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1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

UW Profiles

Cowgirl Spirit

Basketball player Kayla Woodward shares her life off the court and her goals for the future.

By Micaela Myers

University of Wyoming senior Kayla Woodward frequently has her name and picture in the paper and online as one of Cowgirl basketball’s star players, but what motivates Woodward off the court? We sat down with her to find out.

For one thing, Woodward is very close to her family, a key reason the Sheridan, Wyo., native chose UW. “I wanted to make sure the distance wasn’t too much and I could run home if I needed to,” she says. “Also, my brother was at UW. He’s just a year older than I am.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Cowgirl, and I’ve always wanted to come to UW and be like those girls I watched,” she continues.

Woodward is majoring in elementary education and enjoys the Laramie campus’ compact size, how helpful the staff and faculty are, and the onsite Early Care and Education Center and Lab School for class observations. “I like how all the professors are easy to get a hold of,” she adds. “Everyone is there to help. They give good advice. That’s the biggest thing I enjoy.”

Basketball and classes keep her busy throughout the school year, but when she does have free time, Woodward enjoys spending it with family and friends, and doing outdoor activities, such as riding her family’s horses.

“I grew up with horses,” she says, adding that on April Fool’s Day a couple of years ago she played a prank on coach Joe Legerski involving her horses. “I texted Coach and told him that I was riding my horse and got bucked off and broke my elbow. He actually believed me and freaked out. He told me his kids were there, and they told him it was April Fools. That was pretty funny.”

As a basketball player, Woodward has already accomplished a lot—including being named an Honorable Mention All-American and to the First Team All-Mountain West last season—but beyond the accolades, she believes the friendships are what will last. “The highlight is meeting all the girls and building relationships with them,” she says. “I know further on I’m not going to remember the games that much, I’m just going to remember the girls I met and the coaching staff. I think everyone with the team has made it the best experience so far.”

Still, Woodward would love to bring home a tournament championship her senior year, the 2014–15 season. “We’ve been close all three years now,” she says. “We made it to the semis. I think we’re going to work really hard this year to hopefully get it. I’d like to get it my senior year—that would be awesome.”

“Kayla is already in the 1,000-point club, as is Kaitlyn Mileto, so they are two seniors who started out as first-year students and want to continue the winning ways here,” Legerski says of this season’s team. “Marquelle Dent is a dynamic point guard who has become a fan favorite. So with a back court of Marquelle, Kaitlyn and Kayla, we should have an exciting season.”

Woodward is also looking forward to the renovated Arena-Auditorium, where phase one will be complete before the 2014–15 season. “I heard the locker rooms and the gym are going to be cool,” she says. “I think the extra practice space is going to be very helpful too. I’m excited for the change.”

Being a Division 1 athlete and a student isn’t easy, but Woodward says it does come with important life lessons. “I think it really helps you learn to manage your time better,” she says. “When we graduate and have a real job that will be a big thing.”

During late spring 2014, Woodward had the chance to substitute teach and learned first-hand the value of time management.

While teaching will be Woodward’s ultimate career, she hopes to continue playing basketball after college. “I’m hoping to be given the opportunity to play overseas or anywhere else,” she says. “That would be a cool opportunity and give me a reason to go out of the country. I’ve never been out of the country.”

Chances are, however, that Woodward will ultimately return to Wyoming. “I would love to return to Wyoming and possibly teach here,” she says. “I would be able to be close to my family, and I would get to live in an amazing state. Wyoming is a great place to live, and the people are even better to be around. I enjoy the open spaces and the small-town atmosphere.”



One of the 10 Cowboy Ethics adopted by UW is “Do what has to be done.” Kayla Woodward demonstrates this principle as she leaves it all on the court, doing her best as a UW Cowgirl while balancing schoolwork, teamwork and family.

Kayla Woodward

Kayla Woodward dribbling a basketball during a UW basketball game.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Cowgirl, and I’ve always wanted to come to UW and be like those girls I watched.”

Life off the court

Kayla Woodward riding her horse in the mountains.
Woodward enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, and doing outdoor activities, such as riding her family’s horses.

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University Public Relations

1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2379

Fax: (307) 766-6729

Email: uwmktg@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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