Don’t let Kylee Newsome’s friendly smile fool you. She’s as fierce a competitor on the basketball court as you will ever find.
“She’s not a mean person, but in games she gets frustrated if she misses shots and becomes even more determined,” said Woodland Park junior forward Jada Boddy about Newsome. “She doesn’t freak out, but you don’t want to get in her way.”
The 5-foot-10 Newsome is a three-year starter and four-year letter winner for the Panthers. A co-captain, she leads the team in scoring (14.3 points per game), rebounds (10.0), and field goal percentage (44 percent) this season.
In fact, she has led the team in scoring and rebounding each of the last three seasons. She is on pace to end her career with more than 800 points and 600 rebounds.
“I say it all the time to our team, and anybody who will listen, ‘Kylee is a bulldog,’” said Woodland Park coach Del Garrick. “She’s like that in life and she’s like that in basketball.
“In life she attacks what she wants to do with all her might. She’s wants to be a great student, she goes after it. She wants extra college credits, she goes after it. On the basketball court she might be dog-dead tired, but she’s going to be sprinting up and down the floor. That’s just heart and desire. She just outworks people.”
Woodland Park senior guard Jacelynn Richards has played organized ball with Newsome since middle school.
“She’s always been our best post,” Richards said. “She’s developed a lot as a player. Her arms have gotten longer and she blocks a lot of shots.
“We all say, ‘If we need points at halftime, let’s get Kylee the ball.’”
Newsome is a multi-sport athlete. She was a three-year letter winner in volleyball and helped the team to a regional berth last fall. But it is on the basketball court where she shines the most.
“My stats wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my teammates getting me the ball and doing other things,” said Newsome, who is the senior class vice president.
Newsome rarely strays too far outside of the paint when the Panthers are on offense. She trusts that they will get the ball down low. She works hard to get in proper position.
“Defenses are always changing on me, so I have to work on getting positioning,” said Newsome, whose single-game career-high in points is 25 and rebounds 21. “I trust that my teammates will get me the ball. I don’t go outside and try to force something.”
Newsome does not plan to play competitive sports beyond this season.
“I’m going to miss all of it,” she said. “All of these girls have grown into my family. I’m probably definitely going to cry for my basketball senior night. It will be a sad time, but I’ll be OK.”