116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — All-state girls’ basketball player Kelsey Joens has been granted permission to play her final season with her sister.
The whole season.
The Iowa City Community School District board of directors voted 4-3 Tuesday night to approve open enrollment for Joens, waiving the 90-day sit-out clause.
An Iowa State University commit, Joens intends to enroll at West Liberty Wednesday, and hopes to be in class Thursday. Because of the waiver, she will be eligible immediately to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Joens’ older sister, Courtney Joens, was hired as the Comets’ coach last summer.
“I’m super excited,” Kelsey said Tuesday night. “Not many players get this opportunity, to play for their sister. It’s a cool opportunity, and I didn’t want to miss out.”
City High principal John Bacon said Wednesday morning, “I totally understand that this is very special for the family. We wish Kelsey nothing with the best. She is a great player and an even better human being.”
A 5-foot-10 guard, Joens earned Class 5A first-team all-state honors last season as City High (19-5) reached the state quarterfinals.
She averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a junior, and has scored 1,056 career points with one season remaining.
Courtney Joens is the oldest of five sisters in the basketball-playing family. After her career at City High, she played at the University of Illinois.
Ashley Joens is an All-American at Iowa State and will play her fifth year for the Cyclones next season. Aubrey Joens played two years at ISU and transferred after last season to Oklahoma, where she has three years of eligibility remaining.
Their father, Brian Joens said Tuesday, “I’m so happy. This has been so stressful. Kelsey wanted to play for her sister all along.”
Kelsey’s anticipated arrival makes West Liberty (19-5 last year) an instant factor in the Class 3A championship hunt. The Comets already were returning three starters — senior Finley Hall (12.7 points per game), sophomore Pearson Hall (7.0 ppg) and sophomore Sophie Buysse (2.5 ppg).
“I’ve met most of them,” Kelsey said. “I played some youth basketball with Finley. I’ve known her for quite a while.”