Beginning her Andover career as a Junior on the varsity team, Andover Girls Basketball Co-Captain Kennedy Herndon ’23 has gained recognition for her immense talent and inspiring leadership. Throughout her moments with the team, Herndon chose playing at her very first A/E in the Winter Term of 2020 as her favorite Andover basketball memory.
Herndon began playing basketball due to the popularity of the sport in her childhood. According to Herndon, her quick adoption of the sport pushed her to continue improving.
“In elementary school, most of my friends were boys who played basketball. Therefore, I often found myself playing basketball with them during recess. Since I caught onto the game very quickly and easily, I wanted to pursue my skills in basketball,” wrote Herndon in an email to The Phillipian.
Herndon’s love for basketball was not a one-and-done experience for Herndon. Her enthusiasm for the sport is fueled every time she experiences the game, both on and off the court.
“I have continued to play basketball because I have truly fallen in love with the game. Additionally, my love for the game continues to grow every time I watch or play,” wrote Herndon.
According to teammate Leila Boesch-Powers ’24, Herndon focuses on not just her own playing but improving the dynamics of the entire team. She utilizes her talents to strengthen plays that include all of her teammates, and she continuously radiates a positive mindset.
Boesch-Powers said, “She’s always super encouraging to everyone on the team, even if they didn’t make the best play or make their shot. On the court, she’s a playmaker and because of her wide skill set, she is able to help other teammates make great plays.”
With a majority of the team consisting of underclassmen, Herndon, along with her co-captains, has taken on the role of developing a team culture from a blank slate. According to Herndon, she greatly values honesty on the team.
“Integrity amongst the team is the type of team culture I want to develop with the help of the other co-captains,” wrote Herndon.
According to Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23, Herndon maintains this integrity through transparent communication. She ensures that the team understands both its strengths and weaknesses in order to improve in the following plays and games.
“I think Kennedy is someone that you always want to play with and be on your team. Between plays, she’ll bring us all in and tell us all something that we should do better or something that we’re doing well, and just helps us on the court especially to make sure that we’re all on the same page. She helps us run a play that we want, especially on offense,” said Buckley.
Herndon serves as an inspiration for younger players with her adroit play, according to Boesch-Powers. A clear connection can be made between her level of dedication and her level of skill.
“Kennedy has so many crazy ball-handling moves that I hope to one day learn. I feel like even just watching her and practicing with her helps me become a better player,” said Boesch-Powers.