It’s been a tumultuous road for Kylee Griffen the last 24 months. In 2018, she entered the program as a sought after top-80 recruit from Lake Stevens. She was the Herald’s Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American nominee, and averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds her senior season. Then she injured her foot prior to the 18-19 season and took a redshirt year.
Her foot healed in time for practice last October, and it looked like she would be competing for minutes at the wing behind Jill Townsend. That’s when she suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, eliminating a second consecutive season.
She now begins her redshirt sophomore season having not played a minute for the Zags yet. By all accounts, she is healthy and back on the floor again as practice is underway for Lisa Fortier’s crew. Presumably, she should be in the same spot as last year’s pre-season practices. When Townsend leaves the game, Gonzaga typically loses some size and rebounding ability on the wing. At 6’2, Griffen brings both of those to the game. She also has the ability to shoot and her length makes her an active defender.
There’s no question Griffen is talented. She was a top rated recruit for a reason and had 1,300 career points in high school. The only question now is if she can stay healthy and finally carve out the role she’s been hoping for. With Townsend entering her senior year, the wing has an opening starting in 2021, and it could be Griffen’s for the taking.