Kisha Ford is full of surprises.
Sometimes she provided them on the basketball court.
While driving the lane, for example, the Bryn Mawr senior guard unexpectedly would dish off the ball Player of the Year
with a no-look pass. The precise pass often would take the defenders as well as the recipient unaware.
Ford's decisions off the court also have surprised some.
During her first two years of high school, she was a key member of Western's nationally ranked team. But after her sophomore year, Ford transferred to Bryn Mawr.
Why would a player with Ford's undeniable talent leave such a high-profile program to play for a team in the lightly regarded Association of Independent Schools league?
"I thought Bryn Mawr would be better for me and my future," she said. "I made the decision that academics were more important than athletics."
Her statistics this season were not a shock to anyone. Ford, The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Girls Basketball Player of the Year, averaged 21.5 points -- third in the area -- and 13.3 rebounds.
A good one-on-one player who improved her shooting range this season, Ford was also her team's best ballhandler and defensive player.
She was named to the All-Metro team for the fourth consecutive year. Ford, who is headed to Georgia Tech on a basketball scholarship, also was selected as a member of the 1992-93 Kodak All-America team.
Along with McDonogh's Sonia Chase, Ford has helped to put the AIS on the basketball map. Ford led Bryn Mawr (18-2) to a top-10 ranking this season.
"She has raised the level of play in the AIS and given it a lot of credibility in basketball," Bryn Mawr coach Pat Becker said.
Because Ford's skill level was superior to nearly everyone in the AIS, some speculated that she either would get bored with the competition or frustrated with her teammates.
Becker helped to ensure that neither happened by scheduling four non-league games against teams ranked in The Baltimore Sun's top 20 during the season.
Bryn Mawr played fifth-ranked St. Mary's in the Baltimore Girls Independent Schools Basketball Championship and Sidwell Friends, which had been ranked by The Washington Post, as well.
"My only insecurity was that she would be happy playing with the kids we have at Bryn Mawr and feel challenged," Becker said. "It has worked out well for her and the kids. In particular this year she worked hard to help the other players."
This year, Ford led the Mawrtians to their second straight undefeated season in league play and the tournament title.
While at Western, she was a member of two City-Wide and Metro Classic championship teams.
Overall, Ford's teams went 86-5. Success followed wherever she went.