Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Kiyley Flowers continues to blossom at SEMO

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
SEMO junior guard Kiyley Flowers dribbles the ball up the court at the Show Me Center.
Photo by Blake Schowalter

Kiyley Flowers is a leader, facilitator and an elite defensive player. Flowers, a Junior guard for SEMO’s Women’s Basketball team is entering her second season with the Redhawks, and continues to reign among the top of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) leaderboards.

In her first season she led the OVC in steals averaging 3.1 per game, and finished fifth in the conference in assists with 3.5 per game.

Flowers remained at the top of OVC in steals, is top five in assists, and is now top 20 in rebounds, in her 2023-24 season.

Flowers’ roots began in Raymore, Missouri where she attended The Barstow School and later committed to Grand Canyon University (GCU) following her senior season of high school.

Flowers’ would go on to transfer from GCU following her freshman year. When deciding to transfer, Flowers said the level of trust she felt when meeting with Coach Patterson was a key factor in her decision to choose SEMO.

Despite leaving after one season, Flowers credited her time at GCU for helping her grow and develop on and off the court.

“It made me grow up a lot. I didn’t have the greatest experience my freshman year so it definitely helped my maturity get there a lot faster than usual,” Flowers said. “Basketball-wise, it really helped me find who I really wanted to be and who I was going to be with my position.”

Entering SEMO, Flowers’ struggled with confidence. Flowers’ was unable to play her senior year of high school due to transfer rules and her experience at GCU didn’t deliver the experience that she hoped to gain.

Stepping into the Southeast’s starting rotation helped her find a home on her new team. Now in year two, that confidence is fully back.

“My first year at SEMO, it was really just building my confidence back up and stepping into that role of who I was going to be for SEMO,” Flowers said. “I am more comfortable being a facilitator, but recently I have found it fun getting all over the stat line, getting rebounds, pushing in transition. I really try to now be everywhere and not just a facilitator, but overall the motor of this team. I want to be the one that keeps the team going.”

Flowers’ play and willingness to be a more complete player isn’t going unnoticed. Head coach Rekha Patterson gave high praise when talking about her starting point guard.

“I think Kiyley is one of the best point guards in the league, if not the best point guard. There’s nothing she can’t do on the floor and what separates her is her defense and her rebounding. As a point guard, you typically think facilitator, possible scorer, but again, there’s nothing she can’t do on the floor and she is a ball of energy for us,” Patterson said

Flowers’ has put in the work and her focus has never been sharper, but it’s her defensive prowess that sets her apart from her peers.

“I like to be active and physical; I don’t like to get beat off the dribble. I want to make sure that whenever I’m guarding somebody that it’s not easy for them,” Flowers said. “Instead of playing one end of the floor, it’s now two ends of the floor so you’re not waiting to get back on offense. It’s now what can I do on defense to get us back [on offense].”

Along with being dynamic on the court, Flowers shines through her leadership among her teammates. Freshman Guard Daejah Richmond praised Flowers for helping her grow accustom to the faster pace the collegiate level calls for.

“Coming in I had to learn to keep the pace up and keep the energy of the team flowing and just be able to control the floor, which is something she does very well,” Richmond said. “When we’re both out there, we have the same [basketball] IQ and it makes it fun when we’re able to get stuff going together.”