It looks like all the hard work put in by former Battle Creek Central basketball standout Ka-Leah Ryan is paying off.
Ryan, a member of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College women’s basketball team, has been named to participate in the 8th annual NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Weekend in Florida, starting Thursday.
The top player for KVCC last season, Ryan is being rewarded for her outstanding play.
“She definitely earned it,” said KVCC women’s coach Maureen Brown. “She was our leading scorer last year as a freshman and she has just continued to flourish. She’s a good student with a great work ethic. Every day she’s in a gym working on her skills.”
Ryan will play in the All-star games, will be involved in a children’s basketball camp, and will attend the Hall of Fame banquet.
Ryan said she’s excited about the honor because it means her hard work is paying off.
“I feel like It’s about what you do in the gym when nobody is watching,” Ryan said. “I try to get in the gym every day whether it’s doing drills on the court, conditioning, or weight lifting. My favorite saying is ‘you get out what you put in.’ I love putting in work because I love seeing myself improve. I want to push myself to be the best player I can be. I want to see how far I can get if I continue to work my hardest, hopefully the WNBA or playing overseas.”
After seeing Ryan blossom at junior college following her senior year at BCC when the point guard averaged 22.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.0 steals, and 3.0 assists per game, her former Bearcat coach Patrick Johnson enjoys holding his former player up as an example to his current team.
“Ka-Leah has continued to work hard after her high school career ended,” Johnson said. “She comes back regularly to BCC and talk to our younger players about dedication and commitment. Even after conditioning with current players at one of our conditioning practices, she took a couple of our players out to a hill and ran the hill with them. She’s truly someone deserving of this honor and the epitome of “Once a Bearcat Always a Bearcat.”