Bruce makes her own promise to work hard for Malone

Published 12:22 am Saturday, November 18, 2023

Fairland Lady Dragons’ senior basketball standout Kylee Bruce signed a letter-of-intent with Malone College. Attending the signing ceremony are, from left to right, father Ethan Hill, Kylee and mother Kelli Bruce. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

PROCTORVILLE — There was no need to bring N’ Sync together for a reunion and sing “This I Promise You” to Kylee Bruce.

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The Fairland Lady Dragons senior basketball standout didn’t need any playing time promises to convince her to sign with the Malone Pioneers on Friday.

“They can’t promise playing time but, of course, I’m going to go up there and give it my best. And even if it means I’m sitting the first two years, then it’s going to be my role and I’m going to fill and whatever I need to do I’ll fill,” said Bruce.

Kylee Bruce

Accepting her role at Malone doesn’t surprise Fairland head coach Jon Buchanan who told Malone head coach Selana Reale the type of character Bruce brings to the table.

“She’s just the glue. I talked to the Malone coach and told her if Kylee never played a second on the floor for you, as long as she’s in your program your program is better. She’s that kind of kid,” said Buchanan.

“She’s a great person. She impacts our team as much off the floor as she does on the floor. That says a lot because she’s a really good player. She’s just a tremendous asset to us. I know she’s going to be the same person at Malone. Of all the kids I’ve had, Kylee is the most ready to live away and be comfortable in her skin. I have no doubt she’s going to be successful.”

The 5-foot-11 Bruce has been All-Ohio the past 2 seasons and averaged 10 points and 5.7 rebounds a game last season as Fairland reached the Division 3 Final Four.

“I think it’s going to be really tough at first. It’s going to be an adjustment. Personally, I think it’s going to be more of a mental thing, so you’re thinking before you do more stuff, like quick,” said Bruce.

Bruce said she talked to Rio Grande and several different schools in the GMAC including Ursuline and Cedarville as well as Tiffin where teammate and close friend Bree Allen has signed to play.

“We, of course, know that going out from high school we become our own people, but we’re so excited to be playing against each other,” said Bruce.

She said it was love at first sight when she walked onto the Malone campus.

“When I first went there to visit there was something in me that I really do love this place. One of the big things for me was I wanted to go to a bigger town (Canton) but also where the campus was somewhere (outside the city) and Malone had that,” she said.

Another selling point was Malone Reale whom Bruce saw similarities in their personalities and coaching styles.

“The coach was kind of like Buch. She was very passionate, very active and willing to help us in anything and I saw that in coach Reale. The players there were incredibly welcoming and they didn’t even know if I was even going to Malone. They treated me like one of their own,” said Bruce. “I really enjoyed that, plus the fit was good.”

Bruce plans to major in nursing.

“In my off time, I’m probably finishing school work. I’m pretty serious about school or reading. I like to hang out with my teammates with all the sports I play. All of us are pretty close, especially coming from a small school,” Bruce said.