Valley News Dispatch Girls Athlete of the Year: Kennedie Montue, Plum
Saturday, July 10, 2021 | 8:10 PM
Consistency was the calling card for recent Plum graduate and basketball standout Kennedie Montue.
Four years of sustained success culminated in a senior season in which the 5-foot-11 guard/forward led the WPIAL in scoring at 23.3 points through the Mustangs’ 14 games.
Montue said she and her teammates worked hard to stay focused through all the covid restrictions and uncertainties. Plum finished 6-6 in a competitive Section 2-5A, recorded the program’s first WPIAL playoff victory (Lincoln Park, 44-31) since 2002 and only its second postseason win in history, and finished 7-7 overall.
“We definitely worked hard to get to where we were even though (the season) had to end before we wanted,” Montue said. “We accomplished a big goal, which was to win that playoff game and end that long streak.
“After we came back from the (December) shutdown, we worked harder than we did before. We knew we couldn’t take anything for granted. Every day was important for us to put in the work. We knew what kind of team this could be.”
Montue served notice with 29 points in the season-opening victory over Mars. She then scored 30 in back-to-back games, wins over Upper St. Clair and Kiski Area.
Often the focus of double and triple teams, Montue kept scoring. Her season-best 35 points at WPIAL semifinalist Fox Chapel made her Plum’s all-time leading scorer.
A Class 5A first-team all-state selection by PA Sports Writers, Montue finished her Plum career with 1,473 points.
Montue has been getting up to speed the past few weeks with on-campus workouts with her new Oakland University teammates.
“We’re two weeks into summer workouts. We’ve had a really good camp, and we’re working hard,” Montue said.
“We work out every single day on the court and with the weights. I knew I was going to have to come in and push myself harder than I ever had before. It’s been challenging, but that’s what Division I basketball is. I wouldn’t want it any other way. My new teammates have been very supportive. They have really pushed me because they believe in me that I can be the best just like I know they can be the best.”
What do your remember most about the game against Fox Chapel where you set Plum’s all-time scoring record for girls basketball?
No one told me during the game that I was almost there. They didn’t want me to be thinking too much about it. I didn’t know until they announced it.
How does it feel to be all alone at the top?
I am very proud and honored to have broken that record and accomplish all that I did in my career at Plum. I didn’t really think of it going into my freshman or sophomore year, but I was able to play well right from the start and also stay fairly healthy. Coming into my junior and senior years, I wanted to keep doing well for the team and also be confident that I was going to get the record.
How valuable was the support of all the people around you?
My teammates and coaches were the best support system anyone could ask for. They never made it easy for me, and I wanted it that way. They always were encouraging me, motivating me and pushed me to work harder and be the best player I could be.
How cool was it to be a part of the prestigious Roundball Classic?
The Roundball Classic was a great atmosphere for basketball. It was definitely a lot of fun getting a chance to play with my teammates, one of my best friends Peyton Pinkney (Woodland Hills), Jasmyn Golden (Penn Hills), Kaylin and Emily Venick (Trinity) and Courtney Dahlquist (Trinity) and others. Even though we came up a little short in the game, we really had fun, and that’s what matters.
You were well known for your offense. How much attention did you pay to the defensive side of the ball?
Defensively, I really made it a point to work harder my senior year. Everybody knew I could score. My coaches always would tell me that when you get that defense down, the offense is going to come way easier. It creates more and better offensive opportunities.
All the postseason awards you won, how special are those in your eyes?
I was really humbled by all the awards at the end of the season. I really don’t talk a lot about them. But people would come up to me and say, ‘Wow, you are all-state.’ I really didn’t think about getting those awards. I just worked my butt off to be my best. I appreciate all of those people who recognized how I played.
Did you get a chance to take a vacation before you reported to Oakland?
My family took me to Fort Myers, Fla. We were there for about a week. I sunburned really bad. That wasn’t fun. But it was a good time. It was especially nice to be able to spend that time with my family before I left. I knew it was going to be hard missing my family being five hours away. The days have been busy, but I do talk to my friends and family as much as possible.
Are you taking any classes this summer?
All of the freshmen are taking Critical Reading and Thinking. It’s not too serious. It’s all online. It’s a good class to start with.
Who do you enjoy following on Twitter?
Definitely a variety of WNBA players, especially what they say after games. There are always a lot of funny Tweets.
Who in the WNBA do you look up to or try to mold the way you go about your basketball career and life overall?
Probably (Las Vegas Aces power forward) A’ja Wilson. She definitely puts in the work to be the best she can be. I definitely look up to that because I want to push myself to be one of the best.
Who are you rooting for in the NBA playoffs?
I am definitely rooting for the (Phoenix) Suns and Cameron Johnson, home-raised, from the ‘Burgh. I definitely want to see him get his ring, especially being friends with (Cameron’s brother Donovan) Puff Johnson and seeing his stories encouraging his brother.
You love Netflix. What shows are you watching now?
Manifest and Too Hot To Handle
Are you looking forward to the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this month?
I haven’t really paid attention or have had time to pay attention to it. But I definitely will be following the women’s basketball team. They have a great chance at doing well. Team USA is always good. Hopefully, they bring back the gold medal.
What is the last movie you watched?
I watched (action horror) The Forever Purge in the theater last weekend. We had a little time. It wasn’t anything special, but it was good. There were a lot of jump scares.
What upcoming movie are you excited to see?
Definitely Space Jam. LeBron’s in it.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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