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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Dream come true’

Wells+graphic+but+not+gross
Photo by Graphic by Robert O’Brien & Casey Stavenhagen
Wells graphic but not gross

A basketball, a pair of sneakers and a strong support system were all it took for a kid from Grand Prairie to turn her dream into a reality.
At the end of the season, even if absent from the NCAA tournament, graduate guard Kayla Wells will have played over 4,200 minutes on the hardwood.
To her, there are only three words that describe that feeling of being the all-time leader in games played at Texas A&M: “Dream come true,” Wells said.
Seventy-plus hours of non-stop, competitive Division I basketball.
One-hundred-and-fifty-three games played donning maroon and white.
“I knew I wanted to go to A&M whenever I was in seventh grade,” Wells said. “Whenever they won the national championship in 2011, I wanted ‘Texas A&M’ worn across my chest.”
Wells’ noteworthy career started back at South Grand Prairie High School with the help of two individuals who she said played large roles in her development.
“Samantha Morrow and Brion Raven. These two really helped me get to where I needed to go and taught me everything I needed to know in order to play at the college level,” Wells said. “So, whenever I got to college, I wasn’t questioning as many things.”
Wells has continuously grown as a student of the game while being taught by one of the best instructors: A&M coach Gary Blair.
“Being able to play under a Hall of Fame head coach is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Wells said. “Coach [Blair] has taught me patience, to learn from the people in front of me and to absorb everything.”
The relationship between coach Blair and Wells is best described by its strong foundation of trust.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting 2-for-20 or 18-for-20, he always instills that trust in me and stresses that he trusts me to take those shots,” Wells said. “I feel like trust is a big word between him and I and the relationship we have on and off the court.”
Wells has been the Aggies’ leading scorer this season through 11 games as of Feb. 27, averaging 16.2 points per game, a career-high which did not come overnight. Countless hours spent in the gym and studying how opposing players defend are just a few ways to be one of the best in the game, Wells said.
“This is the first time I have to be the No. 1 scorer,” Wells said. “That is the difference this year. I’m just taking it one game at a time, and I’m just going to play my game. I want to let the game come to me.”
There is no one, true definition of what a leader is — they come in all shapes, sizes and different characteristics — but one thing they all have in common is that they lead by example. Wells’ position as a leader of the team has changed every year, this year being more unique than the past.
“All four years I’ve been here, I’ve been a leader, but it hasn’t always been vocally … I led my team by action,” Wells said. “I feel like this year, however, is a little different, because I’m having to do both. As far as leading, I’m having to be very vocal and try to set an example to my younger teammates through my actions on the court.”
The relationship in the locker room can be compared to that of a family. Ever since the end of last season, women’s basketball was counting down the days until it would be back in College Station once again, Wells said.
“This year has been the most I’ve been invested in a group since I’ve been here,” Wells said. “Our relationship is really special and it has to do with the chemistry on and off the court and just having fun.”
Looking back at her time at A&M, Wells said her favorite part about playing here was the support from the 12th Man.
“When we were 0-4 in conference games, they still showed up to our games and supported us,” Wells said. “They have stressed to us that they still believe in us and that the season is not over yet. They always have faith in us and believe in us, and if they can, then we should, too.”
When that final buzzer goes off, many people ask themselves, “What’s next?” For Wells, her future spotlights a microphone rather than a basketball.
“I want to go into sports broadcasting,” Wells said. “I got the chance this year to shadow Andrew Cotter. I also got to work in the TV booth and work with the commentators for the Texas A&M-Mississippi State game.”
Until then, Wells’ resume features two Sweet Sixteen appearances, is a member of the 1,000 point club and an all-time leader in 3-point percentage at 36.9% from beyond the arc.
“I’ve been to a lot of gyms, played in a lot of gyms and there are not many like ours,” Wells said. “I’m grateful I go here and go to a place where people really appreciate women’s basketball, because you don’t see that often.”

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