Kalen Phillips supports team with positive reinforcement

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COURTESY OF UNO ATHLETICS
COURTESY OF UNO ATHLETICS

By Misty Flowers
CONTRIBUTOR

Since joining the UNO women’s basketball team, freshman Kalen Phillips has learned one thing about herself: She likes being a leader.

“I love being able to pick my team up when they are down,” she said.

She’s the one who cheers on the team when practices get tough and gives encouragement when the team isn’t leading in points.

Phillips believes that being a good leader has shaped her decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in exercise science.

Phillips is originally from Ellisville, Miss., where she averaged 19 point per game at South Jones high school. The 5’9 guard led her high school to two Region 5-5A championship games and was selected to play in the Mississippi/ Alabama All-Star Game.

Phillips found her way to the Midwest by following her mentor Elictia, a local pastor at Eagles Nest church. Phillips is very close with Elictia and meets up with her regularly. Phillips noted that the three things she absolutely could not live without are the bible, basketball and education. She said that Elictia helps her stay rooted in all three of these areas.

“I’m too far away from home,” joked Phillips. “But having a mentor really keeps me rooted.”

Now that UNO’s basketball season is well on its way, Phillips is satisfied with her position as a guard on the team. She loves getting time in the game, but she really enjoys cheering her team on even more.

“I’m the one you will usually find yelling and clapping on the sidelines,” laughed Phillips.

Part of the reason Phillips is such a great cheerleader for her team is because she’s a competitor at heart.

“I’m very competitive,” she said. “I don’t like to lose at all.”

Perhaps, it’s her love for the game. Maybe it’s her love for UNO. Either way, Phillips definitely has a Mav Spirit that seems to keep the Mavericks rolling. Omaha is 5-2 on the season and 3-0 at Baxter
Arena.

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