Knox Central rising junior Caylan Mills took to the “Crossroads of America” to participate in the “Windy in Indy” basketball tournament in Indianapolis, Indana. Mills plays with Kentucky Premier AAU.
Although Mills is only a junior, she has been a staple of the Lady Panthers’ team since she was a freshman. In her first year with Knox Central, Mills averaged 12.8 points-per-game, which was good for second best on the team. She also hauled in four boards per outing, good for third on the team.
Her productivity increased in her second season with the team, growing to 13.2 points-per-game, which was second on the team, and 5.7 rebounds per game, which was third-best on the team. Mills’ tenacity and fearlessness are often on display as she cuts through traffic, draws contact and continues to sacrifice her body for the game. With two full years of basketball left, she should accumulate a hefty list of college offers. She currently has an offer from Union College.
Mills’ father Alan contends that his daughter is team-oriented and has no problem developing chemistry with her teammates. “She’s a pass-first type of player,” said Alan. “She is a wonderful teammate. There were a lot of girls she didn’t know very well playing in this tournament, but they played so well together that it looked like they had been playing together for a long time. She sees the floor really well and is a great passer. She does a great job at helping set her teammates up for success.”
Mills’ mother Crystal also bragged about her daughter’s work-ethic both on and off the court. “She is a very very hard worker,” said Crystal. “She is constantly doing anything she can to make herself better. When there aren’t as many restrictions, we won’t be able to keep her out of the gym. She has dedicated herself to doing what she loves, and her hard work is paying off.”
Mills plans to play soccer this year, which doesn’t leave her much time for leisure. “She’s planning on playing soccer this year,” said Alan. “So, on top of the work she has been putting in for basketball, she has been doubling up and preparing for the soccer season. She is one of the hardest working young ladies I have ever seen.”
During the “Windy in Indy” tournament, Mills was playing with other athletes that were a year older than herself. Alan believes this will be beneficial to her growth. “She was playing with girls a little older than herself,” Alan added. “I’ve always thought that her playing against better competition would help her get a lot better, and it has.”
The Lady Panthers will look to Mills to help lead a team that finished 11-17 overall last year. In over a dozen games, Knox Central fell by less than seven points. As an upperclassmen, Mills will help lead the Lady Panthers with her leadership, talent and work-ethic as she has throughout her career.