012220_MNS_AOTW_Jada_Ryce Jada Ryce

Galloway’s Jada Ryce handles the ball during a game earlier this season.

The Galloway girls’ basketball team has posted an overall record of 13-4 and a 2-1 mark in Region 5A play through Jan. 15. Junior point guard Jada Ryce has been the catalyst for the Scots, averaging more than 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals a contest.

“Jada is one of those rising stars that understands the essence of hard work,” Galloway coach Kiesha Brown said. “Since she has been at Galloway, she has put the time in before and after practice on days off and days on.

Ryce has also posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of more than 2.5:1 this season.

“She understands that as a point guard, it takes more than just scoring,” Brown said. “It’s the effort plays that fuel her teammates to want to play just as hard.”

Ryce credits the team effort for her individual and Scots success this year.

“It’s a combination of everything,” she said. “I have individual goals and things I want to get better at every game. My scoring, passing, leadership on the floor comes down to the team at the end of the day. We’ve played well together since the summer. We’re coachable, play with intensity and the will to play our hardest to win.”

Ryce also reached a career milestone this season when she scored her 1,000th career point in Galloway’s 60-17 home win over KIPP Atlanta Jan. 8. She achieved this mark in only 67 games.

“It was exciting,” Ryce said. “It was also surprising because I asked Coach Brown the previous week how close I was and she wouldn’t tell me, so I went about my day. I was nine points away and she told the whole team and my parents. When I reached the mark, the entire gym cheered and it was pretty cool.”

Ryce, who began attending Galloway in the ninth grade, also serves as a team captain.

“My biggest responsibilities are to serve as a leader on and off the court,” she said. “I want to be someone my teammates can talk to or get help from. If Coach Brown wants something done, I look to be a good relayer of that message so that we’re all working together.”

Ryce also credits playing with the Atlanta Hoop Starz AAU team this past summer providing an opportunity to improve as an upperclassman this season.

“I’ve gotten older and matured as a player physically and mentally as a junior,” she said. “My skill level has improved with more practice.”

Ryce began playing basketball in the fifth grade and lists NBA athletes Kyrie Irving, Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams as her favorite players.

“I enjoy competing in a team setting,” she said. “Everyone supports each other and (is) competing for one thing.”

Ryce is also on Galloway’s track and field team as a sprinter specifically in the 100-meter run. The daughter of Judy and Bernard Ryce notes English as her favorite subject and holds a 3.8 grade-point average. Jada plays piano and clarinet while also does graphic designing as hobbies.

The Scots have placed themselves in a position to finish high in the region standings and a qualify for the state playoffs.

“Our team is looking good and fine-tuning things that need to get done,” Ryce said. Galloway returns to action Jan. 24 at home against region foe Atlanta Classical.

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