By Ellie Lieberman
When Redwood High School teammates were asked to describe what it was like playing with a dynamic guard like Kylie Horstmeyer, as she enrolled early to play Division I basketball at the University of San Diego, their sentiment was clear: she’s the hardest worker.
“She has a constant craving to get better every single day,” her teammate Brooke Strodder said in an interview with their high school newspaper, The Redwood Bark.
Horstmeyer’s commitment to the game of basketball has only gotten stronger in the eight weeks since she’s been in San Diego. Though she’s supposed to be a second-semester senior in high school at Redwood, Horstmeyer took the road less traveled and got to school earlier.
When asked to recap her semester, it was simple.
“I’ve learned a lot and I have a lot more to learn. It’s been awesome and I’m having a great time,” Horstmeyer said. In particular, she pointed towards the increased physicality at the college level and especially in the WAC as being something she’s soaking in as much as possible, as well as the ins-and-outs of college basketball as a whole including scout practice and traveling with the team.
Horstmeyer’s hunger to continuously get better has been engrained in her for a while, and was evident in both basketball and waterpolo at Redwood. At UPB, she could regularly be seen taking on any challenge tasked with and especially loved the opportunity to be challenged by bigger players while still being able to score in the paint.
“I also think Packie’s helped me gain confidence and take shots, and Oderah too,” Horstmeyer said. “I’ve gone against Oderah, and kids who are bigger and stronger than me.”
Only one semester in as a Torero, Horstmeyer is finding her footing and her potential is clear. She scored her first collegiate points and grabbed three rebounds against Pacific earlier this season and scored again at Portland.
And she will settle for nothing less than putting her all on the court. When I asked her what she would tell her younger self, she knew right away.
“I would tell myself to try to find the best competition you can find and play against them as much as possible, and be confident in yourself because first you need to be confident in yourself and for your coaches to be confident in you,” Horstmeyer said.
There’s one particular exercise Clair Steele will never forget from UPB. And that’s Packie’s famous five-minute plank that would be thrown in at the end of workouts. Clair Steele used to dread those planks.