Kennedy Leonard will be flying the flag for Scotland at FIBA Women’s EuroBasket this summer after she was named in GB’s 17-woman squad for July’s tournament.
A recent graduate of the University of Colorado, Kennedy is the only player in CU history with over 1500 points, over 600 assists, over 400 rebounds and over 200 steals. A Division I school that is part of the PAC-12 Conference, Kennedy ended her CU career Top 10 All Time in 15 different categories including first in total assists, assists per game and assists for a season.
Before that, Kennedy played high school basketball at Southlake Carroll, where she was on varsity all four years. Kennedy played a starring role in her District championship-winning team for four consecutive years and was named in the All-District and All-State teams each of those years.
Kennedy’s impressive career to date hasn’t gone unnoticed as she received the call from Jose Buceta to feature in this Summer’s Senior Women’s GB squad, something which she says is a great honour:
“It is an incredible honour to have the privilege to represent Great Britain and to have that name across my chest. It honestly feels really cool and sort of surreal. To be able to train and work hard for certain dreams and goals and then finally reach one of the many, is super satisfying.”
Not content with simply being called up, Kennedy hopes she is able to make her mark on the squad as they travel to face the best European teams in Latvia and Serbia:
“My hopes are to add value in any way possible and make an immediate impact on this super talented squad, and that we are able to win or place at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket. I’m ready to do whatever Coach Chema and the team needs me to do to support a successful campaign. I am thrilled to be headed to Manchester soon and get the prep and camp started!”
Born in America, Kennedy qualifies for GB through her Scottish born mother. Her family have a very interesting past, as she explains her connection to Scotland and the rest of the UK:
“My mother’s name is Lyndsey Inglis and she was born in Dundee. When she was slightly older she relocated with her own mother, father and two sisters to Durban, South Africa. She grew up in South Africa and became a very good swimmer. At the age of 16, she moved to Concord, California to live with a host family as she trained to represent GB at the Olympics. She got a scholarship to swim and to attend Colorado State University, then met my father, Kyle, and they and started a family. At this point, my mom was actually still only a citizen of Great Britain. After she had my two sisters, and then finally me, she applied for US Citizenship and became a US Citizen. She is a dual citizen, as am I and my two older sisters. A lot of my family still lives in Great Britain, they are scattered throughout York and Easingwold in England and then also Dunbar in Scotland. My mom, myself and my entire family are incredibly proud of the fact that I get to represent Scotland!”
At just 22 years old, Kennedy is excited to step up to senior level and learn from GB’s more experienced players:
“Playing with professional players is a step higher than college. My whole life I have played with people who are older than me and it has taught me a myriad of things. I know the game will be more physical and I have spent a lot of hours in the weight room to increase my strength and size. The speed of the game I know will be faster, but I enjoy playing fast so I am looking forward to that! More experienced players also know some tricks of the game that I might not have necessarily had to put into action yet, I am excited to learn those! Levelling up is always exciting and I absolutely love to compete, so I am excited for the next step as it’ll prepare me for all my future endeavours in this game that I love so much.”
Although focussed fully on her GB commitments and the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket this Summer, Kennedy has already made her next move after college. The youngster will be playing professional basketball in Germany and hopes this will help with her international career:
“I have signed to play with a team in Germany that is in the German First League and actually just won the Championship. It is called Basketball Club Herner Turn Club 1880 eV and is located in Herne. The club is looking to compete in Euro league this season potentially. I’ll be moving to Germany in August and I plan to continue competing with Great Britain on an international level for as long as I can and am wanted!”
Kennedy’s family will all be making the journey to Manchester in June as GB Women host Canada in their only UK-based warm up game before FIBA Women’s EuroBasket, with the player also hoping to find time in her schedule to visit Scotland over the Summer. Tickets for GB v Canada are available here.