By Mike Beas
The majority of Lydia Barber’s per-game averages have a zero left of the decimal point.
All the same, the senior’s value to the Danville girls basketball during the past three seasons is undeniable, according to eighth-year head coach Kaley May. Numbers, in other words, don’t come close to telling the entire story.
“Lydia is very observant and has a coach’s mind,” said May, who prior to this season’s state tournament had led five Warriors squads to sectional championships — two of which advanced all the way to the Class 3A semistate round. “She just wants everyone to do well. She’s a perfectionist. The only time she does get mad is at herself.
“Her coach’s eye definitely comes from her family. She gets that honestly, and I think it’s why she has such a high basketball IQ.”
Barber’s father, Greg, is the freshman boys basketball coach at Danville. Her uncle, Brian Barber, is in his 22nd season as head coach of the Warriors’ boys program, accumulating a .739 win percentage in the process.
Meanwhile, Lydia Barber is responsible for some impressive numbers of her own, carrying a 4.15 grade-point average that ranks her 10th academically in Danville’s senior class of 167 students. She is also active in extracurricular activities at her school as the senior class president for student council, a member of National Honor Society and part of both the student-athlete advisory council and Kiwanis Key Club.
Barber did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: How do you define your role in the Danville girls basketball program, and how much pride do you take in that role?
A: I’ve never been one who is a big stats-maker. I hope to have a positive attitude at all times and hope I’m one of the best teammates. I take a lot of pride in that, and I think this season has taught me how important leadership is because of all the challenges we’ve faced.
Q: The program just recorded its ninth consecutive winning season. Why do you think it is so consistently successful?
A: We go into each season with high expectations. We knew we had some big shoes to fill because of the seniors we had last season, but we wanted to prove we’re the same Danville girls basketball team. We lost our identity early in the season, but our last few games there was a different team chemistry there.
Q: Where do you plan to attend college, and what will be your major?
A: I got accepted to Purdue University and will major in accounting at the Krannert School (of Management). I’m a very detail-oriented person. I feel accounting fits my personality.