Kylee Mabry knew what she wanted to do on her birthday earlier this month: take an official college basketball recruiting visit.
For more than a year, the NCAA had banned in-person recruiting activities for Division I sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The so-called extended shutdown period was lifted on June 1.
Mabry’s birthday recruiting visit to the University of Utah Valley won’t be the last time she’s on campus in a Wolverines basketball uniform.
Mabry announced her commitment to the UVU women’s basketball program last week in a social media post, picking the Wolverines over Hawaii, Utah State, Weber State and the ‘State of Montana.
The recruiting dead period meant that Mabry hadn’t made many visits, as had many recruits in the 2022 class. As soon as Mabry started planning her visit to the UVU, she said she knew that she was going to engage in it.
“The culture and the type of program they are building is honestly something I would love to be a part of,” Mabry told The Standard-Examiner in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “The family aspect that they have there, I created a very good relationship with the coaches there.”
UVU offered him a scholarship in February towards the end of the high school basketball season and USU offered him a few weeks later, this after Weber State and Hawaii offered Mabry in September.
Two other reasons she said she chose UVU were the college’s proximity to home and the defensive style of basketball played by the Wolverines. It also helped the UVU enter the NCAA tournament earlier this year.
“They put a lot of emphasis on defense and obviously I like defense,” Mabry said.
Mabry averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, but an ability to disrupt another team’s offense was his specialty. In the 2020-21 season, Mabry placed third in the state with 5.5 interceptions per game, according to MaxPreps.
Mabry had 13 steals, a season-high, in the Darts opener against Pleasant Grove, and 10 more in a regional win over Syracuse this season.
“I take my defense very seriously. If someone beats me in defense, I take them to heart. I don’t like to be beaten in defense, ”Mabry said.
Mabry played on the elite team at Natalie Williams Basketball Academy with some of the best offensive players in the state – Fremont’s Timea Gardiner played on that team – so Mabry used that environment to hone her skills. in defense, she said.
UVU does what she loves to do: push the ball to the ground and apply a ton of pressure on the defense.
UVU had the best goal defense (58.8 points per game) and No.2 defense in field goal percentage (38.3%) in the WAC in 2020-21, but the Wolverines had a number margin. negative business as a team and ranked sixth out of nine teams in steals per game, which are areas Mabry can help.