Today is Senior Day for two Kentucky women’s basketball players, Alyssa Rice and Jessica Hardin.
Even though two seniors will be celebrated, Rice deserves the biggest. She stuck with this program during a time of mass departure and confusion.
“At times it looked dark, but I’m really proud of my decision to stay,” Rice told Jen Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
During the time of the mass exodus, Rice’s parents checked on her making sure nothing bad was going on behind the scenes and that their daughter was okay.
“She [Alyssa] said, ‘There’s no place I want to be but Kentucky,” Laurie Rice said.
That meant a lot for Matthew Mitchell.
“She’s one of them that will stick in my mind and my heart forever because that was a really difficult time, and Alyssa and the loyalty and support and energy that she gave,” Mitchell said.
The Reynoldsburg, Ohio native is averaging 6.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Rice leads the team in blocks with 31 and 16 charges taken.
The team is likely to miss the NCAA Tournament, but this year has helped Rice when it comes to her future.
“It has been a great year of growth for her,” Mitchell said. “I think it will benefit her as she moves along in life.”
“Basketball can lead you down so many great paths,” Rice said. “I had no idea how many opportunities would come just through dribbling a basketball.”