Hinds recently topped, 1,000 points in her four-year career playing for coach Shad Nichols.
Going into the season, she realized she had a chance to reach the cherished plateau.
“I knew that I was within reach of 1,000 points but it was not a guaranteed thing,” Hinds said. “This was the main goal of mine for the season but I really started thinking about it this year as being something that was possible.”
Nichols noted it’s an accomplishment few reach in their playing days.
“Kate is only the sixth player in the history of the school to surpass 1,000 points,” Nichols said. “When she’s done, she should finish fourth all-time in scoring. One way to look at this is the fact that Principia has been playing basketball for over 100 years.
“Scoring 1,000 points really is a lot of times to put the ball in the basket, which is not easy to do. I know it’s been a goal of hers for some time so that in itself makes it a special accomplishment.”
Caitlyn Demaree was the most recent Principia player to top 1,000 points when she did it last season. Alli Ball, who plays as a senior at the University of Illinois, passed 1,000 points in 2014.
Hinds is a four-year starter for the Panthers.
“I have been playing basketball since fourth grade when coach Nichols introduced me to it,” Hinds said. “I love everything about the game.”
She passed the 1,000-point mark in a recent game against Crossroad College Prep.
“The basket was a 3-pointer from the right wing and it was assisted by my teammate Tessa Boyman,” Hinds said.
Nichols called it a moment he won’t soon forget.
“We were winning the game 5-2 and Kate had not yet scored. She then went on to score 16 of our next 18 points. That put her at 1,001, and she had broken the mark in a total of 3 minutes and 30 seconds,” Nichols said. “It was a remarkable scoring run that is very rare and was very fun to see and be a part of.
“In typical Kate fashion, 12 of 16 came on four made 3-pointers. Many of the people who had intended to come, watch and celebrate her score 1,000 missed it because she scored so early and often.”
Hinds didn’t realize she had reached her goal, but her teammates did.
“Right when I scored the basket that got me to 1,000 my coach called a timeout to give me the 1,000-point ball and recognize the accomplishment,” Hinds said.
Scoring on a 3-pointer is nothing new for Hinds. In fact, it’s her specialty. But Nichols said can she is more than just a scorer. She also can pass and rebound.
“Obviously the saying, ‘if you have a J, you can play’ is true for a reason. Well, with Kate it can start with that,” Nichols said. “KateyBuckets is what some people call her! She can put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor, or off it, or from the parking lot. Putting the ball in the basket is the name of the game right? That’s her biggest strength.
“Over the past two years, she has been a 75-percent free throw shooter as well. She has others strengths, too. She’s a nice finisher at the rim when she chooses to be and is a very instinctive defender in terms of shooting gaps and passing lanes as well as a solid rebounder. She’s been blessed with some natural athleticism. Her uncle was an NFL quarterback and her aunt a ranked WTA tennis player. She also averages over five rebounds per game.”
Hinds played inside in middle school, Nichols thought she would do better outside.
“Kate has gone from a post player in middle school playing near the basket, to possibly the most prolific shooter in the history of the school,” Nichols said. “She is currently second all-time in 3-pointers made at Principia and is nearing the record.
“I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing or not by putting her out there. Somewhere north of probably 60,000 shots later clearly it was the right decision!
Hard work and persistence helped Hinds to become the player she is today, Nichols said.
“As a freshman, Kate was a good player and a part-time starter,” Nichols said. “I don’t know if someone would have said ‘that kid is going to finish in the top 5 scoring in the history of the school’ but that’s what she’s made herself.
“She’s just kept showing up every day striving to improve herself and get better. She shot all the time in the summer and made time in the fall.”
Improving was important to Hinds. She wanted to be a player who was the best she could be.
“My career at Prin has been getting better every year, with this year definitely being my most successful season,” Hinds said. “I play two other varsity sports so sometimes it can be difficult to find time to practice but I try to set a goal in the offseason to make a certain amount of shots before the season starts.
“I love being able to find time to come in and shoot on the ball machine.”
Nichols said she is an example of someone asked to change from what she had been doing and making the most of it.
That attitude has helped Hinds become one of the Panthers’ all-time top players.
“One of my favorite Kate stories, that I think needs to be made public, is when she first started playing varsity level competition with our varsity basketball team in the summer after her eighth-grade year,” Nichols said. “She was really quite lost and understandably so. Again she was going from post to wing. Plus, she is a year younger than her grade.
“So here she was 13 years old playing against 17- and 18-year-olds, I don’t blame her for basically standing around and just looking to pass the ball. After a few games, I played her in a middle school game so she could play against people her own age and regain some confidence. She scored 33 points, and her team lost 35-33. The next time she played in a varsity game she was a completely different player, and she’s been on her way ever since.”
Hinds would like to play basketball in college. She said she has Lake Forest College in Illinois looking at her.
“Lake Forest in Chicago is very excited about her,” Nichols said. “She does want to play in college. She has a couple other options she is considering. Whoever gets her will be getting an exceptional person, teammate, and player.”
Hinds said it’s hard to believe she is a senior. She knows it’s almost time to move on to the next step in her life.
“I think it’s going to be tough to graduate, I have been at Prin my whole life since kindergarten,” Hinds said. “It has flown by for sure it’s crazy to me that it is almost over.”
For Nichols, it will be difficult as well to see her graduate,
“It will be very tough to see her graduate. It’s been a joy and an honor to be her coach for four years, and I am very grateful for that time,” Nichols said. “Both her and her parents (Pam and David) have been large blessings in my life and to my family. So it’s not just her as a player that will be missed, it will be the daily connection with some very kind people that will be missed.
“She’s such a nice person that people like to be around. The leader that she is on the court and on the team is who she is off the court. Someone that people want to be friends with, someone that is kind and caring to all those she comes in contact with.”