Whatever it takes: Kenagy helps Fruita with his jack-of-all trades ability
Tyler Kenagy is a glue player.
The 6-foot-2 Fruita Monument High School senior forward fills holes and fixes cracks for the Wildcats with his ability to do a lot of different things well on the court.
According to Fruita Monument coach Dave Fox, Kenagy is more important than his stats suggest.
“He’s a vital link to this basketball team,” Fox said. “It might not show up in the point totals, but for us to do well we have to have him.”
Kenagy’s ability to distribute the ball is his best attribute. He has had at least two assists in all but one game.
“He is a wonderful passer,” Fox said. “He provides other players with opportunities because of his passing.”
The player who has benefitted the most from Kenagy’s passing is post player Drew Bridges. Bridges leads the Wildcats (4-6) with 17.3 points per game this season.
“He sees the floor so well,” Bridges said. “He gets a lot of open shots for me, and has been great with assists.”
Kenagy’s willing to play any role asked of him. He started last season as a junior and was called upon to be one of the Wildcats’ offensive leaders. He did just that, averaging eight points per game for the first 16 games.
Kenagy was on his way to a breakout season, but in a Jan. 29 game at rival Grand Junction, Kenagy sustained a major concussion in the fourth quarter.
Kenagy was hustling after a loose ball but got his legs taken out from under him and slammed his head on the floor.
“I was awake but I wasn’t there,” Kenagy said. “I was out of it for like 45 minutes and had no idea what was going on.”
Fox said Kenagy’s concussion was one of the frightening moments of his coaching career.
“It was one of the more scary things I’ve been involved with as a coach,” Fox said. “I had a good view it of it, I saw him hit as hard as he did and it was scary.”
Kenagy had to watch the rest of the Wildcats’ 10-0 run in the Southwestern League from the bench.
“It made me appreciate when I am out there,” Kenagy said. “And I know it’s a lot more fun to be out there than watching from the bench.”
Kenagy returned for the Wildcats’ second round playoff game against Boulder. He scored only two points, but just being in the game meant a lot to him.
“I probably shouldn’t have played in that game,” Kenagy said. “The doctor said it was going to be about three months, but I wanted to be with my teammates.”
Kenagy had another setback, sustaining a minor concussion during the first week of practice this season. The injuries helped Kenagy modify his aggressive approach.
“You still have to go hard, but now I’m being smart,” Kenagy said. “I can’t be out of control and be a bull in a china shop like Coach says.”
The Wildcats had a slow start to this season, losing six of their first eight games, but finished their first half with two straight wins against Smoky Hill and Hinkley.
“As we started getting better at the end of the first half it was because of Tyler, James Lewis and Tyler Daniels all starting to play well,” Fox said.
The Wildcats begin the second half of their season next Tuesday at Eagle Valley. Fruita Monument opens its SWL schedule against Grand Junction on Jan.14.