Choudrant High School’s Kylee Portilloz broke the CHS 1,500 career point barrier as a senior.
So it’s fitting that she signed Wednesday afternoon to continue her basketball career on the collegiate level as a shooting star.
That’s as in a player for the South Arkansas Community College Stars.
Portilloz said that playing close to home — in El Dorado, Arkansas — played a definite role in her decision.
“Being close to home, I can travel back and forth and still see my family and friends, and people can easily travel to come see me play helped me feel that’s the right place for me right,” Portilloz said, “And I can play for two years there and continue working on getting better and hopefully that will help me get more playing time if I’m able to move on to a bigger university.”
Portilloz was a 5-10 forward for Choudrant and dominated on the Class B level, earning all-state honorable mention the last two years.
Realizing that she’s what is often considered a “‘tweener” size-wise, Portilloz hopes that starting at the JUCO level can help improve her game.
“As a forward, I’m probably smaller than some of the others I’ll be guarding,” Portilloz said. “I hope it’s that way because I want to show I can hustle and defend against bigger people and rebound over people taller than me. I think that will help me in trying to move on and keep playing after my time at South Ark is over.”
Portilloz was the District 2-B Girls Basketball MVP as a senior, averaging a double-double with 15.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest while adding 2.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
Portilloz said that playing for a strong Choudrant girls hoops program under coach Geoffrey Underwood the past four years built the foundation allowing her to make the move to South Ark.
“It’s honestly been amazing,” Portilloz said of being a Lady Aggie. “My teammates have been so supportive and made me work hard every day. Coach Underwood has been tough on me, but I think it taught me a lot and is probably the reason I have reached the goals that I have.
Future-wise, Portilloz said she believes she wants to major in criminal justice.
Underwood said he’s proud of the work Portilloz put in to put herself in this position.
“She’s been good the whole way, but she really came on lately as her high school career was winding down,” Underwood said. “She really started focusing on the little things. She’s always been able to score, but she picked up on her rebounding and in a leadership role. She was a big part of our success and playoff run in more than just scoring points.”
Portilloz will be joining a Lady Stars team that went 7-10 overall last season in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division II.
“I just want to do my part to help the team get better while improving my game at the same time,” Portilloz said.
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