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Santa Gertrudis Academy's Kayden McClure leads Lions to historic season

Kayden McClure is the Santa Gertrudis Lions all-time leading scorer
Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 01, 2023

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Five coastal bend high school basketball teams are advancing to the regional semifinals, and it's the second time in program history for Santa Gertrudis Academy. Part of that success stems from their all-time leading scorer.

Santa Gertrudis Academy senior shooting guard Kayden McClure has dedicated time on the court, but training starts at the beginning of the day.

"I usually stretch in the morning before school and I'll usually shoot after practice and stuff. Get extra shots up."

That's how McClure prepares for the big moments.

"It's just really hectic in there and when I have the ball in my hands just all eyes are on you," McClure said.

McClure's hard work has paid off. The 6-foot-2 senior has scored over 1,600 points in three seasons, taking over the Lions' program as the all-time leading scorer. Plus, he broke the single game points record dropping 40.

"Kayden is really just the leader of our team on and off the court," Justus Adkins, Santa Gertrudis Academy senior center, said. "He just takes charge with the ball in his hand. With the ball out of his hand. He's really funny. Keeps us together."

Two years ago during the COVID season, McClure faced a challenge. Not only was he benched from the game, but he was sidelined from practicing.

"One day after practice I was just stretching and I heard my back pop," McClure said.

The doctor said he fractured his L5 vertebrae in his lower back.

"I felt paralyzed when it popped," McClure said. "I couldn't even sleep that night. It was bad."

After rehab and full recovery, McClure went to work that summer and the next two seasons. Now this season, he has led the Lions to their second regional semifinal in program history with a chance to advance to their first regional championship.

"Relationships I've built with the coaches, my friends and my teammates," McClure said. "Like I said we're just trying to make history this year, so hopefully I can remember that for the rest of my life."

The Lions will play the Lytle Pirates in the UIL 3A regional semifinals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Seguin high school.