JDHS basketball hotshot taking her game to Pepperdine

She’s been offered a full ride to the prestigious private school.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé’s Kendyl Carson races down the floor as Bartlett High School’s Lavinia Lavelua gives chase at JDHS on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. JDHS won 50-44. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé’s Kendyl Carson races down the floor as Bartlett High School’s Lavinia Lavelua gives chase at JDHS on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. JDHS won 50-44. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

JDHS girls basketball standout Kendyl Carson will be attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, on a full-ride basketball scholarship in the fall.

Carson, a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé has given a verbal commitment to the university. The next period in which Carson could sign a national letter of intent begins April 15, according to the NCAA-managed National Letter of Intent program.

“I’m super excited for it,” Carson said. “Going down there a couple weekends ago, It feels like a new home”

Pepperdine is a private Christian college located close to the western edge of Los Angeles proper. Founded in 1937, admission is selective and its athletics teams are considered competitive.

“It’s right on the beach, right on Malibu. The area is great. The energy is great, not too big, not too small,” Carson said. “I really connected with the coaches. I think they wanted me for more than basketball, they wanted me as a person.”

Carson said she intends to work toward a career in law, a choice inspired by Juneau District Attorney Angie Kemp, who coached Carson in basketball when she was younger, and who Carson interned for when she was older.

“I’m aiming for law school,” Carson said. “Getting to see her working the courtroom, I wanted to do that.”

Carson, who grew up in Juneau, moved to Washington state with a relative for her sophomore and junior high school years in order to play basketball on a traveling club team. She returned to Juneau her senior year to help lead the team to a solid season, scoring more than 400 points this season, according to coach Steve Potter.

“Another good thing about being back is my dad is at the end of the bench every game,” Carson said. “It’s a good feeling for your last year of high school basketball.”

Carson said she’s not going to take it easy, even after accepting Pepperdine’s offer.

“We have a goal of winning regions. We have regions coming up, states coming up,” Carson said. “We’re going to leave our mark, tell everyone in the state that Juneau’s a competitor.”

No one is an island, Carson acknowledged, thanking those who had supported her ambition and her drive throughout the years.

“I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you’ to everyone in the community. They know I’ve wanted to play basketball my whole life,” Carson said. “I couldn’t do it without a team.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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