When it comes to knifing through bigger, stronger defenders to get to the basket, junior point guard Kim Demmings is fearless.
Taking elbows and getting roughed up is nothing new to the Wright State University star and the Horizon League Player of the Year, the first Lady Raider ever to win such an honor. She got a lot of that as a little girl when she played basketball with the boys at Lions Park on the west side of Richmond, Ind.
“I think that’s what gave me my tough edge,” said Demmings. “That just built me into the person I am today.”
The person she is today is a scoring machine.
Demmings led the Horizon League in scoring average with 22.4 points a game. She scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games this season, including a season-high 36 points at Oakland on Feb. 18, which tied for the second-highest point total by any Horizon League player this season. She tallied 30 or more points in a game seven times in 2013-14, the most in the league, with four of those coming in league play, and scored 20 more points 21 times, again leading the league.
Demmings surpassed the 1,000-point career mark faster than any player in Wright State women’s history except for Tiffany Webb. When Demmings passed that milestone during a 2013 victory against Valparaiso, she didn’t even realize it.
“I was really happy after the game when I found out,” she said. “But I just try to stay humble. I score the ball well, but I also look to get other people the ball. I’m looking to get everybody on the team to 1,000 points.”
Demmings is much more than just a scorer. She brings energy to the team, gets the ball when the game is on the line and does it all with a sincere modesty.
“Her work ethic and her attitude are the two things that make her a good player,” said coach Mike Bradbury. “Her ability to show up every day to get better is something that not a lot of people have. She never takes a day off.”
The road to playing college basketball had a few bumps for Demmings. Discipline problems during high school temporarily sidelined her. Talking back to teachers and other issues led to suspensions.
“It was my fault; my mindset was just not where it needed to be,” she recalled. “I think I was just going through a phase. I was not caring about the right things and caring about the wrong things.”
During the Senior Night basketball game at Richmond High, Bradbury showed up to catch Demmings in action.
“It just gave me the spark that I needed and the motivation I needed,” she said. “Somebody was out there watching me, and somebody cared. After Wright State got interested in me, I got more interested in myself and my future.”
Demmings finished her high school career averaging 19.9 points a game. After taking a recruiting visit to Wright State, she was sold on the Raiders. The university was close to home and had a family feel. She especially loved the tunnel system for those cold winter days.
Demmings credits the success of this year’s squad (20–7 overall, 9–3 in the Horizon League) to its speed, strong team chemistry and aggressive defense. The Raiders are ranked No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin.
“Our team is just clicking,” she said. “We have very great talented girls here. Everybody contributes.”
Demmings is majoring in organizational leadership. She hopes to eventually get a master’s degree in marketing and use it in a sports-related business career.
When she is not playing, practicing or studying, Demmings enjoys video games, bowling and cards.
After graduation, she intends to enter the WNBA draft.
“I definitely want to see if there is a home for me there,” she said. “If not, I will probably go see what it’s like playing overseas.”