Bradbury caps off dominant season

Timmerman_Bradbury

Justin Chapman | Echo

Over 2,000 points scored in her career. She scored 810 points in one season. She scored 41 points in one game. She’s not finished either.

Junior Kendall Bradbury, who is a forward on the women’s basketball team, ended her stellar junior season with an impressive accomplishment.

Bradbury was named a NAIA First-Team All-American on March 15.

Getting to this point has been an uphill journey for Bradbury. In her freshman season, she received an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. In her sophomore season, she made the NAIA Third-Team All-American team.

“For team sports to be successful, people (have) to play important roles on the team and (Bradbury’s) role is to score for us,” said head coach Jody Martinez. “Fortunately for (Bradbury), when you score points, you get a lot of recognition. It’s a credit to her team to give her the ball, but it’s also a credit to (Bradbury’s) work ethic and just her skill level. She’s a very good ball player.”

Ever since Bradbury came to Taylor, she has been a star for the Trojans. In her freshman season, she led the team in points per game at 18.6, rebounds at 235 and 3-pointers made at 55.

In her sophomore season, she ranked third in the nation in points per game at 21.5 and ranked 17th in rebounds per game at 9.5. Her numbers increased this year, as she averaged 23.1 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game.

“She can score inside and outside, but she has a very high IQ for the game of basketball,” Martinez said. “A lot of kids are developed to play one certain spot, one certain position, but Kendall can play all five. That’s how skilled she is.”

Bradbury’s numbers show just how versatile she can be. Her 3-point percentage is not excellent, but she averages 31.4 percent from behind the arc in her career and also has averaged 9.1 rebounds per game.

Bradbury recognizes how versatile she is and knows teams can have a difficult time preparing for her.

“I think a lot of coaches struggle with what kind of defender they put on me in general because I’m not a guard, but I’m not a forward,” Bradbury said. “I’m just so versatile that I can shoot but I can also get to the basket; I have a quick enough first step.”

Around this time last year, Bradbury was actually struggling with the desire to play basketball.

The game was not fun for her anymore, and the joy behind it was not there. While she was improving her game, she did not feel the same about the game.

“If I’m being completely honest, basketball wasn’t fun for me anymore this time last year,” Bradbury said. “All the honors and everything, those were great, but my heart just wasn’t in basketball anymore.”

Thanks to Martinez, Bradbury refound her passion and desire to play basketball.

Remembering that basketball is a game and a sport to have fun in is something Bradbury relearned because of Martinez.

While this is a big accomplishment, Bradbury is still hungry for more. Her goals for this season included winning the Crossroads League Player of the Year and the NAIA Player of the Year. She did not accomplish either of those goals, so those two goals will be left for her senior season.

Martinez said Bradbury will be the player opponents continue to try and contain next year; however, these goals will still be set for her in her last year as a Trojan.

Bradbury took time to rest this March and did not practice basketball or focus on basketball, and she’s looking forward to start training for next year and improving her skills.

“Photograph by Brad Timmerman”