

“I don’t know if I can be compared to Caitlin Clark. We were on a little bit different scale,” Jennings said. “But I think what she’s doing for women’s basketball is incredible and I love the number of eyes that are now watching women’s basketball games. I’ve known for a long time that there’s a lot of really good players and great players out there whether it’s at the high school, college or professional level. So it’s really neat for me having friends that watch it now who never used to watch basketball or women’s basketball, so I just think it’s really great for the sport and I hope that young girls and boys are inspired by her and the other athletes and players. Right now it’s, ‘That can be you one day,’ and it’s inspiring the younger generation and bringing a whole new set of eyes to it. I think it’s really special what she’s been able to do the past couple years and we’ll see where that goes in the future.”

Nominees and sponsors for the Sports Awards can be found on Page B6 of today’s Pharos-Tribune.