Men and women dressed in camouflage dot the stands inside Christl Arena, the cavernous gym at West Point, as Kelsey Minato, a pitiless scoring machine for Army, turns in time to intercept a pass beneath her basket against first-place American. She takes a quick look at her troops in transition, and then advances the ball, deking a defender with an inside-out dribble beyond midcourt. She toys with her counterpart, taking her right before whipping the ball left behind her back. Her finish comes with her right hand, a twisting, reverse layup to the left as she crashes to the floor, sliding on her back. Superintendent Robert Caslen, chest dappled with decorations, sits three rows above her, near Brigadier General Timothy Trainor. Both nod approval and applaud. “Sometimes us coaches just sit on the bench and say, ‘we have Kelsey and you don’t,’ ” Army associate coach Colleen Mullen says. “She has moves you don’t see anymore.” Minato, 20, is the show at the military academy. At 5-feet-6, she is slight of build yet practiced in sleight of hand, manipulating defenses with misdirection and timing tricks as she spies open space. In negotiating paths past defenders instructed to ambush her, she… Read full this story
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