Try guarding Kylee Blacksten at your own risk. She won’t be in the same place twice.
“The hard thing about Kylee is she doesn’t just play inside: she can step out, shoot the three, handle the ball, so by her being versatile like that, it’s just a tough guard,” Air Academy head coach Phil Roiko said.
The Air Academy junior is the catalyst for the Kadets on offense averaging 15 points a game and scoring from pretty much where ever she wants.
“I cause a little bit of a mismatch opportunities because I am taller,” Blacksten said. “But I can still handle the ball, so I kind of get that mix.”
Oh did we not mention that? Blacksten stands 6’3″ but plays like a point guard – which is all by design and all part of her basketball upbringing with her mother.
“I played point guard probably until ninth grade,” Blacksten said. “But I’ve always had the ball in my hands when I played so it’s just been kind of natural for me. It’s been more learning post moves than guard moves for me.”
“There is no secret about it she is in the gym all the time,” Roiko said. “In the off season, she is working hard. When she is not playing with her high school team, she is playing with her club team, so she has put in the hours. There is a reason why she does what she does because she has taken the time to get better.”
Entering Thursday, the Kadets will play in their first 4A final four vs. Pueblo South at 5:30 p.m. at the Denver Coliseum.