By Madisen Carter
Jenna Kilty has had the game of basketball in her life ever since she was born. Her father and older sister had always played, and as she grew up she would tag along to their practices and games. Basketball has always been the sport Kilty turned to, she even tried playing different sports including volleyball and soccer, but there was something about basketball that kept drawing her back.
Kilty graduated from Bishop O’Dowd High School in 2020 where she played basketball all four years, three of them on the Varsity team. She won back-to-back NorCal Championships with the team her junior and senior years, and was selected to the first-team all-league her senior year.
After high school, Kilty headed to Portland and played her first two collegiate seasons at Portland State University. At Portland State, Kilty finished her freshman and sophomore seasons with a total of 189 points, 57 rebounds, and 30 assists. She was also named Academic All-Big Sky both seasons. After her sophomore season ended in March, Kilty entered the transfer portal and dedicated to transfer to the University of Idaho where she will play next season.
The University of Idaho stood out to Kilty because their style of play fits her style as they are more of an offensive team that plays fast and puts up a lot of shots. Kilty said that the coaching staff and the players on the team have a great amount of potential to be successful in the Big Sky Conference this season and she is ready for the new experience.
“I'm looking forward to just getting back to playing and having a fun time playing. I'm super excited to play with all my teammates, I have a really solid team there already,” Kilty said. “Hopefully I can just contribute as much as possible in any way that they need [and] just fill whatever role they need.”
Until Kilty makes her way to Moscow, Idaho, she will be in the UPB Training Facility putting more work into her game and working as an intern. She said she looks forward to helping younger athletes who are in the position she was once in and helping them grow in all facets of their game.
Kilty has been training at UPB for two years now and credits UPB and Coach Packie Turner for the amount of success she had during her freshman and sophomore seasons. She also appreciates the mental training that UPB emphasizes, which helps give players the confidence to execute their knowledge and skills onto the court.
“There's nothing I don't like about [UPB.] It's just such a family feel with the whole staff and I love how you can walk into the gym and Jordan Poole can be on one side and then a third grader will be on the other side,” Kilty said. “It's just kind of like whatever level you're at or what stage you're at with your basketball career, everyone is just happy to be [at UPB.] I mean, everyone always has a smile on their face and you just know that you're surrounded by good people here.”
Playing overseas is one of Kilty’s big goals for her basketball career, and once she accomplishes that she hopes to get back into a training career. She has always wanted to work for the NBA or WNBA and hopes to be a skills development trainer, but ultimately, she just wants to be around the game she loves.
“[Basketball] just brings me so much happiness… The people that I've met through playing basketball and the relationships I've created, it's such a big community. You can walk into any gym and spark up a conversation with anyone,” Kilty said. “I just think the whole basketball community is something I'm drawn to.”