Kayla Hampton was a rising star going into her junior season at Airline, then disaster struck. Today, she gets rewarded for coming all the way back.
Hampton, a 5-foot-8 guard for the Lady Vikings, will sign a full athletic scholarship with Northwestern State in a 1 p.m. ceremony at the AHS library. She earned a spot on The Journal’s All-Metro first team as a senior after recovering from major knee surgery that wiped out her entire junior campaign.
Before getting hurt in the 2020 preseason, Hampton was ranked among the state’s top 10 prospects in the Class of 2022.
She scored over 1,500 points in three seasons at Airline, averaging 17.3 as a sophomore and again as a senior. Hampton set the Lady Vikes’ career record with 273 steals, starting fast. As a freshman, she broke the season steals record with 106. She topped the 1,000-point mark in Airline’s final playoff game of her sophomore year.
Hampton has been selected to be a part of the Louisiana High School Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star Game on the West team.
Today is an especially sweet occasion for her coach, Lyndzee McConathy, who played collegiately at Northwestern. While Hampton’s future is exciting for her proud coach, her comeback, and her talent level, is extremely impressive.
“Kayla is a special player that has been through a lot of adversity to get where she is now,” said McConathy. “She is one of the smoothest players I have ever had the opportunity to coach. Her natural ability and instinct will carry her through college.
“I am honored to share my alma mater with her and excited to watch her grow as a Lady Demon. She is going to be one special player for coach (Anna) Nimz and NSU.”
Hampton was twice first-team All-District 1-5A, as a freshman and senior, and was a second-team pick as a sophomore.
This season, she averaged 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 2.1 assists.