HOLT – Kamrin Reed’s junior season came and went in the blink of an eye.
Just 36 seconds into Holt’s first game of the year, Reed stole the ball, went up for a left-handed layup, and came down sprawled under the hoop. She missed the attempt, but that was the least of everyone’s concerns. Reed tore her ACL.
That night, Reed received text messages from coaches of the Western Michigan University women’s basketball program — which offered her at the end of the summer — making sure she was OK. It became a weekly thing.
The Broncos had won over Reed’s heart with their sympathy during her time of angst. And it was the biggest reason she verbally committed to WMU last week.
“(It was awesome) just to know the coaches cared a lot,” said Reed, who averaged 16.6 points per game as a sophomore and earned Class A all-state honorable mention honors. “All four of them sent me texts. It was cool to know that they were interested in me. Having such a dramatic injury — nine to 10 months for recovery — it showed they really did want me there.
“I got a good feeling from them to start with. I fell in love with their basketball program, and I recently went back up there to check with their academics.”
At the time of the injury, Reed never considered any of her three college offers blowing away in the wind. She was more concerned with the present and how her injury would affect her team.
After finishing last year with an 18-4 record, the Rams came into the season with high expectations. They were returning a proven backcourt in Reed and all-league first-team member Tara Lierman, and they had size with 6-foot-1 senior Rylie Stiles anchoring the middle.
“First thing that went through my mind was that I let my team down,” Reed said. “With everything we talked about during the summer … I felt like I let them down.”
Quite the opposite, as it turned out.
The 5-foot-7 guard became the voice of reason. She attended every game and almost every practice. At halftime, while the coaches were discussing stats and the gameplan, Reed would head into the locker room to give advice and tell the team what coach was about to yell at them about.
“She was our leader this year as well,” said Holt coach Doug Harkema, whose team finished the season 15-8 and earned a share of the CAAC Blue title. “Even though she didn’t get to play this year on the floor, she was our leader all the way through.
“From the players’ standpoint, Kamrin was the person the whole team rallied around — even when she was healthy. She got people playing hard towards a common goal, and she continued that times 10 when she couldn’t play anymore.”
Next season will be special for Reed — who will be able to participate in full-contact basketball activities one month prior to tryouts. Not only does she have one more chance to help the Rams reach the pinnacle, but she has an opportunity to prove to the Broncos that they’re getting an even better player than the one they showed so much support for.
“I’m ecstatic for senior year,” Reed said. “I’m just excited to get out there with all my teammates — seven will return. It will be good to make up lost time.”