Inderkum Junior Excels On and Off the Court

Daniel takes a break from performing at the last Inderkum v. Natomas High game. / Photo: Jeremiah McWright, NHS intern

Kyliyah Daniel takes a break from performing with the school band during the last Inderkum v. Natomas High basketball double header. / Photo: Jeremiah McWright, NHS intern

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Kyliyah Daniel knows she sometimes gets stares and confused, furrowed brows looking her way.

The question is always the same: “Weren’t you just on the court playing basketball?”

Daniel, a junior at Inderkum High School, is both an athletic and musical talent. She plays the French horn and the alto saxophone for the award-winning school band and is also the leading scorer on the girls varsity basketball team.

Sometimes, she can be seen playing on the court – and in the stands – on the same night.

“What’s so beautiful about Kyliyah is that she’s comfortable in her skin being exactly who she is,” Inderkum girls basketball coach Phillip Hampton said.

Inderkum will attempt a third undefeated season in the Tri-County Conference when it plays neighborhood rival Natomas High tonight. The freshmen boys start the quadruple-header at 3:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity boys at 5 p.m., girls varsity at 6:30 p.m. and boys varsity at 8 p.m. All games will be played at Natomas High.

When it comes to playing basketball, it’s her talent and a desire to play basketball which drive Daniel.

“She’ll go out there and she’s all butterflies and ice cream,” Hampton said. “But she will (dominate) them. She can score at will.”

A passion for music and basketball are deeply rooted in Daniel’s family.

Daniel is the fourth of eight children. She said she was inspired to take up music because her three older siblings were all musicians. Daniel said she “came out (of the womb) dribbling” because her father, Kevin, is a high school basketball coach in Georgia.

The Inderkum basketball team is back at the top of the Tri-County Conference, thanks in large part to Daniel. The Tigers (15-10, 9-0) clinched the league title outright on Tuesday with a 51-47 win over Pioneer High School. It is the third TCC title for Inderkum in the last four seasons.

Daniel leads the Tigers in scoring (12.2 points) and rebounds (7.3) and is only second behind sophomore Shymir Mitschan-Baldwin in steals (2.5). Her breakout performance this season came in a non-league game against El Camino High School during which Daniel scored a season-high 35 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel has recorded seven double-doubles this season on the court.

While the boys varsity team plays tonight, Daniel will be in the stands – performing with the band. Being in a the school band while striving to become a collegiate-level basketball player has been a challenge for the soft-spoken honor roll student.

“It’s interesting and difficult,” said Daniel, who has a 3.3 GPA. “With practices, you have to make the transition between band and basketball. It’s difficult, but it gives you different views.”

Daniel said she would like to pursue both basketball and music in college.

“They are both my passions,” she said. “I can’t really get away from either.”

Kyliyah Daniel is talented both off and on the court. / Photo by Jeremiah McWright, NHS intern

Kyliyah Daniel is talented both off and on the court. / Photo by Jeremiah McWright, NHS intern


  1. Shes the most amazing girl in the world!! The daniel family is amazing!

  2. LaWanda Wesley says

    I’m a proud mom. Love this girl!!!!

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