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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Kindell Fincher helped Canterbury to the Class A state title last season – its fourth in five years. Fincher averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Cavaliers’ Fincher can do it all

– There’s not much of a flaw in Kindell Fincher’s game. When it comes to basketball, she can shoot it from the outside or she can mix it up inside. She can drive it, drill it, dish it, and if need be, dive on it.

Although she is not the lone cog in the seemingly unending wheel of girls basketball success that helped Canterbury to the Class A state championship last season – its fourth in five years – Fincher has clearly elbowed her way into a team photo of the school’s all-time greats.

“She’s a player that has a lot of skill, a lot of drive,” first-year coach Wayne Kreiger said. “She can play the perimeter game; she can go inside. She averaged over 12 rebounds a game for us last year. So she does a lot of different things.

“She has, I would say, a pretty much complete package in relationship to what you would like to see in a basketball player.”

But there is another aspect to her life that Fincher has nailed down, and that’s keeping her feet on the ground and her head out of the clouds.

“My mom encourages me to stay humble and stay focused,” Fincher said. “I was looking at other people, like at the ‘Y.’ I’d see boys who are so cocky, and nobody really likes them because of their cocky attitude. I really don’t like that at all. I think it’s so ugly for somebody to brag about how good they are. I don’t think somebody should do that.

“No matter how good you are, I think you should stay humble.”

Fincher doesn’t have to talk about how good she is. After averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds last season even though she was surrounded by other talent in seniors Bailey Farley and Aaliyah Gaines and sophomore Darby Maggard, there are plenty standing in line to praise her skills.

College recruiters saw Fincher’s talent and aggressively went after her until she waved the pack away and picked Xavier, whose head coach, Amy Waugh, was a standout player at Homestead.

“It felt right; it felt like home,” Fincher wrote in a Twitter message of her decision. “They say when you know, you know. It’s great (to commit). I feel like a weight lifted off my chest. I can focus on other things now.”

Of course, she has heard the chorus of platitudes from friends, family, coaches and the media.

“I keep it in, but I use it as more motivation for me; that I might be good, but I can be better,” she said.

And Kreiger thinks there is room.

“It’s not that she can’t improve,” Kreiger said. “She has great range in her shooting, she has great quickness penetrating. She has all those characteristics and attributes to her game.”

Yeah, but what about defense; the bane of every basketball player’s existence; the dreaded necessity; the “other end of the floor?”

“She loves to play defense, Kreiger said. “She wants to get after it defensively.”

One more thing: she can defend it.