Skip Navigation

Keene State's Kinney Enjoying a Busy Summer

Jenn Kinney at the Cheshire Medical Clinic with PA Pete Durling
Jenn Kinney at the Cheshire Medical Clinic with PA Pete Durling

KEENE, N.H. 8/1/08 - Jenn Kinney is no different than most college students. Getting set for her senior year at Keene State College, the Salem, N.H., native is keeping busy this summer working, playing a little basketball, and having fun with her friends.

“I like to stay busy and challenge myself,” Kinney said. “I don’t like being bored.”

A goal-driven student athlete at KSC, Kinney has become an expert in time management, juggling her tough academic schedule with an equally demanding athletic agenda as a member of the Owl women’s basketball team. With one eye on the present and another eye on the future, the ambitious Kinney has not let up since classes ended in May.

She applied for and was accepted into an internship program at Keene’s Cheshire Medical Center, and she travels a couple of times each week to Derry to play basketball in a women’s summer league.

A biology major with a desire to work in the heath-care field, Kinney is learning firsthand how a hospital runs. After being exposed to many different departments, Jenn hopes to narrow down her interest when she enters the job market or decides to go to graduate school. As far as basketball is concerned, Kinney wants to end her KSC career with a strong senior season and return the Owls to the NCAA tournament.

Although she is self-motivated, Jenn says she gets a tremendous amount of support from her parents, Thomas and Maureen, and younger brother Dan, who was recently featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” for being a member of several winning programs at Salem High.

Growing up in Salem, Kinney participated in the Salem youth basketball league and later as a member of a state champion AAU team, honing her skills on the court. While other sports siphoned off several of her AAU teammates, Kinney remained true to her first love, basketball.

Playing three varsity seasons at Salem High, Kinney helped the Blue Devils reach the semifinals of State Class L tournament her junior season. While the team was hampered by a revolving door of coaches, Kinney says she has fond memories of her high school playing days. She singles out Jamie Cassidy, a former WNBA player and her senior-year coach, for taking her game to another level.

“I often wonder how I would’ve developed if she coached me for more than just a year,” Kinney said.

Despite receiving academic honors every season and being selected as captain and MVP as a senior, Kinney initially balked at the idea of playing ball in college. “I never knew if I was good enough or could balance it with my academic work,” she said. “”But I have always played sports. It keeps me balanced.”

Kinney and her parents put together a 10-college wish list that included instate schools UNH, Keene State, and Colby-Sawyer. Keene State, number #10 on her list, zoomed to the top after a favorable visit to the campus. “Keene State turned out to be my best choice,” said Kinney.

Kinney has flourished on the court and in the classroom at Keene State. With a GPA hovering close to the 4.0 mark, Kinney has also put up good numbers as a spot starter and sixth-man.

“Each year I’m improving and getting more confidence in myself,” said Kinney, who finished second on the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg.) while scoring over six points per game. “When you believe in yourself, you don’t get frustrated and you’re able to perform to your highest level.”

“Jenn is going to be one of our captains and we’re expecting big things on the court from her,” said KSC coach Keith Boucher. “She should have a great senior season.”

“I have high expectations for next season,” said Kinney. “Everybody wants to win the Little East championship so badly.”

Working hard to accomplish those expectations, Kinney hasn’t lost focus on the big picture and the main reason she’s at school. “Basketball is the fun part of my life and a challenge in many respects, but I love learning and the classes in my program,” she said. “It’s family first, academics, and then athletics.”

Kinney has had the best of both worlds this summer, improving her basketball skills and making inroads in what promises to be a rewarding career in the health care field. She recently accepted a position as a health coordinator in the Clinic’s Kingsbury Cancer Unit, where she serves as a conduit between doctors and nurses and also has the opportunity to shadow a physician’s assistant.

“This was such a huge summer for me,” said Kinney, who has also found time to catch up with several of her friends from Salem and attend a recent Kenny Chesney concert. “Now I’m looking forward to getting back to school.”

As far as Kinney is concerned, summer time can be both a fun time and a productive time. “I can honestly say that I’ve accomplished a good deal and have a better sense of where I’m headed,” said Kinney.

Related Stories

Contact Keene State College

229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435