After a successful season which included scoring the 1,000th point of her career, Dawson County High School junior Kaylee Sticker added yet another award to an ongoing list of recognition after being named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-State Girls Basketball Team.
“It’s a great honor,” Sticker said. “I’m honestly flattered. I appreciate the support from the local coaches. I’ve put a lot of work into this. I work very hard, time and dedication wise, and I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”
The GACA All-State selection was preceded by a selection to the 7-AAA All-Region Team, a distinction Sticker shared with teammates Abi Chatham and Calli Watson, and was followed by an invitation to play in the GACA North-South Junior All-Star Game March 17 at Dalton High School.
Surrounded by the best high school junior girls’ basketball players in the state of Georgia, Sticker scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, which should come as no surprise for the leading scorer on what was a senior-laden Lady Tigers team.
Along with All-Region selections Chatham and Watson, the Lady Tigers had five seniors on a roster that made it to the state tournament for the sixth season in a row, yet it was the junior who led the team with 17.5 points per game.
“(Sticker) doesn’t like to make mistakes, she wants everything to be just right,” said Coach Steve Sweat about Sticker’s work ethic. “Of course when you’re as talented as she is, sometimes things don’t come as hard but I say that to say this, even though they don’t come as hard for her, I still thinks she works very hard to get where she is.
“People with her talent could just say ‘you know I got that’ or whatever, but she has put in the time and really worked at making herself better.”
Sweat knew Dawson County had something special when he saw Sticker play in middle school. He said with a chuckle that it wasn’t hard to figure out that she was a talented player even back then.
As a freshman, Sticker was too good to play on the freshman team or even junior varsity for that matter. No, as soon as Sticker entered high school, she was on the varsity team.
It wasn’t always easy for Sticker, however, as she struggled to find playing time as a freshman due to the number of talented upperclassmen ahead of her on the depth chart, but after playing sparingly as a freshman, Sticker broke out to lead the Lady Tigers in scoring as a sophomore only to follow that up with a GACA All-State selection her junior year.
She will now be entering her senior season as the unquestioned leader of this Dawson County team.
“You know I enjoy being the leader because I like having that position,” Sticker said. “I like coaching them, being there for them, pushing them and doing everything I can to make them a better team. Just growing that connection between us and bringing us together. I cannot be more excited to lead this team. They are a great group of girls.”