December 27, 2014

What Kaylee misses about Wyoming

What do I miss about Wyoming? It has to be the people. I can’t say that I miss the sustained 45-60 mph winds or the snowstorms from September through May. I don’t miss the 2-½ hour road trips just to get to the next town to play a game. But I do miss the small hometown feel and the support of everyone in Casper.

My first experience with basketball was when I was 2 years old. My older sister and I got a little kids basketball hoop and I was hooked. My competitive nature was apparent even then and I refused to let my sister beat me just because I was younger. My mom then signed us up for basketball at the YMCA in Casper when I was in kindergarten. It was there that my love for the game really took over.

I played basketball at the Y, the Casper Rec Center, and in Junior High and I had the support of my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and family friends at every game. Then I met Coach Diehl. Who knew then that his guidance, mentorship, support, and advice would be life changing on and off the court? It was him that told me I could play basketball year round through AAU teams in Colorado and Montana. So my mom and I travelled 2-3 times a week 3 hours one way for practices and games. We would leave early from school drive to CO/ MT, practice, eat, drive back (usually getting home around midnight- 1 am) and then get up the next morning to go school and she’d go to work. We were exhausted, but had fun too. She use to say, “It’s worth it because this will be your college tuition”. She was right. I knew then that this game they call basketball is addictive, frustrating, fun, and stress relieving all at the same time.

By the time I was in high school, I had the support of not only my friends, family, teachers, teammates and coaches, but also the town and entire state. But that’s Wyoming. I don’t think there is any other state that makes you feel like you are in your hometown, no matter what town you are playing in. We all compete. We all want to win. We all need support to do that; I did and still do, even hundreds miles away. Because of that, I am here at the best university in the country, doing what I love.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Kaylee! So glad to have the chance to meet you in Wyoming when Natrona HIgh School played Riverton High School last season. Now it's been so fun to follow you at Stanford! Keep up the great work, especially that rebounding! Way to represent Wyoming! :) Best always, Pat Newlin, aka Kristen Newlin's '07 mom.