Conestoga’s Ellie Mack is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Mack, a 6-1 senior forward, returned to action after missing her entire junior year with an ACL injury with a 24-point, 12-rebound effort in the Pioneers’ 47-34 opening-game win against Springfield, going 14-for-14 from the free throw line. She was a two-time All-Central League player as an underclassman. 

Q: What is your most vivid memory of Conestoga’s opening game win against Springfield, your first game back from the ACL injury – can you share it with us?

A: It was such a great feeling to get back on the court with my high school teammates again after not playing for a year.  It was really tough not playing last year, so just being on the court with all of the girls was the best part of the game.

Q: You were 14-for-14 from the free throw line in the opener. What was the key to your success making free throws?

A: When I was recovering from my ACL injury I couldn’t do much in regards to basketball, so I spent most of my time shooting free throws and working on ball handling.  From all of that practice, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from the free throw line.
Q: Tell us a little about the ACL injury and the rehab. How long was the rehab? What was the most challenging part of the rehab?

A: I tore my ACL the summer before my junior year during the middle of my AAU season, just before the start of college evaluation period.  I didn’t start playing again until this past April, about nine months after my initial injury.  The hardest part about the rehab was staying motivated because of how long the process was and the time it took to get through each phase of recovery.  I didn’t see much improvement the first few months and it was hard to persevere through the pain when I didn’t feel like I was improving.

Q: Who is your favorite basketball player, and why? Is there a player whose game you try to pattern yours after?

A: Maya Moore and Larry Bird are my two favorite basketball players.  I’ve tried to model a lot of my game off of Maya’s.  One of my favorite moves is the pullup jump shot, and she has one of the best in the women’s game.  One thing that I really like about Larry Bird is his creativity and passing ability.  Oh yeah, he also is an OK shooter.

Q: What to you is the biggest key to rebounding?

A: When I rebound I try to predict where the ball is going to come off the rim and then get position on the other girls.

Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?

A: My mid-range game is the strongest part of my game.  In a lot of situations I would much rather take the pull up mid range jump shot than drive and take a contested lay up.  I’m currently working on improving my post moves with my back to the basket.

Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.

A: I usually just shoot for about 30 minutes and listen to music then do the usual warm ups with the rest of the team.

Q: What is your favorite basketball venue, and why?

A: Our home gym is definitely my favorite.  I’ve spent so much time in there, and I’m really comfortable playing there.

Q: Who have been your biggest basketball mentors, and what was the important thing each of them taught you?

A: My biggest basketball mentor has been my Dad.  He’s pretty much taught me everything I know about basketball.
Q: You’ll be playing basketball at Bucknell next winter. What attracted you to Bucknell? What were some of the other schools in the running?

A: Bucknell provided me with the perfect balance between basketball and academics.  It gives me the opportunity to play high level basketball and get a great education.  I was considering a number of schools, but in the end it came down to Bucknell, Lehigh and Delaware.

Q: What do you think you’d like to major in at Bucknell? Is there a particular career field that interests you at the present time?

A: At this point, I haven’t decided on a major.  However, I will probably major in some type of science because that’s a field that I’ve always enjoyed and excelled at.

Fun facts – Ellie Mack
Favorite book: The Help
Favorite TV show: Parks and Recreation
Favorite movie: The Lion King
Favorite athlete: Maya Moore
Favorite pre-game meal: Wawa sandwich and Nilla Wafers.
Birth date: April 10, 1998
Family members: Randy (father), Janice (mother), Phil (brother).
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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