Kaylin Reen-Stepping out from the Shadows

Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
February, 2018
Article Body: 

Having two older sisters who not only played basketball for Norwood, but excelled in that sport, can be a hard act to follow for Kaylin Reen. While Shannon, the eldest, recently graduated from college, it has been Meg (who is now in her first year at Assumption College), that cast the biggest shadow over her younger sister.
Reen, who is now a senior captain for the Mustangs, first picked up a basketball at the tender age of four, and right from the beginning Meg was her hero.
“Meg was my biggest influence in the sport and being only a year apart we had a lot of the same friends,” Reen said. “She was playing AAU basketball when my Dad asked her if she would mind if I joined and played on the same team. We were very competitive, but she took me under her wing and taught me about the sport.”
As a freshman entering Norwood High School, Reen earned herself a spot on the varsity team and was absolutely thrilled to get to play with her sister.
“It was awesome getting to play on the same team again with Meg," Reen said. "She always played with intensity and I looked up to her because of that. Of course we had our fair share of disagreements on the court, but what sisters don’t. When I first made the team, I struggled having her there because some thought that I only made the team because of my sister, but eventually the girls on the team respected me for what I could do on the court. My sister and I are two different people.”
That first season Reen found herself coming off the bench as the team’s sixth woman posting good minutes on the floor for Norwood as a freshman. Playing shooting guard, the first-year athlete had her best scoring season knocking down 225 total points for an average of 11 a contest.
The next season, Norwood changed coaches and Amy Lepley took over as the girls head coach, leaving Reen with a female coach for the first time in her career. Lepley looked to the younger Reen to take more of a leadership role and the second-year player soon found out that there was much more to basketball than just scoring.
As a junior, that leadership would be thrust into use as Meg went down with a torn ACL and it would be the younger sister to pick up the slack.
“It was rough when she got hurt as I had to step in and help the team," Reen said. "Meg was the team’s point guard and Coach asked me to take over that role; thank God I had played and watched Meg the past two years so the transition was not that bad. I will say this, after playing point guard, I have a lot more respect and appreciation of the position. It’s the backbone of the entire offense and I didn’t realize the amount of work that goes into that position.”
Seeing her play, Lepley knew that Reen could handle the position and would make her sister proud.
“Kaylin is every coach’s dream; she’s a role model on the court as well as in the community,” Lepley said. “Although she plays a very different game than Meg, I knew that she could take the reins and lead this team. As more of a perimeter shooter, Kaylin has worked on her dribble and pull up shot while driving the lane to score as well.”
As she sets in for her senior and final campaign with the Mustangs, Reen is looking forward to moving back to her old shooting guard position, a spot Coach Lepley looks to release her deadly 3-point shot, hoping to lead Norwood into a tournament berth.
“I am very excited about being back at shooting guard," Reen said. "Meg was the dribbler and I was the shooter, although I don’t think that I’ll ever reach her status point wise. When I first entered high school, I thought about scoring 1000 points, but at this stage of my career I have to be realistic and don’t think that it’ll happen.”
Lepley believes now that her sister has graduated, Kaylin will step up and forge her own legacy.
“Coming from a big family she has always been shadowed by her sisters,” the Norwood Coach said. “It had to be hard on her consistently being compared to her sisters, but now that they are gone and she is out from behind the shadows, she will use that as motivation to play her game.”
Individually, Reen is looking to drive to the basket more this winter, create havoc and getting to the foul line while still using her three-point shoot to score. She is also looking more from her team as a whole.
“The biggest goal this year is to be as positive as we can, while winning as a team; only we, not me or I,” the senior captain said. “We have a young team and I am hoping that I can influence them and help them to buy into the program here at Norwood for the future.”
No matter what happens regarding scoring or team wins this season, Reen has definitely carved a name out for herself. In addition, she has distanced herself from her sisters while creating her own identity on the Norwood courts.