GREENWOOD, Ind. (BVM) — Sometimes, playing at a smaller school can leave spectacular athletes unnoticed. But what Izzy Reed is doing for the Greenwood Christian Academy (GCA) girls basketball program — and the record-breaking stats she is putting up — can not be overlooked.
Reed grew up playing basketball and volleyball, and has stuck with both of those main sports throughout her high school career. Her basketball genes were passed down from her mom, who scored 1,100 points during her prep career at Greenwood High School.
“A lot of people who come watch me play say I have the same moves as her,” Reed said. “My high school coach actually coached against my mom when she was in high school so he got to see her play and now he’s coaching me. I know it’s not the same because she went to a bigger school, but seeing the records that she set have always been a goal of mine to break. I know she wants me to be better than her and she’s been my number one supporter when it comes to school or sports. I’m definitely thankful for her and my dad.”
Playing basketball since kindergarten, Reed credits her hustle and grit as some of the best aspects of her game. But in addition to the intangibles she brings, Reed has become an elite rebounder and a potent scorer as well.
Another special aspect of Reed’s career is that she has only played for GCA. Although she has begun playing AAU basketball over the past few years, and has played club volleyball since she was 10, Reed is a Cougar through and through, and enjoys representing her school.
“I’ve gone to GCA since kindergarten,” Reed said. “It’s super special that I’ve been able to play for the same school for so many years and represent them. There’s just something special about playing for your school and for your team. I feel like GCA is a second home for me.”
The basketball star’s love for GCA and history at the school makes what she has accomplished during her high school career even more special. Over the last four years, Reed has helped the Cougars to new heights.
As a freshman, Reed was excited to begin playing varsity basketball. Although she had to sit out the beginning of the campaign due to a broken hand suffered during the volleyball season, Reed quickly returned to help her team to the final round of sectionals.
During her sophomore season, Reed had to take on a different role as the team graduated four seniors.
“I would say that was my biggest jump between freshman and sophomore year,” Reed mentioned. “My role completely changed.”
Reed averaged over 20 points per game for the Cougars during the 2018-19 season, this time leading her team to a sectional title, and a regional appearance.
With its youthful core returning, GCA had high hopes for Reed’s junior season last winter. The 5-foot-9 hoops star again shined, as she upped her points per game average to 23, while also maintaining a 15-rebound-per-game average.
Behind Reed’s terrific play among others on a talented Cougars squad, GCA won in the regional finals, making it all the way to semi-state. The postseason run is one of the proudest moments in the 18-year-old’s young basketball career.
“When people ask me what my favorite memory at GCA is, I always give the answer of winning the regional last year,” Reed said. “It was awesome, we had a ton of people there to support us. The whole GCA family really came together and rallied behind us. I will definitely never forget that.”
While GCA continues to make new strides each year within their girls basketball program, the ultimate goal for any team is a state title. As Reed and her teammates continue to star this winter, they know their end goal is to play in the state tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“Last year at semi-state, we had never been there before and I think it intimidated some of us,” Reed explained. “We didn’t play how we were capable of playing. This year, our expectations are state at Bankers Life. If we get there again, we’ll all probably be nervous, but it’ll be more familiar and I think as a result we’ll play better.
“We want revenge and we don’t want the season to end the way it did last year. I don’t really want to accept the idea of my senior season ending any differently than that, so I’m going to do anything I can to make sure our team rallies together and leans on one another.”
Winning a state championship will always be the most important thing about this season for Reed. But what she is on the brink of accomplishing personally is incredibly impressive.
Reed is currently averaging 24 points and nearly 14 rebounds per game this winter, and will be a 2,000-point scorer by the time her career at GCA is done. Reed can also break the Johnson County record for points scored, currently held by GCA alum Kyle Stidom, who scored 2,059 in his illustrious career.
Perhaps even more impressively, Reed is on the cusp of becoming the state of Indiana’s all-time leading rebounder. The mark of 1,308 is currently held by former WNBA player Ta’Shia Phillips, but could soon be in the hands of Reed.
“You can’t ignore that there are some pretty big things on the horizon that I could reach,” Reed said. “The rebounding record is a pretty big deal and that would be awesome to do that. I keep reminding myself that those things are probably going to happen, but I give myself the best shot of that happening if we keep winning.
“There’s no doubt that looking back on what I accomplish is going to be awesome. But if any record is set, I hope that someone beats it. Records are meant to be broken. As a freshman you don’t really think about these things, but here I am finishing out my senior season, and a lot of big things have happened. It’s awesome and I just hope when I look back at those records, I’m also looking back at a state championship, because that would be the cherry on top of all of this.”
Reed credits both her work ethic and team standard in athletics from her high school volleyball experience. She has starred on the volleyball court as well for the Cougars, so much so that she initially thought that might be the sport she plays at the next level.
However, next fall, Reed will continue her basketball career at Indiana Wesleyan University. Although her recruiting process was made a challenge by the lack of communication and visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reed feels she ended up in the perfect spot.
“Forget about picking a college, I couldn’t pick a sport,” Reed said. “But I’m going to Indiana Wesleyan and I could not be more excited about it. I was able to go on a visit and when I visited and got offered, I was just telling my parents that I feel like this is God opening a door for me right now. Indiana Wesleyan has a great nursing program which is what I plan to major in so it was a perfect fit.”
While she will miss playing volleyball, Reed is not looking back on her decision to continue her basketball career. During her time at Indiana Wesleyan, Reed will again strive for the ultimate team goal.
“Just like in high school where the goal is to win a state championship, in college I want to win a national championship, and I think we can do that,” the GCA senior noted.
Reed is also excited to be able to put her sole focus on one sport for the first time in her athletic career. Beyond college, she hopes to stick around basketball thanks to the four younger siblings she has who will likely follow in her footsteps. The 18-year-old would also enjoy a coaching career in either of her primary sports someday.
While the future is bright, the present is what really matters for Reed. Poised to put her name at the top of the history books, and lead the Cougars to a state championship, this winter could be one that is remembered forever at GCA.
“I want GCA to continue to have successful seasons and I hope this is just the start of many, many more,” Reed said. “I have younger sisters who will be coming into the program and I hope they see all the major strides that the girls program has accomplished over the years. I hope they have a hunger and a want to be better than that.
“Sports teach you a lot of life lessons. You look back at all the things you accomplish and all the work you put in, but ultimately it’s in preparation for a championship. If we would win a state championship this year, that would be awesome. It’s what we’ve been working for for the past four years of high school basketball.”