When Kaylee Bambule gets a shot, she takes it.
Usually throughout Ohio’s games, the 5-foot-8 forward is on the bench rooting for her teammates. She knows she only averages 12 minutes a game, but she stays ready for coach Bob Boldon to call her number.
And when he does, it’s because of one thing: He wants her to shoot the ball.
“I expect her to go out and be aggressive,” Boldon said. “I want her ready to shoot.”
Bambule is always ready. When she enters the game, her eyes are constantly darting up the court hoping to find space. She’s not the fastest, but she moves with more urgency than anyone else. She knows that her spot on the bench is calling her back, so while she has the chance, she has to find the one thing she’s looking for; Her shot.
Bambule, a redshirt freshman, is one Ohio’s most-gifted shooters and she loves to pull, aim and fire behind the 3-point line. When she’s in the game, she pushes the tempo and looks for ways to get to her favorite spot; the corner.
“Whenever I see the point guard has the ball, I get to the corner as fast as I can,” Bambule said.
And if the point guard finds Bambule in a corner, it’ll be one of the easiest assists they’ll ever get.
Through 17 games, Bambule is second on the team in 3-point field goal percentage (.404). When she does miss, it’s often the rim’s fault because she doesn’t take bad shots. She brings energy off the bench and gives a breather to senior Dominique Doseck.
While Doseck is slightly more accurate, she’s not the first option. When Bambule’s in, the offense doesn’t flow through her, it flows to her. As soon as she has the look, point guards Erica Johnson and Cece Hooks will provide the pass. If Bambule knocks down the target, she gets more time. If not, Boldon will bring her back to the sideline faster than she hoped.
It’s not the most glamorous role, but it’s one she’s embraced. She’s the Bobcats’ 3-point assassin. With the quickest release on the team, Bambule can make 3s with little hesitation and thought. But she said it took hours of grueling practice to develop the skill she makes look effortless.
“People don’t want to go to the gym everyday, it gets tiring, you’re bored, you want to do something with your friends,” Bambule said. “But when you love it, and you want to be an assassin you get in the gym.”
Bambule is a gym rat. She spent hours with coaches in the Montini Catholic High School gym in Lombard, Illinois. It was either that or cheerleading, and Bambule begged to not be a cheerleader. She’d rather play in the state championship than cheer in one.
When Bambule checks back out of the game, it isn’t because Boldon wants to take another great shooter off the court that gives space to Ohio’s ball handlers. It’s because Bambule still needs to improve her defense. Boldon has said she’s a defensive liability, but he’s seen improvement from the time she first arrived in Athens.
“Her defense has improved remarkably,” Boldon said. “She had two plays on Saturday where she was in the right spot. Those were plays she wouldn’t of made a year ago.”
With Bambule’s defense improving and her shot as dependable as ever, she could be the person to fill Doseck’s role when she graduates in the spring. It’s a shot that Bambule is looking forward to taking.