Citizen lets her play do the talking
KELLYVILLE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Kailyn Bearpaw is very quiet when she is around people she does not know.
Her competitiveness, however, speaks volumes whether she is on the basketball court, softball diamond or running for her track and field team.
“I let how I play speak for me,” Bearpaw said.
It has been speaking for her for some time now.
Bearpaw finished her sophomore season in basketball with one win away from the Oklahoma Secondary School for Athletic Activities 3-A State Tournament for the Kellyville Lady Ponies.
“A lot of people did not expect us to go that far in the playoffs,” Bearpaw said.
She said this season, her along with her team worked hard to do what they did.
“It was tough, both mentally and physically,” Bearpaw said.
Bearpaw has been around sports her whole life. She said there was no drastic way that she found it.
“I just started playing one day,” she said.
The other sports that Bearpaw enjoy are softball and track and field. She plays third base, shortstop and centerfield for softball.
“I run distance in track,” she said. “I run the 800 (meters) and the (One) mile.”
Away from sports, Bearpaw loves being around family. She has six brothers and she is the only girl.
“They all play sports too,” she said.
Her basketball coach, Jim Upshaw said his basketball team did not have a true post player and there were times that Bearpaw had to guard the opponent’s tallest girl.
“There were times she did have to play the post,” he said. “When she had to guard the tallest player on the other team, she was up for the challenge.”
Upshaw said she is a strong player and has the ability to score inside and outside.
“She can do a lot of different things,” he said. “Very versatile. Expect her to get better and better.”
It is a year-round thing for sports with Bearpaw. Even after school is out for summer break, she is on competitive teams for softball and basketball.
“I have games almost every weekend,” she said. “We are constantly playing.”
With everything going on for her, she said she does not feel overloaded finding time for family, school and sports.
“To me it is normal,” she said. “I do it all the time so it is nothing new to me.”
Upshaw thinks his team will be strong for next season as they only lose one senior.
They received word that they will be playing in the annual Tournament of Champions held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
She is the daughter of Alice Tiger and Josh Bearpaw. She is Ecovlke (deer clan) and of the Polecat Ceremonial Grounds.