Phillipina Kyei: Oregon's star center shining bright

A spotlight on one of the many promising, skilled, and impactful Oregon Ducks.
Oregon center Phillipina Kyei celebrates after a foul as the Oregon Ducks host the No. 16 Utah Utes.
Oregon center Phillipina Kyei celebrates after a foul as the Oregon Ducks host the No. 16 Utah Utes. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

In her junior season, Phillipina Kyei has stepped into her own at the center position. The 6-foot-8 Duck leads the team in rebounds but that hasn’t been her only contribution on the court.

Standing above all of her opponents, Kyei’s presence on the court is immediately prevalent. 

As she has gotten more and more comfortable in the paint, her ability to create plays for herself and her teammates has skyrocketed. Beyond her 12.1 rebounds per game, Kyei is averaging 13.2 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game.

When Kyei first came to Eugene, she played in just 27 games. She averaged only 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds. Over the past two years, she has worked to improve nearly every aspect of her game.

"She's starting to figure out that she can be a dominant force," head coach Kelly Graves said. "Just think two short years ago what she looked like out there. To see what she's doing out there now, that's incredible."

Moving into a starting role during her sophomore season, Kyei’s stat line numbers more than doubled. From 3.7 to 7 points per game. From 3.3 to 10.7 rebounds per game. From 0.6 to 1.5 blocks per game.

As her game has continued to improve, it has received recognition on a national level. In 2023, Kyei played on the Canadian women’s FIBA team and played 30 minutes for her country.

This season, Kyei has looked stronger and more impressive than ever as she continues to improve her game.

As the team has struggled this year, Kyei has frequently been double, if not triple, teamed to try to slow her down.

“You’ve gotta find other ways to play through your team,” Kyei told GoDucks. “Now I’ve taken it in, ‘you’re a passer, you’ve got people open. It came naturally.”

Her all-around improvement and ability to see the court around her will continue to help the Ducks improve. It will also help Kyei’s future in the NCAA and hopeful future in the WNBA.

Next. chance gray. Chance Gray: Oregon’s sophomore superstar. dark