Photo courtesy of Ben Shot It/Ben Berry.
By David Cordova
In the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, there have been plenty of been plenty of talented basketball players that have made it out of the area. In an area where only the gritty survive, some use basketball as a means to an education and hope for more later on.
Back in 1999, Kenny Satterfield was a native of Castle Hill that had it. He was a senior at Rice High School in Harlem, whom he led to their third CHSAA city championship in four seasons and second straight New York State Federation championship. That year, he would be selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game and then went on to play at the University of Cincinnati, where he would spend two seasons before being selected in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft.
Satterfield was a special talent that spent two years playing for the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers, before playing internationally for a substantial number of years. Today, he is working out young athletes as a way to develop their overall basketball game.
Today, in the present day, there is another Satterfield that is making their mark on the basketball scene. Her name, yes her name, is Kaelynn Satterfield. She is a 6-foot senior forward at Christ the King High School in the Middle Village section of Queens, and is rated at No. 39 recruit in the Class of 2019 by ESPN. The younger Satterfield is very skilled, can exploit mismatches on smaller players with a physical 1-on-1 game and shows plenty of versatility on the court.
When asked what motivates her to be successful on the court, she replied, “My family. My friends, they keep me going, [on bad days], they let me know I’m going to be alright.”
She also had a good learning experience with the game early on by watching her dad do battle on the court and by starting to play herself at the age of 7 or 8. “I actually grew up all over, because my dad was playing overseas and the NBA, so like, New York will always be my home, but I’ve been all over,” said Satterfield.
On lessons taught by her dad, she replied, “Where basketball can take you. At the end of the day, [when] basketball is over, I’m going to need to do something else and basketball is opening the doors for that to happen.”
At a young age, she played for New Heights, one of the New York’s most well-known programs, both on the basketball and educational front. When asked about that experience, she replied, “New Heights was my second AAU team. I played with them up until high school and they’re always going to be family.”
After that, she moved on to the New Jersey Sparks, an elite girls basketball program based in Paterson, New Jersey and one that competes on the Nike Girls EYBL. When asked about her time with the Sparks, whom she led to a 7-1 record in two sessions in the spring, she replied, “It was great. Playing on the EYBL, that’s a different circuit, everyone’s getting prepared for college. It’s just different all-around.
On her strengths and weaknesses, she replied, “Strengths would be that I’m so versatile, you know, it’s hard for everyone to guard me. Weakness, sometimes I’ve got to know my personnel, know who I’m playing with.”
Last season as a junior, she averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game and helped the Royals get to a 29-1 record and finish with a No. 6 national ranking in the USA Today poll. On her time at Christ the King, Satterfield added: “My four years has been amazing, you know, a great group of girls, we traveled around the country, No. 1 in the country, and now I’m trying to accomplish my next goal for my senior season.”
Last season, she helped her program win a CHSAA city and state championship. On that moment, she added, “That was amazing, you know, especially because my coach [Claire Droesch] was sick, so we did everything for her.”
In October, after fielding offers from schools such as Oregon, LSU, Georgia Tech, Michigan and Marquette, Satterfield decided to commit to Ohio State, where she is a part of the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation, alongside other elite girls players such as Rikki Harris, Aixa Wone, Jacy Sheldon and Kierstan Bell. When asked about her commitment to the Big Ten school, she replied, “Basketball is everything, and my long-term goal is to play pro, and I feel like Ohio State can make that happen.”
On what she can bring to the Buckeyes and the Big Ten, she replied, “Stay tuned.”
When asked if she will wind up being better than her dad in college, she jokingly replied, “Of course, hands down.”
As for her future in Columbus and beyond, “A whole lot of buckets.”
Right now, Christ the King is 5-4 on the season and rated at No. 13 in the nation by ESPN, but unranked by ESPN. Satterfield and her crew of fellow Lady Royals are bound to repeat as CHSAA city & state champions and plan to get the school a New York State Federation title before she and the rest of the seniors on the team take off for college. While making that dream come to fruition, she will do what she does best, get buckets.