Former Mount Vernon star receives coaching award

Kenzie Williams Kostas has been named to receive a Thirty Under 30 award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for the 2019-20 season.

The program was created five years ago to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 or below at all levels of the game. Kostas is one of five Division II coaches to receive the award this year.

“These coaches have demonstrated eagerness, effectiveness, loyalty, love of the game and a commitment to the student-athlete,” WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew said in a release. “We celebrate their effort on the basketball court as teachers and equally applaud the extensive role they play in impacting the loves of their student-athletes.”

Skip Brock, former Mount Vernon boys basketball coach, posted on Twitter: “One of Mount Vernon High School‘s Finest! Not surprised she is a rising star in coaching!”

Kenzie Williams graduated from Mount Vernon in 2011 after earning all-state honors two years and leading the Mountaineers to the Class 3 state championship in 2010. She also competed in volleyball and track and field at Mount Vernon.

She played basketball four years at Missouri State, finishing with 1,645 points to rank seventh on the Lady Bears’ career list. She also was fifth in 3-point attempts (444), sixth in 3-point goals (184), ninth in steals (212) and 10th in free throws made (345) and attempted (444). She had a streak of 34 consecutive free throws made during the 2015-16 season, which ranked second in school history and seventh in Missouri Valley Conference history.

She also had 566 rebounds, 320 assists and 52 blocked shots. When she graduated, she was one of only three Lady Bears with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals, 200 assists and 50 blocks in a career.

In the classroom Kostas was just the third Lady Bear to earn first team MVC Scholar-Athlete honors. She was the 2015 MVC women’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year and the MSU co-outstanding female athlete.

Kostas graduated from Missouri State with a degree in elementary education and received her master’s in educational technology from Central Missouri.

She just finished her fourth season on coach Dave Slifer’s staff, highlighted by the Jennies’ 2018 national championship. She primarily works with the Jennies’ guards and also handles team travel plans, equipment orders and camp director in addition to team scouts and recruiting.

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