By Sue Moore
Basketball has been Vicksburg High School graduate Layna Steele’s life since she was very little, said her mother, Amy Steele. “All she ever wanted to do was play the ‘round ball sport’ although she has excelled in track and cross country.”
Now she will continue that drive to excel as she signed a full-ride letter of intent to play at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) for the 2017-18 season. “She is the hardest working girl I’ve ever coached, both off-season and on,” said Jessie Ward, her trainer since 9th grade. “She would practice two times a day, getting up at 5 a.m. for a morning workout before school. She is a great ball-handler and still developing her skills. She will be a great player.”
Coach Rodger Salinas of KVCC has seen her at basketball camp for many years. “She has high character and her basketball IQ is off the charts. She was also an academic all-state player for Vicksburg with a 3.72 GPA. She will be able to play at a high level in two years,” the interim KVCC coach said.
Steele plans to transfer to Western Michigan University to study physical therapy. “I’m excited for this opportunity. I love the coaches at Valley. I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of my high school coach Jesse Vanabel and my trainer, the other Jessie who works with me. I’ll even get to wear the #20 at Valley after having it for Vicksburg the last four years,” Steele said. Her parents, Amy and her father, Nathan, are employed by Stryker Corporation.