After Lindsey Duvall’s sophomore season, her head coach, Chris Stallings, believed she had the opportunity to achieve something great – becoming the all-time leading scorer in Bullitt East history. But then an unexpected injury caused some to second guess the foreseeable achievement.
In the fall of 2015, Duvall had a tumor near the bottom of her left knee, and it was expected that she would miss her entire junior season. Stallings adds, “She had her injury, so we didn’t know for sure if the career scoring thing was attainable.”
But after recovering from injury, she stormed back to original form, helping the Lady Chargers in the final seven games of the season by averaging 18.7 points.
When her senior season came, each game began to count down to when Duvall would achieve an incredible feat. In a 66-31 win over Central back in mid-January, Duvall scored 21 points, which were enough to become the Chargers all-time leading scorer, eclipsing former Louisville Cardinal Alison Bass with 2,567 points.
“It was a huge privilege,” Duvall says of the accomplishment. “There are a lot of great players who came through this program. I feel very blessed, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, my coaches and my family.”
Duvall, who has signed with the University of Louisville, has accounted for a third of her team’s scoring load this year. By pouring in 24.2 points a game, she has led a group of Lady Chargers to a 21-5 record. With Bullitt East’s style of play, scoring has come easy to Duvall.
“Being active at all times always helps you to be successful,” she asserts. “My teammates are great at finding me and getting me the ball, and our plays get me open too. I like to drive, so I try to be aggressive. I can drive and shoot off the pass or off the dribble, so it makes it hard for defenders to guard me.”
Duvall’s shooting abilities were something Coach Stallings challenged her on early in her high school career. After her freshman season, he stressed the importance of being a better shooter if she wanted to reach the highest level in basketball. Duvall “took it to heart,” he says.
“Lindsey was just a slasher and driver early on,” Stallings adds. “We talked about her becoming a better shooter, and she really worked hard in the summer, in the spring and in the offseason to improve her game and her skill.”
It’s not a surprise for a player whose self-motivation comes from the skeptical opinions of others. When others say she can’t, she says it “sets my fire to want to go out there and be able to do it.”
That’s why she embodies a work ethic that exemplifies going the extra mile – because she’s a player that has striven for nothing short of greatness.
“Not every player that you coach or that you come across has that work ethic to stay after games and shoot free throws,” adds Stallings. “We’re off and she is in the gym shooting for an hour or two. She had that desire to raise her level of play.”
And for Duvall, she worked diligently to reach her full potential.
Duvall, who has never been self-centered as a teammate, has understood that the influence she has on her teammates has been the test to measure the true value of a star player and their leadership abilities.
She’s made it easy for her teammates. With a joking personality, she has built close relationships and bonds with other players and her coach. “When you’re really close with your team, it makes everything easier,” she affirms. “They always have your back and stuff; that is the greatest lesson I learned here.” And because of that, she has been a great role model to point to, and Coach says she can say she did it the right way and accomplished her goals by putting the team first.
Duvall’s milestone now becomes a stepping stone for future players to raise their level of play on both the girls’ side and boys’ side. Coach Stallings believes one day they’ll point to her retired jersey and remember the legacy she left behind.
“We’ve had a good solid program here for years, and she is probably going to leave here at the top of that list,” he muses. “There are a lot of kids that will look up to her and want to be the next Lindsey Duvall. She’s too young to understand that now, but in two or three years she will be able to. So I think that is important. You always want to raise the bar for the next generation of players, and I think she has done that.” VT