‘Double-Team’ Star Kennedy Herndon ’23 Sets New Girls Basketball All-Time Scoring Record

Despite lacrosse being their main sport, Kennedy Herndon ’23 recently broke the Andover Girls Basketball all-time scoring record, surpassing previous record-holder Becky Dowling Calder ’94.

With a current total of 1,140 career points for Andover, Herndon attributed their successes to their dad. Aside from constantly practicing with them, Herndon’s dad was always present at their games, pushing them to be the best athlete they could be across both sports. 

“My dad has been my partner in crime…He is my biggest critic, but also my biggest fan with both basketball and lacrosse, but especially basketball. He and I have been on this long journey with basketball… And he has also been my good luck charm. He’s always there on the front row during my games yelling on the court, telling me what to do. Sometimes it’s annoying, but I know it comes out of love. And I know that he’s always right about what I need to be doing [and] what I should be doing on the court,” said Herndon.

Herndon’s love for basketball sparked in fifth grade when they played pick-up games during recess. After finding drills online, Herndon started training for the sport intensely with their dad. 

“We would always go to the park gyms early in the morning, practice on every skill that he thought I needed to work on. He would always research these drills to help me improve on my basketball skills… So the work that I put into practice with him would translate into my game. But he would wake up all hours of the morning and we would go in. He would really work out with me. He would break a sweat for me, just thinking about it and looking back on it, means so much because he put as much time into basketball as I did,” said Herndon. 

Herndon came to Andover as a Junior, but they eventually lost their Lower season due to Covid-19. Head Coach Elizabeth Monroe was initially impressed by Herndon’s young talent, demonstrating skill and quickness on the ball. 

“In [their] first game, I think [they] scored 20 points for us. And I think what really stood out was just [their] confidence. Being a ninth grader, and just being able to step onto a Varsity team and [showing] that’s kind of where you belong, and [showing] it to everybody,” said Coach Monroe.

Brooke Hannan ’23 and Herndon have been playing basketball together for almost four years. Hannan appreciates Herndon’s calm demeanor in games, their love for the sport, and their reliability throughout the season. 

“[They’re] definitely very passionate for the game. You can always tell whatever [they’re] playing. Of course, [they’re] fun. But [they’re] also very serious much of the time, which is very much necessary. But [they] keep a cool head… And [their] reaction usually is something actually pretty funny, which makes the rest of the team kind of laugh a little so it’s easier to just brush it off, and that keeps the entire team pretty composed,” said Hannan.

Sharing similar sentiments, Monroe highlighted Herdon’s use of light-hearted expressions and gestures to raise the spirits of the team and fans. 

“[They] can be very quiet and sort of seem very stoic. But the moments that I will remember and treasure from Kennedy is when [they] get a little bit goofy. And [they’re] actually really funny… that’s the best part,” said Monroe.

Herndon shared their passion for competing at the highest level against the strongest competition. Playing against athletes that provide a challenge motivates them to show their skills and push their limits during games. 

“I actually love playing against players that are as good as me. But I actually love it much more when they’re better than me. I play a lot better when I have really good competition because it pushes me to have a mindset, where I need to prove myself and prove that I can also hang with this player or these players,” said Herndon. 

Hannan described some of Herndon’s strengths on the court, leading the team as Co-Captain with courage and competence. 

“[They] really just [has] that confidence and people, like defenders, always have to cover [them] really well for that…[They’re] very well known for her three pointer. [They’re] very good at those. And then [their] ball handling. [They’re] very good at getting the ball into the middle for a floater,” said Hannan.

Although committed to University of California, Berkeley for lacrosse, Herndon also considers trying out for the university’s Women’s Basketball team next year.