RICK GRAEFE MICDS freshman Emily Kyman looks to the basket as Westminster freshman Kayla Armstrong defends.

Rick Graefe

Emily Kyman lets her play do the talking. Though she describes herself as ‘shy,’ Kyman does things for the MICDS girls basketball team that speak volumes about her talents. The 5-foot-8 sophomore shooting guard leads the Rams with 18 points and three steals per game. She’s never selfish. She loves to get down, defend and pick her opponents’ pockets. Even if Kyman never says a word, she makes an immediate impression on those around her. “She’s a quiet assassin,” MICDS coach Scott Small says. “She’s a work horse, she doesn’t talk and she’s not flashy. She’s an all-around good kid.”

Aside from her obvious talents, Kyman, 16, possesses something coaches covet. She makes those around her better. She passes the ball at such an unselfish clip that Small has been forced to ask her to shoot more. (She’s hitting nearly every other shot so far this young season.) “I think there are few kids who get how much of a team game (basketball) is,” Small says. “To see that in her as a freshman and now as a sophomore is pretty impressive.”

Kyman relishes the team aspect of every game. She plays tennis in the fall and lacrosse in the spring—but basketball is her passion. It’s on the court that she’s most comfortable. So far, nothing has given her the satisfaction of getting a teammate the ball and watching them put the ball in the basket. Picking up assists are even better than picking up points for Kyman. “Making an assist is just as good as making a shot,” Kyman says. “You both contributed to your team. It’s a group effort.”

Kyman, now in the midst of her second varsity season, says her transition to high school basketball was relatively smooth. She spent the summer before her freshman year playing with team and getting to know the girls. It was kind of scary at first, but basketball was the best ice-breaker. The hardest part on the court, she says, was adjusting to the more extensive playbook used at the high school level. There are a bevy of offensive and defensive sets that require each player to know where they’re going and where everyone else needs to be. That, she says, took the most time to get down pat. “We have a lot of plays and (defensive) presses,” she says.

Off the court, she had to adjust to life as not only a high school athlete but as a student-athlete. The hours in your day get cut up pretty quick when you’re an athlete studying at a school that prides itself on its academics like MICDS. “It’s a really big time commitment,” Kyman says. “It’s hard to balance. I have to work hard and get (my homework) done.”

As the winter progresses, you can expect to see MICDS in the mix as one of the best teams in the area. The Rams lost two games last year, but the last one was a doozy. Westminster knocked off MICDS in the district championship game and put a crushing end to a phenomenal season. This year, the Rams are back and have their hopes set on pushing beyond the district title game. But there’s a lot of ball to be played between now and then. “We all want to make it farther as a team. Westminster is a really big challenge,” she says. “We have to take it step by step. We have to count on each other. We have to work hard all the time.” Well said, especially for a young woman of few words.