By Michael Bower
Lexi Reddick did not enjoy rebounding as a youngster. In fact, she was hardly ever caught in the paint fighting for an offensive board. Instead, she spent most of her time piling up assists as a point guard.
But then came the growth spurt. And by the time Reddick got to Del Norte High, there was no way she was going to talk any coach out of putting her down low as a rebounder, scorer and shot blocker.
“I loved being a point guard,” said Reddick, now a 6-foot-2 senior forward for the Nighthawks. “I don’t really know what I like about it. I think it is just cool to lead the team and calling the plays. I still bug coach (Jake) McNeely to put me in at point guard, but he just laughs at me.”
The laughter out of McNeely likely comes because of how crazy it would be to unplug Reddick from the forward position. She is averaging over 13 rebounds and 13 points per game from the position and has had several games with 20-plus boards.
“I definitely have the mindset of trying to get every rebound now,” Reddick said. “It definitely helps being tall. Most of my points come from offensive rebounds.”
McNeely has noticed an extra surge in Reddick’s play this season.
“She has been playing really hard this year,” said McNeely, who has coached Reddick for her entire high school career. “I don’t know if it is because of her senior year, but she is playing harder than she ever has.”
Last week, Reddick grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 19 points in Del Norte’s 51-33 win over Orange Glen. She also delivered 14 points and 14 rebounds in a tough 40-34 loss to Valley League leader Oceanside.
For her efforts, Reddick is the Velocity Sports Performance Athlete of the Week.
“She was a our team MVP the previous two years and it is not quite the end of the season yet but she could be 3-for-3 in our three varsity seasons,” McNeely said.
“If she is not the best athlete in our school, then she is definitely in the conversation for sure.”
Reddick also starred on the girls volleyball team last fall as an outside hitter. She helped lead the Nighthawks to their first CIF San Diego Section Division III championship match and to their first appearance in the state playoffs.
With the end of her high school athletic career in sight, Reddick is trying to enjoy every second with her teammates. She will move on to play volleyball in college, but this is likely the end of the road for basketball.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet that it is coming to an end, but I know the actual last game is going to be tough,” Reddick said. “I have played with these girls since the sixth grade. I have played with Kaitlin Manuel and Caitlin Cole since the fifth grade. It is going to be hard.”
Reddick is hoping the Nighthawks can put at least a little delay on the inevitable breakup by hitting a hot streak at the end of the season. Del Norte started slow, but is 5-2 in Valley League play and still has an outside chance to catch Ramona for the top spot.
“Our biggest struggle this year has been our shooting,” Reddick said. “We haven’t been able to hit many shots. But hopefully that will change and we will finish the year strong.”