2016’s KYLA IRWIN : ” Get to Know Me ” – Monthly Diary

KYLA IRWIN is a 6’2″ Forward  from Lemont , PA ( State College H.S. ) . She played AAU with the Central PA Elite.  The  University of CONNECTICUT pledge is also a standout for her high school Volleyball team that has made it to the State playoffs .  Last season on the hardwood, Kyla averaged 19.6 points and 13 rebounds a game as a Sophomore , helping the Lady Little Lions to a 17-7 record, a District 6 Class AAAA title and a trip to the second round of the PIAA tournament. She scored 24 points with 11 rebounds in the District 6 championship game over Altoona last February. She was selected as a 2nd team AP All – State member.  Kyla scored 509 points for the season and also averaged three assists, two blocks and two steals per game. She carries 936 career points into her junior season, which will begin in December.  She picked UConn over Penn State, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s, Providence, Michigan and DePaul.

Kyla is the daughter of State College coach Bethany Irwin, the former Bethany Collins, who played at Branford High (in CT ) and helped the Hornets to two state championships before graduating in 1984, when she began her career at Penn State playing for Rene Portland.

I can tell you, as her coach, I can tell as her mother, she is going to work extremely hard,” Bethany says. “She will push until she gets as far as she can go. She grew up in my gym, my basketball gym. I’ve coached for 22 years and Kyla’s been there with me for 17. She’s been on the bus rides, sitting on the couch with me breaking down film or scouting as asking questions. She wants to coach college. That’s her goal.” 

Strong, physical insider finishes in traffic, brings blue-collar interior game; finishes vs. contact; mobile in uptempo. ( Dan Olson – ESPNW )

Irwin has continued to develop into a consistent interior prospect. She’s strong and physical in the block and utilizes either hand to finish around the rim. She’s also mobile in the uptempo game and a workhorse on the glass.  ( Dan Olson)

“She’s just one of those kids that’s a coach’s daughter,”  says Tina Thomas ( AAU Coach )  “She knows the game so well. She knows so much about it. The little things that most kids just don’t know she does know. She plays hard, 110 percent, whether we’re killing a team or it’s a very competitive game. And she’s loved by all of her teammates because she’s just one of those kids that she’s cheering whether she’s in the game or sitting on the bench. I’ve never seen a kid like her in that she gets the whole bench rallied up. It’s really a neat thing to see.’’   ( when Thomas says that Irwin is special, she knows what she’s talking about; her daughter was an All-American at Maryland and now plays in the WNBA, and her son plays at Wake Forest. Thomas knows basketball.)

“She’s Geno’s kind of kid in the sense that whatever he asks her to do she’s going to do it and run through a brick wall through and through,’’ Thomas says.  “She’s that kind of kid. She doesn’t get down on herself. If she can’t do something she’s going to work at it until she can do it. She’s that kind of kid.’’

Away from the court, KYLA will also leave a strong impression. It doesn’t take long to realize what a distinguishable young lady she is.  She is Outgoing,  Intelligent, Mature, Enthusiastic, well spoken and a noticeably sincere young lady.  Geno Auriemma and Husky Nation are getting a new member to the family who will truly “Bleed Blue” and in my opinion should prove to be the epitome of a Husky with her work ethic, unselfishness & competitive spirit.



I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving break with lots of family and food!  I went to Philadelphia to visit my dad’s side of the family and there were forty-five of us eating in one house!  It was a lot of fun to see all of my family together for a nice holiday meal.

With that many people, we obviously couldn’t fit everyone at one table, so we had 5 tables connected, and there were endless stories that were told and everyone was  laughing and having a great time.  I’ve got 13 cousins younger than me, and then 6 older than me, not including my 5 older siblings, so there is a bunch of us.

My family is super competitive, so we played Catch Phrase, which is like one of my favorite games, and everyone was yelling and passing it around as fast as they could.  It was a lot of fun and I hope we can go back next year.

In the month of November, we had our state playoff for volleyball and made it to the Sweet 16 round but were knocked out by one of our strongest competitors from the Pittsburgh area. It was a great season, full of memories and exciting games.  I was very humbled by some of the honors that I was able to earn while playing volleyball this season.  I made First team All District, All Conference and the Big 15 First team as well, I also was selected on the First team All State, which is so unbelievable, but exciting.  I only play volleyball 3 months out of the year, and had a great time, but I’m happy that basketball could officially start for me!

Our pre season started on November 17th, and I’m sooo excited to be back on the court and to play with some of my closest friends.  This year will be a good one, we’ve got three returning starters and some others who will contribute a lot.  We are all trying to identify what our roles on the team are right now, and anticipating for when it all falls into place.  Our schedule is very competitive, there are really no easy games, but I love that, we have to play our “A” game every time we step out on the court.  It will only help us in the post-season.

Our first quarter of school just finished up as well, and I was thrilled to make the High Honor Roll for this last marking period.

On another note, my sister Kristin will be moving back to State College and is moving in with us!  I can’t wait to have some great quality time with her and to be able to finally catch up.  I’ve never really lived with her before because she moved out for college whenever I was 8 or 9 so I’m so happy that she is moving in with us!

My brother Patrick was able to come home for Thanksgiving break.  It was so much fun having him home, and we didn’t even argue! Haha!  Actually we are pretty close and only argue about stupid things that don’t last longer than 2 minutes.  But having him home for almost a week was really weird!  I got used to being the only kid home, so sharing a bathroom and all that stuff was weird!  We went to the Waffle Shop on Wednesday morning and caught up on life and it was great just to finally not have to talk to him through a phone.
Well, talk to you next month!


Follow KYLA on Twitter  :   @kyirwin25



Kyla Irwin (2016, 6’ 2” Post, State College) named to the PennLive 2014 Girls’ Volleyball Big 15 All-Star – 1st Team

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