As a women’s basketball player, when you stand six-foot-three…it’s a different view than most players making a move from the high school to the collegiate level. Yet for Jaylee Kindred, a member of the RiverHawks basketball team, the observation point is clear that she made the right choice to pursue her lifelong dreams. “When I was about to graduate from Warner in 2021, coaches were trying to get players as fast as possible to sign early because of the impact of Covid-19,” Kindred recalled referencing her recruiting experience. “When I came for my official visit, I saw everything that Northeastern State had to offer and immediately felt at home. Not only did the players and coaches make me want to be a part of this team but also so did everyone else on campus.”
Just like in sports, where every member of the team plays a vital role, Kindred, who wears a size 10.5 shoe, is establishing her own footprints of success, both on and off the basketball court. “NSU offers an amazing opportunity to get involved in the community and student organizations on campus,” said the RiverHawks sophomore who wears the number-32 jersey who takes an active involvement in SAC and FCA. “We also have pen pals with students at Greenwood Elementary here in Tahlequah along with a mentorship program with Heritage Elementary where athletes on campus spend time with one of the young kids.” The two outreach programs are a perfect match for Kindred who majors in Elementary Education with a lifelong ambition to one day teach and coach.
“The opportunity to volunteer and interact with young kids is a heartfelt passion of mine.” Just as Jaylee Kindred enjoys helping the younger students as well as her basketball teammates, she also cherishes the outpouring of support for all students at NSU. “Everyone here is super friendly. The professors want to help everyone with their assignments plus that genuinely want to know what’s going on outside the classroom,” Kindred said with a big smile of satisfaction. “The Tahlequah community opens the door for NSU students to both enjoy and discover success. I love NSU!”