Jayhawk Insider: Journey to 1,000
By: Hadyn Krause
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The month of November has brought several milestones for the Kansas women’s basketball team, milestones that two individuals, will never forget.
On Nov. 21, senior guard Kylee Kopatich fought her way to become the 29th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 points while playing at Kansas. Soon after, on Nov. 25 would be the night sixth year Jessica Washington would hit 1,000 points in her career, collected both at North Carolina and Kansas.
The road to 1,000 points is no easy task, and a rare one. Both Kopatich and Washington go beyond when it comes to hard work and dedication, spending countless hours in the gym, extra time and commitment, which led to the accomplishment of 1,000 points they both have to their name today.
Kopatich, a native of Olathe, Kansas, never saw 1,000 points as a goal of hers, or an achievement she saw in her future, little did she know she would soon be recognized as just the 29th Jayhawk to have 1,000 points to her name at Kansas.
“It never crossed my mind,” Kopatich said. “It was never a goal to score 1,000, it just happened.”
Kopatich has left her mark on the team, starting nearly every game since her freshman year. When thinking about how far she is come, she cannot help but be humbled that she will be next to the historic group of women who have also reached the milestone.
Kopatich has the rest of the season to look forward to as she closes out her time as a Jayhawk. Less than a week after Kopatich achieved the feat, Washington celebrated her 1,000th point.
Washington’s basketball career has gone far from planned, but has landed her numerous accomplishments.
After suffering a knee injury in the 2017-18 season, Washington was eager to get back on the court. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native has recorded double-figure scoring efforts in each of the three games she’s appeared in this season, including a 30-point game against George Mason (11/21).
Just four days after Kopatich notched 1,000 points, Washington followed, hitting the magic number on two made free throws against Iona (11/25).
Spending her freshman and sophomore year at North Carolina, then transferring to Kansas, Washington has been able to make an impact at both schools.
“I’ve had a little bit of an extended career,” Washington said, “This is still my fourth year playing, so I think coming here to KU hasn’t done anything but bring positivity to my game and to my career.”
While the milestone is an incredible one, Washington has a tunnel vision for the season ahead and the support of her teammates on the court.
“The majority of my points are here at KU and we still have a whole season coming and it’s not even just about scoring. It’s about my teammates getting me those shots.”
Kansas head coach Brandon Schneider notices the extra-mile both Kopatich and Washington have taken to get to the point they are at today.
“It’s a heck of an accomplishment for any collegiate basketball player to do that and those are two players that spend a lot of time, have throughout their life, in the gym working on their game and particularly just taking thousands and thousands of shots and, obviously, we’re all very excited and proud for them.”
With an entire season ahead of them, reaching 1,000 career points was just the beginning for the senior duo.
Kansas continues its two-game road tilt at Nebraska on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game can be listened to on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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