Rock Bridge senior forward Kelsie Shearrer provides a perfect example for how to play the game of basketball.
“She plays for all the right reasons, because she loves it,” Bruins coach Jill Nagel said.
Class 5, District 10 tournamentRock Bridge (21-6) vs. Hickman (21-6) WHEN: 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Hickman High School
“She is a leader,” her father, Phil Shearrer, said. “She is a team player.”
Kelsie Shearrer, who is in her third year on varsity and first as a starter, is often credited for her dedication to the game.
“She works extremely hard,” Nagel said. “She came in as a guard, but she was needed as a post player.”
Shearrer said that although she had played point guard until ninth grade, she has grown to like the switch to post.
She has had help learning the position from the post players in front of her.
“Katherine (Harry) has always been there for me and she plays really hard,” Shearrer said. “She is really intense and pushes me hard.”
Her hard work has transformed her into a dangerous threat on the court.
“She is invaluable to our team,” Nagel said. “She does so many of the little things well. She is willing to set a pick instead of score. She does whatever the team needs.”
She can still score, such as her eight point-performance in the Bruins’ Class 5, District 10 semifinal win over Helias on Wednesday night.
Nagel said that Shearrer causes matchup problems for other teams because she is a quick post player who can go to the basket as well as step in front of an offensive player and steal the ball on defense.
Shearrer attributes her success in basketball to a collection of influences.
“I was a huge Michael Jordan fan growing up,” Kelsie Shearrer said. “I had a Bulls blanket and locker too.”
Shearrer’s jersey number is 23 and ironically, her middle name happens to be Jordan.
Although her parents never pushed her into playing basketball, she developed a love for the game at a young age. Shearrer said she remembers when she used to live in an apartment complex with a torn down basketball hoop and how she always wished she could shoot baskets on it. She recalls shooting baskets at recess trying to see how many she could make in a row and that when she finally got a basket, her father would give her a dollar for every shot she made in a row.
Phil Shearrer said that when they set-up the basketball hoop, it was on a hill and if you didn’t get the rebound quickly, it would roll down the hill. He said he thinks this made her quicker on her rebounding.
Kelsie Shearrer started playing organized basketball in fourth grade on a recreational team. By sixth grade, she was playing for a competitive team nicknamed the Cobras.
“It gave me confidence to keep going with it,” Kelsie said.
Paul Kanago, the father of teammate M.E. Kanago, coached the Cobras. Along with Kelsie Shearrer and M.E. Kanago, the Bruins’ Andrea Seabaugh and Lauren Kelly were also on the team
“We won a lot of Show-Me State Games,” Shearrer said. “It was really fun because it was in the summer.”
Basketball has never stopped being fun for the Rock Bridge senior.
“All my best friends are on this team, so it’s made it really fun,” Shearrer said. “I am really competitive. I am good at basketball and it’s fun to play on a high level.”
Shearrer said the team is close and during the season the girls would come over to her house to watch Grey’s Anatomy on TV.
She gives all the credit to her team and hopes it can make a deep playoff run.
“Obviously I really want to win districts,” Shearrer said. “Rock Bridge hasn’t won districts in 26 years. If we beat Hickman we can go really far and maybe get a banner on this wall because this team really deserves it.”
As a senior though, Shearrer said she realizes she is soon going to have to head off to college.
“It’s really sad, because I don’t think I’m going to play next year. I just hope we go far, so I don’t have to think about it until later.” Shearrer said.
All she can do now is work hard and hope for the best.