Filipina American Basketball Player Kayla Padilla makes it to the NCAA Elite 8

(photo credit: Katie Chin/USC Athletics)

It seemed strange yet very cool to see an Asian American woman basketball player in a NCAA Division 1  game televised on national television.  It was not just any game – USC guard Kayla Padilla was playing in a NCAA tournament sweet 16 game! I found about her when my brother forwarded me an ESPN article on how an Ivy League rule gave Kayla and two other former Ivy league players a chance to play on a team in a top level conference.

If her name sounds familiar, we have written about her in this article on Gonzaga basketball players Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong.  Kaylynne Truong had written about her experiences in an article in The Sideline Post, a platform founded by then Penn Basketball player Kayla Padilla. You might be wondering how a four year player at Penn now starts at USC. The ESPN article explains that because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, NCAA athletics received an extra year of eligibility.  But because the Ivy League does not permit graduate students to play, Padilla and other Ivy league players transferred to USC to play as graduate students. She had to make an adjustment, moving from a primary scorer to more of a playmaker and also taking on key defensive roles, but she wanted to expand her game and do what it took for her new team to win:

One of the biggest things that drew me here was that I knew the expectation was that my role was going to be different. I knew I wasn’t going to be doing what I did at Penn here. But I think the expectation was to just come here and fulfill a role and just contribute in any way I can to win. … I communicated that I was ready to do anything as long as I could be a part of a winning team and make an impact and contribute in some impactful way.

USC’s Elite 8 game vs UCONN is scheduled for 6:15 PM PDT on Monday April 1 and televised on ESPN.

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Disgusted
  • Sad
  • Angry

About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
This entry was posted in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.