Monday, January 18, 2021

A lone wolf: Kendall Bostic's first game shows promise for her first season

November 27, 2020

This is Kendall Bostic’s first year at Michigan State University and her first season on the Spartan women’s basketball team (1-0).

The 6-foot-2 Indiana native is the only freshman on the team, playing the position of forward and proving herself to be one of the team's top performers after their 77-44 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) (0-1) today.

The communications major takes after her mother, Angie (Cree) Bostic, who played basketball at Indiana from 1991-92, and her father, Kevin Bostic. Both are now coaches, and her brother, Connor Bostic, plays for her hometown high school, Northwestern, or NHS.

Even now, her parents are still her athletic backbone and her go-to when she needs that extra push or assistance.

Bostic attended NHS, where she played for head coach Katie Layden. She was also a part of Amateur Athletic Union, or AAU, basketball, where she played for Tony Marlin and the Indiana Flight/Elite.

As a senior, she earned Indiana All-Star honors and was a Miss Basketball Finalist. She was also a McDonald’s All-American Nominee and was the seventh player in Indiana history to score over 2,000 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds – 2,032 and 1,040 to be exact.

She ended her high school career as a two-time Indiana State champion, averaging 20.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and earning Associated Press First-Team All-State honors.

As a junior in high school, she was averaging 18.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game on 68% shooting from the field. That same year, her school captured their second consecutive state championship, as Bostic earned the State Championship Player of the Game accolades, AP First-Team All-State and Co-Player of the Year honors.

She is now ranked No. 16 at her position and No. 67 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz.

When Bostic was gearing up to come to college, she knew things were going to be different with the coronavirus pandemic weighing down.

“... I’ve been up to games before ... to where it's full but I think they did a really good job ... with the noise and everything today, so it still kind of felt like people were there, but it was definitely a little bit different not having the fanbase that we do,” Bostic said.

However, the basketball aspect and it being her first time stepping onto a Big Ten court, wasn’t what made her nervous. She said she knew what she could do. It was the fact that it was college.

During the game against the Red Flash (0-1) this afternoon, Bostic played a total of 26 minutes, the second-most on the lineup. She scored 15 points, matching junior guard Nia Clouden, going 1-for-1 from the arc and 6-for-7 from the field. She also tallied one assist and six rebounds.

“... coming into the game, I wanted to help the team in any way possible, so my mindset was just to go out and do my job. That’s something we emphasize: Do your job and do it well,” Bostic said postgame.

Head coach Suzy Merchant called Bostic’s work ethic is off the charts and that she’s very passionate about wanting to get better each and every day – she never gives lower than 100%.

“She’s in great shape...Also (she) is in the gym all the time, she comes in here on her own, she works out quite a bit with [associate head] coach Dean [Lockwood]. Her commitment has allowed her to play multiple positions for us as a freshman, which is pretty unusual,” Merchant said.

Merchant also called Bostic a sponge, someone with good communication and knowledge of the game flow already.

“She just outworks people and she plays with such toughness, really pushes the envelope in transition, ... she can get to the boards, she catches it high and keeps it high, she’s multidimensional, she can shoot the three, she’s really good at reading defenses and making the extra pass. … she’s above and beyond most freshmen at this time,” Merchant said.

Her hopes for the rest of the season are, of course, to keep on winning as a team and to keep up what she brought out today – she refuses to let the Spartans down.

The support she receives now from her fellow Spartans is nothing like she received in high school. It’s better.

She said that, while it’s a bit lonely having no one else in her boat – or class standing, she’s had a really good adjustment, and that her teammates have done a really good job of leading her and the other transfers along the ins and outs of the green and white.

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