Nov 172004
 
Authors: Bob Fernandez

On the basketball court, CSU sophomore guard/forward Kylee O'Dwyer is an energetic, vocal player, who is always talking, according to her coach and teammates. Off the court, her personality is just as outgoing, as she spends her free time riding motorcycles, driving her 1966 Mustang and making frequent visits to her home in Limon where she works on her family's farm.

"I go home for harvest, which is a lot of hard work," O'Dwyer said. "When you sit on a combine or tractor from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day that definitely gets your mind off of basketball."

O'Dwyer sometimes has to work 15-20-hour days on the farm, she said. Her work ethic has transferred over to the basketball court where she has worked hard on her game.

"(O'Dwyer is) a very versatile-type player," said CSU head coach Chris Denker. "She has to do everything in the post and do everything the guards do as well, because she plays both positions. (She's) one of the smartest players we have."

O'Dwyer's coaches and teammates know her as an enthusiastic player. During games and practices, she displays her energy by running the court, hustling on defense and moving around to free herself up for an open layup or jumpshot. When she is not playing basketball, she likes to cruise the streets in her Mustang.

"Mustangs run in our family. My dad has a '67, and for my sixteenth birthday, he bought me a '66," O'Dwyer said. "As I was graduating, I need to fix mine or get a new one, but I really didn't want to get rid of my car. So my dad kind of let me go crazy with it. We hot-rodded the motor. It definitely runs very good now."

A love for motorcycles also runs in the O'Dwyer family.

"My family all rides," O'Dwyer said. "We have dirt bikes and street bikes (Harley Davidsons). That is my ultimate get away. I love, absolutely love, riding."

While visiting home, O'Dwyer and her family regularly go riding together at Rampart Range southwest of metro Denver.

"That's fun. I love it. We try to go at least twice a year," O'Dwyer said. "The last couple years we've been going about seven or eight times a year. It's really fun to go up there for a weekend (and) ride (and) camp out."

As a CSU Ram, O'Dwyer's energetic personality is something her entire team benefits from, according to her teammate and roommate, sophomore guard Annika Walseth.

"Kylee is high energy," Walseth said. "She talks a lot. She has a lot of enthusiasm. I think we can definitely feed off of her energy."

During practices and games, O'Dwyer plays with emotion; often shouting out instructions and offering tips to her teammates. She has become a vocal leader; a role that she had to develop into, according to Denker.

"Last year, as a freshman, she kind of hid her personality," Denker said. "(But) after I could get it to come out, she was one of the most talkative. And I want talking on the court. And I want her to share the information that I know she has with everybody else."

O'Dwyer, who said she's been playing basketball since she was in second grade, said she hopes to provide leadership for the team's younger players.

"Leadership is something you have to earn," O'Dwyer said. "I hope that I can help out."

Just a year ago, O'Dwyer was one of the team's youngest players after she enrolled in CSU as a freshman. She said she was not sure which college she would go to after graduating from high school but chose CSU, in part because it was close to her home.

"The recruiting process was really hard, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to play someplace that was close to home," O'Dwyer said. "My parents travel to all of our games. I don't know how I would react without them there. I can't remember the last game I played without both my parents there."

O'Dwyer will get her first chance of the regular season to play in front of her parents and other CSU fans this Friday when the Rams take on San Francisco in their regular season opener at Moby Arena.

 

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