Iowa's Reynolds a leader off the court
Since arriving on campus four years ago, the current seniors on the Iowa women's basketball have carved out distinct, easy distinguishable roles.
Sam Logic is the point guard, the floor general and Iowa's all-time assist leader.
Melissa Dixon is the shooter, the deep threat and the most prolific 3-pointer shooter in program history.
Bethany Doolittle is the center and has blocked the second-most shots ever at Iowa.
Then there's Kathryn Reynolds.
A career-backup and co-captain, a college graduate and first-year law student.
So exactly what role does Reynolds fill?
Too many to list according to Logic.
"I don't know if you can really put it into words," Logic said of Reynolds role. "Kath is a student of the game, she's a great friend, she's a role model and she's a perfect model of a student-athlete. She embodies what a student-athlete is and extends that even some more. I'm so glad that she is here with us I honestly can't imagine it without her."
Reynolds came to Iowa with her fellow seniors in what was tabbed the 11th best recruiting class in the nation.
A pair of ACL tears, including one that cost her the entire 2012-13 curtailed Reynolds on-court career.
She's scored 54 points at Iowa while appearing in 50 games.
She's also indispensable to No. 14 Iowa's success this season according to her coach and teammates.
"People don't understand how important she is to our team," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "She was voted a co-captain because of her great leadership skills, for what she says in the locker room, the way she says things in the locker room and the example that she is academically."
Through the injuries, Reynolds never lost her love for the game.
Her time on the bench only heightened the court awareness that made Reynolds a sought after prospect coming out of Cincinnati's Mount Notre Dame High School.
"She is always watching for everything," Logic said. "I always ask her at timeouts what she sees so she helps me out a lot there personally."
That ability to point things out to teammates and help make corrections is only part of how
Reynolds has helped Iowa (23-6) to one of the most successful seasons in school history.
Unlike her senior teammates her role doesn't stop at one, two or even three things.
"I'd like to think kind of a motivator, kind of a sounding board for them, someone who can kind of spot things from a different angle," Reynolds said. "If they need to talk something out quick I want to be there for them. I guess more than anything I just try to be them a good friend for them."
Reynolds' greatest achievements at Iowa have come off the court.
She is a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection and two-time distinguished scholar.
She completed her undergraduate degree in business administration three years and graduated with honors.
Then she contemplated her future.
Ultimately, Reynolds choose law school, which she began last fall.
Reynolds' routine became waking up and studying for the LSAT exams, then practice and then class.
"It's been an interesting challenge to learn how to balance the two," Reynolds said. "Sometimes when we are on road trips or things like that I obviously wish I could be hanging out with the team but I have to lock in and get my reading and that kind of stuff done."
With all her commitments to academics Reynolds remains as committed as ever to helping Iowa win games on the court.
Despite spending much of her free time prepping for law exams she is still Iowa's best leader in the locker room according to teammates.
"I like to think of her as the epitome of a student-athlete," Iowa senior Bethany Doolittle said. "She is a great leader for our team because she is a great vocal leader. Everybody listens to her and takes into account what she has to say and also she sets an example off the court with getting in the classroom and doing her work. She is just a great person all around who puts in the work on and off the court."
Reynolds had her storybook moment on Senior Day last Sunday.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native checked in late in Iowa's win over Minnesota and knocked down her only shot, a 3-pointer, before exiting to a standing ovation.
Reynold has found herself in a completely different role than she imagined when she came to Iowa with her fellow seniors four years ago, but couldn't imagine anything different.
"I don't have any regrets," Reynolds said. "To come here and meet the people that I've gotten to meet and have all the experiences that we have had and win a few games along the way it's been a blast every step of the way and I'm so thankful to have every experience I've had here."
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.