Athlete Spotlight: Kelsey Joens

As a freshman, Kelsey Joens ’23 was one of the top scorers on the City High girls varsity basketball team. Now, as a sophomore, she plans to continue to improve


Natalie Green

Kelsey Joens ’23 in-bounds the ball during City’s win over Cedar Rapids Prairie.

Max Berry-Stoelzle, Reporter

Following in the footsteps of her parents and older siblings, Kelsey Joens ‘23 has taken up the family legacy of basketball.

“Every day,, my family and I go to the gym and we shoot and do drills. If the gyms are closed we work on things at home like ball handling and we’ll look up new things to work on. Every day I’m trying to improve something in my game to get better and increase my basketball IQ,” Jones said.

Joens ability and focus on the game has made her one of the best players on the City High varsity girls basketball team.

“We are going to rely heavily on her this year,” Head Coach Bill McTaggart said. “[She] constantly works on her game, [which makes her] a tremendous basketball player.”

Joens credits some of this success to her sisters, who continuously help her get better.

“All my sisters play, they set good examples and they’re my role models. I just want to be like them or better than they are,” Joens said.

She believes that their style of teaching each other has helped her vastly improve.

“We learn different things so then we just [teach] each other, and it’s great, because you get to expand your game even more,” Joens said.

McTaggart believes that Joens has great potential for improvement because of her focus on the game and ability to work with her teammates. Last year Joens was the fourth top scorer on the City High varsity basketball team, below her older sister Aubrey, Rose Nkumu ‘20, and Paige Rocca ‘20, who all went on to play Division One basketball in college.

“[She] is well-liked by her teammates, and I like coaching [her] because she listens so well and is always trying to improve,” McTaggart said.

Joens plans to continue playing basketball throughout college, and aims to eventually be able to play in the WNBA. Her biggest takeaway from basketball is the value of hard work.

“Work hard, you never know who’s watching, [and] play every game like it’s your last,” Joens said.