SOUTH BEND – Mila Reynolds is ready to write the final chapter of her amazing high school career on the hardwood.
The former Washington High School superstar is then prepared to start to pen the next story of her basketball journey.
Reynolds, who led the Panthers to a Class 3A state title back in February, is preparing to play for the Indiana All-Star team. The squad faces Kentucky Friday night in Owensboro, Kentucky and Saturday night at the Southport Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the annual series.
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Reynolds, a prolific 6-3 guard, will then take part in her high school commencement in South Bend before heading off to the University of Maryland next week to prepare to play for coach Brenda Frese.
“It’s been crazy to be honest, but I’m super excited,” said Reynolds in a phone interview Sunday about her busy summer. “It’s hectic, but I’m pretty anxious for all of it.”
“Number one I just want to stay healthy this coming week. I want to go out with a bang in my last high school thing with the All-Stars.”
Reynolds led the Panthers, coached by her father Steve, to a 28-3 mark her final season. She teamed with sisters Amiyah, a junior, and freshman Kira to earn the second state title in program history, joining the 2007 team, led by current WNBA star Skylar Diggins-Smith.
Reynolds averaged 21.5 points and 8.1 rebounds her senior season. She finished third in the Miss Basketball voting and was All-State both on the court and academically for her work in the classroom. Reynolds finished her career with 2,099 points and 990 rebounds, just the 11th player in state history on the girls side with 2,000 points and 990 caroms.
Reynolds was one of three seniors for the Panthers, who had just nine players in the program during the 2021-22 season. She scored a game-high 21 points as Class 3A No. 1 Washington blitzed Silver Creek 93-35 in a record showing in the state title game to cap off a dominating postseason run. The nationally ranked Panthers set seven records for a Class 3A final, including most points and largest margin of victory. Washington had lost to Silver Creek 54-48 in the state title game in 2021.
“The last game, the state championship,” responded Reynolds of the greatest memory of her prep career. “That and setting the scoring record (with 48 points versus Elkhart to break her own mark of 46) in the game that my dad got his 100th coaching win.”
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Reynolds spent this Spring as a pitcher for the Washington softball team, also coached by her father. She earned honorable mention All-NIC honors as the Panthers had a team for the first time since 2019.
“I’ve had time to get into the gym,” said Reynolds of working on her game. “I feel pretty good physically. I had a minor groin issue during softball, but I’m fine now. I just want to go to Maryland healthy, in shape and ready to go.”
Reynolds averaged 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds over the course of her 106-game high school career with 53 double-doubles, including 10 her senior year. The Panthers won just 10 games her freshman season, but won 19 her sophomore year as point guard Amiyah, who has also committed to Maryland, arrived. Washington won 22 games in 2020-21 before winning 28 this past season as 6-3 Kira joined the mix.
Reynolds will join a Maryland program that has thrived under Frese. The Terrapins went 23-9 overall and 13-4 in Big 10 play this past season, losing 72-66 to No. 2 ranked, one seed and defending national champion Stanford in the regionals of the NCAA Tournament. Maryland won a national title in 2006 under Frese, who was the head coach at Ball State from 1999-2001. Frese, who played at Arizona, is 535-140 in 20 seasons at Maryland with three Final Four appearances.
“I can’t wait to see how I develop at Maryland,” stated Reynolds, the oldest of eight children. “I don’t think that any freshman is really ready for bigtime Division I basketball like that, but I’m ready to work for it. I know that I will have to work for everything I get. Nothing will be given to me that’s for sure.”
Reynolds will play for an All-Star team coached by Rod Parker of Homestead High School in Fort Wayne that features Miss Basketball and UConn recruit Ayanna Patterson, also of Homestead. Reynolds will not play in the second All-Star contest in Indianapolis as Washington’s commencement is also Saturday night at TCU School Field in South Bend.
Reynolds had a roller-coaster ride in her high school career on the West Side. She endured her fair share of injuries, including a serious hip one that threatened her sophomore season and also the COVID-19 pandemic. She did it all though with her loving family, which included mother and assistant coach Marcy, right by her side every step of the way.
“Everything happens for a reason,” explained Reynolds of the ups and downs of the past four years. “I’m happy and grateful for everything. I’m super proud of myself for making my own image and being my own person through it all.
“The road was LONG. There we potholes and hills and so much. But I would not change anything about it. I’m so glad that I got to share this journey with my Dad and Mom and all of my sisters and brothers. They were all there through it all.”
Reynolds paused for a second when asked about playing for her father, a former star player himself at South Bend Riley who also played professionally overseas. The pair shared a gigantic hug and tears of joy when she exited her final game for him in Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis back on Feb. 26.
“I really can’t put into words what it was like playing for my Dad,” she concluded.