Kylene Spiegel nearing end of basketball career at Tiffin 2009.02.18

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

After an outstanding high school basketball career in Morenci, Kylene Spiegel knew she wasn’t finished playing the game yet.kylene.spiegel.tiffin.jpg

She was recruited heavily by Tiffin University and the school offered a major in sports management, a program that fit her interests.

That was four years ago and now her days on the basketball court are dwindling.

“Tiffin seemed like a good decision right from the start,” Spiegel said. “It’s only an hour and a half from home and I like the small school environment.”

And best yet, she had the opportunity to play Div. II ball.

And play she did.

Spiegel earned a starting role early in her freshman season and she’s been on the floor ever since.

She’s entered the Tiffin record book as the all-time leader in assists—a mark she set in her junior year—but she’s also among the top 10 in career scoring.

Spiegel left Morenci as the second-highest scorer among all athletes. She’s leaving Tiffin as the person who makes sure others are scoring points.

“It was a transition coming from high school to college,” she said. “I knew my role was to be a true point guard. Controlling the tempo and the offense was the first priority over scoring.

“I feel very fortunate that I did break the assists record in my junior year. However, I did just recently score my 1,000th career point.”

“Ky is definitely a player who is smart and able to get everybody included in the offense,” said Tiffin head coach Pam Oswald. “She makes things happen. She’s definitely an asset to the team.”

Spiegel is known as one of the quickest players in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. That was an asset when she entered college ball.

“The introduction to the shot clock was an adjustment because it forces basketball to be played faster and more precise,” Spiegel said.

With her quickness comes durability, as well. She has more time on the floor than any of her teammates this season.

“I always focus on staying in shape and we have a tough pre-season conditioning regimen,” she said. “I get a lot of minutes because I tend to think I’m a team player and I enjoy handling pressure situations.”

Coach Oswald appreciates Spiegel’s role on the team.

“She’s one our leaders on the team, both vocally and by how hard she plays. She’s always picking someone up and I think she takes pride in doing that.”

The team’s freshman point guard is learning a lot from Spiegel, Oswald said, and her senior is going to leave behind a lot of knowledge for others to use.

With the season winding down, Spiegel is looking forward to the end of college and putting her sports management degree to work.

“I’m looking to eventually become a coach and/or athletic director,” Spiegel said. “In April, I will be attending the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention in St. Louis. There’s an invite-only event helping women find and make connections for coaching positions across the country.”

Before that, four games remain on the basketball schedule followed by the conference tournament. One of those contests is a match-up Feb. 26 at league-leading Hillsdale and several Morenci fans will head to the Chargers’ field house to watch Spiegel in action one last time.

When the season ends, Spiegel can look back on her stellar career at Tiffin and also on everything that happened outside the gymnasium.

“I’ll remember the friendships that far surpass the basketball court,” she said.

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