Boylan grad Peyton Kennedy looks forward to Rockford return for WNIT

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A year ago, Peyton Kennedy was lacing up her sneakers for the Boylan Lady Titans. Knowing she was off to Saint Louis to play NCAA Division 1 basketball, Kennedy never thought she’d be back in her hometown playing in a Division 1 basketball tournament.

Kennedy now calls Saint Louis, Missouri home for the next four years. The Boylan grad appeared in nine games during the regular season for the Billikens, scoring 15 points in her collegiate debut. Kennedy now plays more out on the perimeter and says there’s been a bit of an adjustment, but says her biggest improvement has been her defense. She says she’s spent plenty of time training at the UW Health Sports Factory, the site of one of this year’s Women’s National Invitation Tournament regionals, and cannot wait to see the Forest City on the national stage.

“I think Rockford has come such a long way,” said Kennedy. “I think this is such a statement for our city. Just being able to host such a big tournament like this. I’m very excited and very grateful that I get to actually come home and play in this tournament. Honestly, a one in a million thing that could have happened. So, I think it’s awesome and I think it’s great for our city.”

It hasn’t been the easiest move to the college game. Besides switching positions, the team has battled health and safety concerns from COVID-19. While Kennedy is excited to come home to play in the WNIT, she knows it’s a blessing to be on the court.

“We had our first quarantine in the beginning of November, and then we played two games and then had another quarantine, then had another quarantine,” explained Kennedy. “So it’s been very interesting. You have to learn how to adapt and be able to change the situation and be grateful for when you do play. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re very lucky to be able to play in the middle of a pandemic.”

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