MSU's Frey Grows As Shooter

South Paulding senior

Kayla Frey is ending her career on a high note as she awaits graduation and a college basketball career.

The 5-foot-9 Frey is listed as a small forward, shooting guard and point guard. The coaches in Region 5-6A thought highly enough of her skills to name Frey to the first team all-region team, with teammates

Bre’l Mackey earning second team honors and

Caylin Stamps named third team.

She also helped lead the Spartans into the Class 6A state tournament over the weekend from Region 5-6A. Others from the region in the state tournament include Douglas County, Alexander and New Manchester.

Head Coach

Kelly Nye-Hinkson said she had a hard time choosing an Athlete of the Week from among her eight seniors but she chose Frey.

Frey has a “passion and love for the game” that have contributed to her overall success, Nye-Hinkson said.

Her knowledge of the game helped make her successful this year, Nye-Hinkson said.

“Kayla possesses a high IQ for the game of basketball, and this shows on both the defensive and offensive ends of the court,” Nye-Hinkson said.

Frey had a good junior season, but developed other parts of her game that helped her excel in her senior year, the coach said.

She said Frey became more of a leader this season.

“Kayla has been able to get her teammates more involved this season and has really stepped up in her leadership role on and off the court,” the coach said.

Frey has averaged 17 points as well as seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks per game for the Spartans. They finished the season 18-8 overall and 10-6 in rugged Region 5-6A.

The senior said her main contribution to the team this year was “getting everyone the ball” and giving them the chance to score rather than trying to be the team’s main ball-handler in every game.

“Seeing all of my teammates score (or) touch the ball no matter how long they are in for makes me feel as though I am getting someone better and doing my part as a good leader, point guard and teammate,” Frey said.

Frey said competing for South Paulding helped her mature in a number of ways over four seasons, including learning to listen to her coaches.

“Playing for South has taught me how to be more coachable, grow as a player and person and also how to retain all information, no matter if I agree or disagree,” she said.

She said her favorite memory from her final year as a Spartan will be the team’s trip to Panama City Beach, Florida, in late December to compete in the 2017 Visit Panama City Beach Marlin Christmas Classic tournament.

The event also included South Paulding’s boys team, North Paulding’s girls team and Roswell High School’s boys team from metro Atlanta, in addition to schools from Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana and Virginia. South Paulding’s girls faced Pleasant Grove, Alabama, and two others Dec. 28 to 30.

“I grew so much closer to my teammates despite the fact that I've played with them all four years of high school. Panama really brought us closer beyond comparison,” Frey recalled.

Frey has played organized basketball for 10 years, starting at age 8, and moved on to play for an AAU team at 12. She also developed her skills by playing against boys, she said. She has played in the offseason during her high school career with the Georgia Pistols basketball club, which includes top players from throughout north Atlanta.

Nye-Hinkson said Frey does well off the court and is dual enrolled in both her senior courses at South Paulding and college, her coach said. That should help prepare her for the next level at Valdosta State, to which she has committed to play basketball for the Gulf South Conference member in NCAA Division II.

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