By Rob Tucker
Watch her play, and it's obvious Elle Reed loves being out on the basketball court. What she loves just as much, however, is being able to look up into the stands and see, amidst the crowd, her father, Ron, cheering her on.
Sherman Central School senior Elle Reed, seated center, signs her letter-of-intent to continue her academic and basketball career at Jamestown Community College. She is flanked by Sherman coach Mel Swanson, left, and her father, Ron. Standing is JCC women’s coach George Sisson.
P-J photo by Scott Reagle
To date, Ron has never missed a game during his daughter's illustrious high school career, but with Reed graduating from Sherman Central School in about two months time, it was beginning to look as though that impressive streak would be coming to an unhappy end.
Well, Reed would have none of that.
"If he missed one (game) I wouldn't know what to do," she said with a laugh. "Actually, that's true for my mom (Beth) and a lot of my family."
So as she began to narrow down her college choices she started to focus on those schools that would offer her the best of both worlds - those that would allow her to immediately contribute on the court and, of course, would also allow her to remain near her family and friends.
What, in the end, was the winning school? Jamestown Community College. And with the decision Reed signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Jayhawks on Thursday.
"It's local, all my family can still come and watch me play, I really like Coach (George) Sisson and the team, and it will be cool to play with girls from local schools that I'd competed against (in high school)," Reed said.
For his part, Sisson could not be more pleased to have one of the area's best joining his squad.
"I'm excited," he said. "She has an outstanding academic (record), is a good person and has a great family. It's an understatement to say I'm excited that she's coming to play at JCC. She knows what it takes (to excel on the court) and brings a winning tradition with her from Sherman.
"It's always been my aspiration to keep the best local talent at home."
He's certainly managed that.
Reed's list of accomplishments on the basketball court is long and impressive. Not only has she been the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 4 Most Valuable Player for the last three years, but she's also led Section 6 in scoring in each of the past two.
After tallying 24.2 points per game as a junior, her latest season, and last as a Lady Wildcat, was arguably her best to date. She averaged 31.7 points to go with 11.1 rebounds and 5.7 steals, was named to the second team for Class D by the New York State Sportswriters Association and was a third-team all-Western New York choice.
After four years in a Lady Wildcats varsity uniform, Reed leaves the school holding all-time records for career points (1,727, which ranks 17th in Section 6 history), points in a season (686), points in a game (42), 3s in a game (10) and defensive rebounds in a season (188).
"She's got a competitive drive that you can't coach," Sisson said, "and for her to be able to put up those numbers is a credit to her ability."
With a pair of the Jayhawks' top scorers (Ashley DePane and Kelsie Beaver) graduating, Sisson sees Reed stepping in and contributing immediately.
"I expect her to be a contributor from day one," he said. "My expectations are that she is going to take the floor on day one ready to be counted on, because that's what she wants."
That and, of course, a few familiar faces in the crowd.