The 5-foot-9 sophomore forward leads the Raiders in points per game (12), rebounds (7.5 per contest) and steals (2.0 per game) as of Jan. 8. As a freshman, she was a second team All-Main Line girls’ basketball selection. During one recent week, she averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game as the Raiders went 3-0. Her father, Kit Mueller, played for legendary Princeton University men’s basketball coach Pete Carril. She also was a member of the PIAA 2A state champion Radnor girls’ lacrosse team last spring, and has committed to the admissions process at Princeton for lacrosse.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest keys to your productive scoring and rebounding?
A: Last year, I entered the program as a freshman with very athletic and talented seniors. They improved my game immensely by challenging me every day. In games, I focused on creating opportunities for my teammates. This year, I have been put in a position where I need to step up my game and focus more on scoring. My teammates now help create opportunities for me to score.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your basketball training during the past off-season – what you did to improve?
A: During this past off-season, I focused mainly on lacrosse, which is very similar to basketball. Seeing the court, passing, and spacing in basketball go hand-in-hand with lacrosse. I’ve noticed that as I improve my understanding of lacrosse, basketball improves as well. I’m thankful that all of my coaches have been extremely supportive of multi-sport athletes.
Q: Who have been your most important basketball mentors and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: My single most important basketball mentor for my entire life has been my dad. He has taught me almost everything I know about basketball, and works with me so that I can continue to improve. We spend time in the basement practicing post moves and getting open. His understanding of the game is amazing, and he is always able to offer something new for me to try. Also, in elementary school I played AAU for Comets Basketball, whose coaching staff developed the fundamentals of my game. The early focus on those skills has helped me tremendously in high school.
Q: What do you feel is your strongest aspect of your game? What are you working on most at the current time?
A: I believe that the strongest aspect of my game is my positive mentality. I am definitely not the most talented player on the court, but I try my best to give 100 percent at every practice and game, and I can shake off bad plays and continue working. I am now focusing on my shooting and free throws. After shooting a painful 31 percent last year from the free throw line, I realized that it is time to not be the player the opposing team looks to foul at the end of the game!
Q: What uniform number do you wear for Radnor? Does this number carry any special significance to you?
A: I wear No. 31 in basketball and No. 22 for lacrosse. 13 is a family number, but I couldn’t get it as a freshman, so I switched the digits. My older brother also (randomly) got this number. 22 was assigned for lacrosse, and I am happy to have it!
Q: You were part of Radnor’s PIAA 2A state championship girls’ lacrosse team last spring. What was your most vivid memory of the state final – can you share it with us?
A: Other than Julianne Puckette’s total domination of the game, ironically, my most vivid memory of the lacrosse state championship involved Coach Jordan. In the second half, I was subbed out. I had missed a shot in the previous possession, and I looked over at him standing by the fence. He was holding his nose and pointing at me saying “YOU. stink!!!!”. It is my favorite memory from the game, and still makes me laugh when I think about it. He was not only there to support me in the sport that I had missed so many basketball practices to play during his season, but he was able to lighten the mood in a rough way and remind me about the “next play” mentality.
Q: What do you think you might want to major in at Princeton? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I am interested in medicine; specifically, becoming a surgeon.
Q: Are you involved in any other extracurricular activities at Radnor other than basketball and lacrosse? What sparked your interest in these activities?
A: I am involved in Radnor Girls Crew Club and I also go to a rock climbing gym when I have the time. My crew interest was sparked by one of my good friends, Jill, who loves the environment of the team and the unique sport. I joined for my first season this fall, and instantly agreed with her. My interest in rock climbing was sparked when I was in 6th grade living in Utah for six months. A friend on my ski racing team brought me climbing with her family, and I never get sick of the adrenaline involved in the sport. I also participate in Student Council, Student Ambassadors, Model Congress, The Fresh Air Fund, and my family fosters dogs for the SPCA.
Fun facts – Ellie Mueller
Favorite book: Wonder.
Favorite TV show: The Good Doctor.
Favorite movie: Trolls.
Favorite athlete: Olivia Hompe, I would love to play like her one day.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Matches.
Favorite team: “Philadelphia Eagles!!”
Favorite place to visit: “Bermuda, because I was born there.”
Favorite pre-game meal: Jimmy John’s hoagie.
Favorite color: Blue.
Person I most admire: “I most admire my brothers, Bennett and Cooper. They always challenge me in sports, school and life. Bennett is a year older than me, and aside from being a great athlete, he has always set the bar high academically. Cooper is extremely talented at every sport that he tries, and will never turn away from the opportunity to lose to me in a basement game of basketball.”
Family members: parents Kit and Kristine, brothers Bennett and Cooper.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)