Michael Jordan. Tom Brady. Babe Ruth. Wayne Gretzky. Addyson Kent. At least in terms of Jennings County Basketball, over the course of four seasons, Kent has put her name in the Greatest of All Time debate for the school. I had the opportunity to talk to Addyson as her senior year comes to a close and she begins the transition from Jennings County Panther to Missouri University S&T Miner.
Addyson is the daughter of Rob and Taryn Kent and has a brother, Carter. Her favorite subject in school in math, and outside of the halls of Jennings County High School, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
When the time came to choose where she would be furthering both her education and basketball career, Kent chose Missouri University of Science and Technology. “I had a couple schools from each division, mainly smaller schools, but Missouri S&T was the main one I talked to the most.” But why choose a school that is over 400 miles away? For Kent, the move to small town Rolla, Missouri was an easy choice. “Once I saw the campus, I fell in love with the area. The coaches were very interested and very caring. You could just tell they really wanted me in their program because they put a lot of time and effort into it.” Addyson also felt that she could come in as a freshman and make a big impact on the team.
Another big persuading force to choose Missouri S&T came down to more than athletics. “I want to go into biology, and because they are a science and technology school, they have a really good program for biology.” After college she hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon, something she has spent a lot of time deciding on.
Looking back on the four years being a student at JCHS, Kent recalls many great memories, but the best revolved around the fall and winter homecoming. “Our homecomings have always been crazy, and everyone gets so involved, that’s been the best time.” And while Kent spent most of her time as a student, there were countless hour spent in the gym with a basketball in hand. For Addyson, her favorite memories being a Lady Panther included winning the Tipton Holiday Tournament during her sophomore year and, while not being able to win the games, being able to play in three out of four sectional championships .
During her senior year, Addyson hit a milestone that only six other Lady Panthers have managed to reach during their time at JCHS, the elusive 1,000 point club. “It’s honestly just an honor to be in a group with some of the best athletes that have ever come through Jennings County.” Going into the season, she knew she was close to the record, however, she wasn’t chasing the record. “I just knew that if I played my game, and played how I know I should, our team would have success and the scoring would come with it.”
As she leaves Jennings County as one of the best to ever play the game for the Lady Panthers, she leaves wisdom for her current teammates, as well as girls who aspire to play the sport. “Have fun, have no regrets, and just give it your all. Always be positive because you’re going to be with the people on your team for most of the year, and having good relationships with them is really important.”