Highlight mix of Archbishop Mitty forward Kelli Hayes, class of 2014.
While at the Nike Tournament of Champions, we caught up with Kelli Hayes of California's Archbishop Mitty High School. The 6-1 forward, ranked 18th in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50, helped guide her team to a 2-1 record in Phoenix, losing in the championship game of the L Division to a buzzer-beater by Sacred Heart of Kentucky. Hayes dropped 18 points in the championship game and is averaging 17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks for the Monarchs, who are 11-3 overall and in first place in Northern California's top league, the West Catholic Athletic League.
FC: What did you learn at the TOC?
KH: There are really good teams all across the nation. Playing against these teams, beating Dobson (of Arizona) and beating Highland Ranch (of Colorado), and then the close game with Sacred Heart, they are all really prestigious schools. Iit's going to prepare us for California and the new Open Division.
FC: How would you describe your game and style of play?
KH: I'm considered a slasher, but I also share the ball a lot, so don't expect me to go to the hole all the time, I may pass the ball.
FC: What are you working on right now to improve your game?
KH: I'm working on my ball handling and taking care of the ball better, and just being a team leader.
FC: Who is a basketball player you admire or look up to?
KH: I'd say Candace Parker. I just love her style of play and aspire to be like her someday.
FC: Is there another player in the country or in the state of California that you'd like to go up against?
KH: There's not a player, but I would say a school -- Mater Dei. They are just a really good team and and we are a really good team.
FC: What do you do off the court?
KH: I shop a lot -- I like spending my parents' money. I'm definitely a girly-girl. I'm hooked on buying clothing, I'm addicted to finding the best bargain, I don't like spending full price, I always find good deals.
FC: Let's talk recruiting: Who's showing interest in you?
KH: A lot of Pac-12 schools and the Big East, Big 12 -- I haven't narrowed down my selection yet but I'm hearing from USC, Louisville, Kansas and Oklahoma the most.
FC: Who was influential in getting you involved in basketball?
KH: My parents were, but to be honest, when I was little I never really liked basketball. I sucked at it until the seventh grade. I finally started getting better and since then there isn't a day I don't want to play basketball.
FC: What's your long-term goal for basketball?
KH: My goal is to go to college and do well there, and make the Olympic team and to play in the WNBA and just keep playing ball as long as I can.
FC: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
KH: Yes, I'm the youngest of five, but none of them play basketball, just me. I have two older brothers and then there are three girls. I'm the baby of the family but I'm not as spoiled as you may think [laughs].