Kyla Cage commits to Xavier

Published 5:33 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2023

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RESERVE — Two years ago, Kyla Cage never imagined she would be signing a scholarship to continue her basketball career at Xavier University.

Cage was surrounded by family and friends last week as she signed a letter of intent inside of East St. John’s media center. It was a proud moment for Coach Stasha Thomas-James, who always knew Cage would rise to great heights if she believed in herself.

“Coming in, I don’t think she had a desire to play. We kept talking to her and telling her you are going to get better. Once she started believing in herself that that she could do it, that made her excel. It made her hungry. Last year, she was the most improved player at the athletic banquet,” Thomas-James said. “There’s a lot of athletes like her who think they can’t go to college and play. This will be a story that I will be able to tell as long as I’m coaching. If you believe in yourself and what you’re trying to do, then you can definitely get it done.”

Cage considers junior year to be her turning point. Once she started getting more playing time, she grew confident in her skills. One of her favorite memories was scoring 22 points and nearly 10 rebounds against Alexandria during her senior season.

“Everybody was hyping me up on the bench because I had 11 points in the first quarter,” she recalled.

Cage learned to use her height as an advantage on the court. Blocking shots has become one of her favorite aspects of the game, along with the thrill of the competition.

Cage ended the season with an average of 10 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals per game. She was named first team all-district for defense and was also honored at halftime during the LHSAA championship for making the all-academic list as a 4.0 scholar-athlete.

At Xavier, Cage is most looking forward to building new relationships and expanding upon her skill set.

Cage is expected to graduate in the top 10 of East St. John’s Class of 2023. She pursued a pharmacy pathway in the STEM Magnet program and plans to continue her studies at Xavier so she can work in a hospital setting.

“I attended Xavier’s summer program for the last four years,” Cage said. “I really liked the environment of the campus, and I got along really well with the players and the coaches.”

Cage’s mother, Raquel Cage, is most proud of her daughter’s “dedication, humbleness and lovable spirit” as she takes this next step toward her future.