« Women’s Basketball 2015-16

Kelsey Minato


Army West Point

Environmental Science


Kelsey Minato has held a number of leadership roles during her time at West Point, including her position as Brigade Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Officer for the 2015-16 academic year. This summer, Minato was a Cadet Field Training Regimental S2 (Intelligence) Officer, and during her junior year she served as a squad leader as well as her company’s honor/respect representative. Additionally, she is serving as a basketball team captain for the second year in a row this season. Minato received recognition after completing basic training upon her arrival at the Academy, including being voted Best New Cadet in her Cadet Basic Training squad and earning her Recondo Badge at Cadet Field Training. She is an environmental science major and has aspirations to join the Army’s Quartermaster branch following graduation in May.


The following description was written with input from a member of the coaching staff, who sees Minato at practice every day.

“When I think of the type of leader she is, the best description I can think of is ‘humility.’ She is the most humble ‘star’ I have ever coached. She has belief in her teammates and acknowledges them when she receives any of her many accolades; she credits her teammates and coaches. You can listen to any post-game media conference, interview or private conversation with the coaches, and you’ll hear her accept all praise and awards as team awards. Her team knows that she truly believes she wouldn’t have experienced such accomplishments without them. That’s why her teammates follow her lead on the court, look to her when things aren’t going our way, and believe in Kelsey when the game is on the line. Kelsey’s teammates want her to take the big shot. There are no jealousies or resentments or any competitive nature with Kelsey. Her teammates know her success is their success. Kelsey has the way to make her teammates feel like THEY made the winning shot, and that is a rare talent as a young leader. Kelsey is a kind, unselfish, genuine person. Her teammates see this on a daily basis. I have never witnessed a team that wants their star to shine so much.”


Minato has volunteered with members of the women’s basketball team at the Special Olympics during each of her first three years at West Point and will continue to do so this year. She also has participated in the Tunnel to Towers 5K run in New York City, an event in remembrance of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who lost his life of September 11, 2001, during all four of her years at West Point. This past summer Minato mentored athletes at the South Coast Fencing Center in her home state of California on what it takes to achieve in sports, school and life. During her sophomore year, Minato designed and executed a basketball clinic for young middle school girls.


Minato averaged a team-record 22.3 points per game in 2014-15 and finished the season ranked eighth nationally in the category. She also made 84 three-pointers to surpass her previous team mark of 82. She increased her double-digit scoring streak to 80 games to set a record for the longest double-digit scoring streak in Patriot League history. The streak dated back to 1/12/13. Minato helped lead Army to its program-record third straight 20-win season, as the Black Knights finished the year 23-8. She also guided Army to a team-record third straight appearance in a national postseason tournament, as the team earned a trip to the WNIT. Minato earned honorable mention All-America praise following the season to become just the sixth Army women’s basketball player to be named to an All-America squad and the first since 1993. Minato was selected to the All-Patriot League First Team for the third season in a row after earning Player of the Year honors as a freshman and sophomore. She became the 26th player in league history to garner three all-league first-team selections. She also collected All-Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) first-team honors for the second year in a row. Minato finished her junior season ranked second on Army’s career scoring list with 1,813 points, just 128 shy of the team record of 1,941 points. This season, Kelsey became Army’s career scoring leader (men’s or women’s player) with 29 points at Colgate on Feb. 10 before becoming the Patriot League’s career scoring leader with a 32-point effort on Feb. 24 at Boston University. She reached the 2,500-point milestone in Army’s Patriot League quarterfinal win over Colgate on March 7. She won the Patriot League Player of the Year for the third time in her career, to become only the second player in league history to earn three Player of the Year honors. She was also named to the All-Patriot League first team for the fourth consecutive season, and is the only player in conference history to do that.