Kyla Nelson: I’m going to the ACC

Even though I tried many sports, I think it’s safe to say that basketball was always something I was going to end up doing.

My Dad (an ex BBL player and GB international) played and coached since I was very young. My week would consist of going to practice and games and being in a hall for hours. I grew up around the sport.

And then, my brother (Luke) started playing. I looked up to him and we were very competitive, so, like many little sisters do, I copied him. I joined a local league team at aged 7 and even wore the same long socks as him (the style has still stuck until this day). Growing up around someone with the work ethic he has, made me realise from a young age that you have to commit everything to the game if you want to be successful.

Due to the small town I’m from and the lack of popularity for female basketball, I grew up playing with boys up until regional tournaments and when the basketball federation said it was no longer appropriate. Looking back, this definitely helped shape my game in a very positive way.

Kyla (#6) having to play in an U14 Boys Squad

I am not the quickest, and not the most athletic, but being around the game from so young allowed me to gain a high IQ which I believe is the main strength of my game today.

I decided to stay a third year at Oaklands College before pursuing my dream to play college basketball in America. I had an injury for the first half of last season, wasn’t in great shape and left the recruiting process so late; resulting in a very short window to build any sort of relationship with the very limited schools interested in me.

I can honestly say staying an extra year was the best decision I’ve ever made. It allowed me to get healthy, get in the best shape I’ve ever been in and play another season in the highest women’s basketball league in the country (the WBBL). My performances generated a lot of interest from US colleges.

After a load of researching, crazy amount of time on Skype to coaches, and deciding specific criteria that was important to me in a school, I went on visits with my parents to 3 amazing division one colleges: The University of Pittsburgh, Boston College and The University of Washington.

Having a brother go through this process was honestly a huge benefit; he was able to give me some great advice.

After finally coming to terms that these types of opportunities were available for me, I made a decision and couldn’t be happier.  I now know what everyone who has already been through this process means when they say you just get that ‘feeling’ about a school.

I owe a huge thanks to Steve Vear. The addition of Custom College Recruiting service also made this possible.  Another huge influence in my journey has been Oaklands College. I would not be where I am without all of the time and effort the coaching staff have put into me.

Kyla on her visit to the University of Pittsburgh

So with all of this being said, I have verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh and can’t wait to become a Panther and compete in the ACC, one of the best conferences in the country. I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey so far. Not bad for a chubby kid from Worthing, eh?

– Kyla


Comments (1)
  1. Brian Deacon says:

    Kyla – well deserved and I look forward to following your progress Coach Deacon.

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