Kyla Stapleton would like the option to skip the offseason.
She had a formal signing ceremony Tuesday in the foyer of Ardmore High School, where she pledged to play basketball at Bacone College.
“I feel excited,” Stapleton said. “It feels good. I’m happy. … I’m ready to go.”
Coach Josh Nichols cited Stapleton’s work ethic and toughness regarding why she was an appealing prospect.
“Those types of qualities I look for in a player,” he said. “I think I can help them develop their skills, but I can’t make them work hard if they don’t have a desire to do that.
“That was first and foremost, seeing how hard she works.”
Nichols and Ardmore coach Debra Manley have something in common.
“We kind of play an up-and-down style of basketball,” Nichols said. “We press a lot, being able to get some steals, easy layups in transition and hopefully her shot comes around and she kind of adjusts to the college game a little bit.
“I think our style helps that transition because we’re playing so fast. Our practices are a little chaotic. We’re trying to make them that way. The games are actually a little slower sometimes.”
Said Stapleton, “I like the way they run. That’s what I’m used to. Intense. Ready to push the ball the way we did here. I’m stepping into something I’m comfortable with.”
The Lady Warriors posted an 11-19 record in 2015-16. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma ended the Lady Warriors’ season on March 14.
Stapleton said she visited the Muskogee institution right before the playoffs began.
“I liked it there,” she said. “I really liked the coach. He just made me feel at home, like that’s where I need to be.”
She’s thinking about pursuing a career in nursing, or as a basketball coach.