Vernon Secondary School Panthers senior Kelsey Watts is one of six recruits who will join the UBCO Heat women’s basketball team in 2020.. (Contributed)

Vernon Panthers guard set to join UBCO Heat

The VSS grad is one of six recruits who will join UBCO’s women’s basketball team in 2020

With her days of high school competition wrapped up, Vernon’s Kelsey Watts is ready to take the next step with the UBCO Heat Women’s Basketball team.

Hailing from Vernon Secondary School, Watts is one of six recruits who will join the Heat this coming season. There, she’ll join fellow Panthers alumni Brianna and Kelsey Falk on the 2020 UBCO roster.

“UBCO is a young, exciting team. I have had the chance to compete with or against many of the current and incoming players in my High School career,” Watts said. “I’m looking forward to taking my game to the next level while wearing blue and gold. It is an incredible campus, close to my hometown. I was offered a chance to play basketball here.”

The speedy combo guard is also a dual-sport athlete, having racked up accolades on both the basketball and volleyball court at Vernon Secondary. In her senior year her teams in both sports reached the top 10 provincially.

Standing at 5’9”, Watts trained with Junior Heat Club at various times in her youth, while also playing with the Sky Volleyball Club in 2016 and 2020.

Watts seems to be capable on any kind of hardwood, having also been a member of the Okanagan School of Ballet for 12 years before deciding to focus on basketball and volleyball.

The Vernon product will study sciences with her sights set on either dentistry or medicine following her undergraduate degree. Watts landed on the principal’s list every year in high school along with being named top English, Math, Leadership and Science student in various years.

Her smarts in the classroom also translate to the basketball court. Heat coach Bobby Mitchell said Watts’ cerebral game, combined with her speed and work ethic, has him excited to see what she’ll do at the next level.

“Kelsey loves the game and is always working hard on her game, a combo guard who can really shoot it, along with a very high IQ and understanding of the game. We are excited to see where Kelsey can get to at this level.”

The UBCO Heat women’s squad has boasted a Vernon Secondary alumnus every year since 2011.

READ MORE: Vernon high school football stars ready for the next level

READ MORE: Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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