New faces added to new-look Red Devils

Three transfers join roster for new coach Shabaz Khaliq

The new boys basketball season is approaching, and the Richmond team will have a whole different look. Led by a new coach Shabaz Khaliq, and three incoming transfers on the varsity squad, there will be a lot of different basketball being played in the Tiernan Center.

Among these transfers is senior Jalen Hillard, a transfer from the school just over 7 miles to the north, Northeastern High School. Hillard’s father, Shane, took over the girl’s basketball team after the passing of his friend and former coach, Casey Pohlenz.

“I’m excited to play against the new competition and I’m looking forward to playing the sectional at home,” Hillard said.

The other two transfers are brothers from Northside High School in Fort Wayne, where coach Khaliq came from. Lucas Kroft, the older of the two brothers, is a senior who has committed to playing basketball at Ball State University. The younger of the two Krofts is Drew Kroft, a sophomore.

“My dad got a job here in Richmond last year, which brought us here,” Lucas said. “We decided as a family that Richmond High School was the best fit for us.”

Lucas echoed the excitement of Hillard, in his hopes for the upcoming season.

“I’m excited to play with my new teammates and to win games this year,” Lucas said. “I hope that as a team, we can create some excitement around the city about Richmond sports again.”

The Krofts were very happy with the outcome of the very long transfer process.

“There is a process that requires a student athlete to attend a hearing at the IHSAA to request eligibility, if and when the IHSAA denies that eligibility then the student athlete has the opportunity to appeal to the CRP (Department of Education),” Drew said. “We appealed to the CRP and were granted full and immediate eligibility on Oct. 17.  We were very happy with the outcome of the review panel’s decision.”

The Red Devil’s first home action comes this Saturday in a scrimmage against Franklin Central at 1 pm.