Entering her first year on the Binghamton women’s basketball team, expectations are high for heavily recruited freshman forward Kaylee Wasco, who managed 182 points in her senior year at H.H. Dow High School in Midland, Michigan. Standing tall at 6-foot-3, with the help of her experienced teammates, Wasco is ready to reach expectations on an entirely new level of competition.
“Everyone’s faster, stronger, they all have a basketball IQ, but luckily, coming in as a freshman, I’ve been blessed with the impeccable leadership of my veterans like [senior guard] Imani [Watkins] and [redshirt junior guard] Jasmine [Sina] and [senior forward Alyssa James],” Wasco said. “Just their leadership and really welcoming me with open arms and doing whatever they can to make me feel comfortable and help me prepare for the games ahead, it’s been really beneficial.”
With a strong core of returning players, and the addition of the seasoned Ramil sisters, sophomore forward Oivia and junior center Jodi-Marie, the intense level of practice has been key in preparing Wasco for the step up to Division I play.
“I’m really happy to have the challenge of going up against Alyssa and the Ramil sisters every day,” Wasco said. “It’s a challenge that’s gonna make me better everyday in the long run … and it’s a great opportunity for me to work on different things and be prepared when I go into game time, so that I’ve like already worked out how to handle different situations, so there’s not as many surprises thrown at me.”
Averaging over 5.7 rebounds and 14 points per game in her senior year, as well as being a letter-winner all four years of high school, Wasco has demonstrated that she has the potential to thrive here at Binghamton on both ends of the court. But Wasco’s impressive skills on the court aren’t the only thing that made her such a good fit for the Binghamton women’s basketball team, as Wasco also arrives decorated with academic achievement. She was named Academic All-State by the Basketball Coaches’ Association of Michigan in high school. The next step toward her success is building and developing up the confidence to face difficult competition, such as Army and Yale.
“Kaylee’s a talented offensive player, can score with both hands, has a nice, soft touch around the basket,” said BU head coach Linda Cimino. “But what makes her special offensively is she can hit the trail three, she can come out and knock down outside shots. So, she’s a tough matchup. Defensively, she’s very athletic, she blocks shots, and you know, she’s given [James] a run for her money every day in practice. Kaylee’s a special player. I do believe that she will a player that will be part of the all-rookie team here in the American East this year. We all know that she has great potential. And now it’s instilling confidence in a young freshman, to believe that she can be that good.”
For now, the freshman is focused on working hard both mentally and physically to improve both her confidence and her skills in order to be able to best help the team reach its goal of a championship this season.
“Just going in as a freshman, I think the biggest thing is you just have to find your confidence and role on the team,” Wasco said. “Go play your game, and I’m just excited to find my role and be able to contribute to the team and help us reach our goals overall as a team.”