Mt.Vernon’s Kendal Ryan signs with Welch College

MT. VERNON – The allure of playing college basketball with her older sister was one of many factors Mt. Vernon’s Kendal Ryan used to determine where she would sign to play college basketball.
On Wednesday, Ryan made that official when she signed her National Letter of Intent to attend and play for Welch College in Nashville, TN. 
“Welch was one of my top picks for colleges,” said Ryan. “Visiting Welch and being surrounded by the people that attended there. My sister [Claire Ryan] is now a student there. It’s always been a dream to play at Welch College.”
With her sister Claire preparing for her senior season, Kendal Ryan says she’s looking forward to playing on the same team one more time. The last time the two played organized basketball together was Claire’s senior year and Kendal’s freshman season. Both were on the floor at the same time late in a ball game.
“Playing there with my sister will be so much fun,” said Ryan. “We haven’t played together in a very long time. It’s always a unique experience when we’re on the court together.”
Ryan says she knew Welch College was theplace she wanted to be from the moment she first got to campus.
“The first time I was on the campus I just knew it was the place,” said Ryan. “It felt like home. Everyone was so friendly. It was so welcoming.”
Ryan was a starter on the Lady Rams’ varsity team her senior year. She was also a starter on the Lady Rams’ soccer team.
“I loved getting to play here,” said Ryan. “I made so many friendships that will last forever. As the season ended I was very saddened by having to tell everybody goodbye, especially the coaches because they really formed me to be the player I am today and that’s something I’ll always be thankful for. It was just a good experience altogether.
For MVTHS girls basketball coach Jeff Lonnon, as good of a player Ryan is on the floor, he says she’s an even better person off it.
“I’m very proud of Kendal,” said Lonnon. “Anytime you see one of your kids go off and continue their college career playing basketball, it’s a bonus. I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments.
“She has all the ingredients that make coaching pleasurable and makes coaching fun. She did all the little things right. Kids like her are extra hard to let go because character is so high with her.”
In high school, Ryan played a variety of spots on the floor. At times she would handle the basketball. Other times she would post up and sometimes even play the wing.
As she gears towards playing college basketball, Ryan knows the areas she needs to work on to help prepare herself for the next level.
“I think I’ll have to work on my ball-handling skills,” said Ryan. “I feel like I can play anywhere. If Katie [Bryan, Welch head coach] wants me to play somewhere I will most definitely form to the position she wants me to play at.
“I think I need to work more on my shooting. I like to pass the ball. I assist people. I’m not much of a take-it-to-the-hoop kind of girl. But I think I’ll work on that more to help me in college.”

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