Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 25, 2012

Gambill has Grande vision

Rio Grande gets long-range shooter in Ashland senior

ASHLAND — For the second straight year, University of Rio Grande went to pick from a litter of Kittens.

“We need somebody that can knock down three’s,” said 21st-year Rio Grande coach David Smalley.

That happens to be Kaylyn Gambill’s specialty.

Such a clutch shooter that one opposing coach dubbed her the “ice queen,” Gambill celebrated two big events in one sitting on Tuesday in the Ashland Blazer High School cafeteria — her 18th birthday and her signing a letter of intent with Rio Grande.

“I’ve dreamed of playing college basketball before I even knew what college was,” said Gambill, who also attracted interest from Pikeville, Berea and Heidelberg. “When I went on my official visit, I had a blast. Rio really won me over.”

Smalley remembered that visit, specifically the open gym portion of it.

“She was a little nervous, a little timid at first,” Smalley recalled. “The first four or five shots didn’t find the bottom of the net. My current players looked at me like, can she play? Then, all of the sudden, it was just like lights out.”

Area high school basketball followers have witnessed that before.

As a junior, Gambill sank 37 percent (87 of 236) of her 3-pointers.

Former Rowan County coach Scott Tackett slapped the nickname on the 5-foot-5 sharpshooter.

“She’s never emotional on the court,” said Ashland coach Bill Bradley. “I had Ali Wilcox and Kim Strait and they were two of the best (3-point shooters) around here. She’s right up there with them, maybe a little better.”

Gambill said it’s not uncommon for her to throw up 1,000 shots three or four times a week.

“I’ve always been better at shooting outside,” Gambill said. “I’m so small, I had to find some way.”

In terms of 3-point goals made, she is four away from a school record. A team captain, Gambill is 10 games from setting a Kittens record for varsity games played, and she’s sixth all-time in scoring, with 1,473 points.

One of Bradley’s favorite stats: “She’s never missed a practice in five years.”

At Rose Hill Christian, Gambill was a varsity player as a fifth-grader. She played in two state tournaments there. She helped lead the Kittens to Bowling Green last season, but they lost in the first round. This season, she wants a fourth appearance, and more.

“I want to go to State and get farther,” Gambill said. “I love my team.”

A former Ashland teammate, Julia Heaberlin, signed with Rio Grande last year. She is a freshman there now.

Gambill will get to keep her jersey number, No. 20.

Aside from her family, coaches and teammates, she thanked former Rose Hill teammate Laura Terry for helping drive her to a college career. Terry went on to have a good career at the University of Louisville after graduating from Rose Hill in 2007.

While Bradley hates to see her go, Smalley is eager to have Gambill.

“She’s a great individual,” Smalley said. “You want to find kids with a good mix of getting it done in the classroom and on the court.”

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014