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Friends’ Central’s Nal’La Bennett is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week (Feb. 6-12)

The 5-foot-8 sophomore guard has been a welcome addition to the Phoenix this winter, averaging 15 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg and 2 spg this season after playing for Timber Creek High School in Earial, N.J. as a freshman. On Jan. 27, in a packed Friends’ Central gym on Spirit Night, she set the school record for three-point baskets (11), scoring 39 points in a win against Academy of the New Church. Friends’ Central girls basketball head coach Vincent Simpson said, “Nal’La has been a great addition to our program. She’s a hard worker — on and off the court she brings good energy. You might not get many smiles or words on the court but off the court you will get all the laughs and jokes. She’s a great kid.”


Q: What is your favorite memory of the night you connected for 11 treys on Spirit Night – can you share it with us?


A: My favorite memory from that night was just the energy in the gym and the atmosphere. I love being around great energy because I feel like it rubs off on me. I loved how when I broke the record everyone was excited for me and jumping around.


Q: What do you think have been the biggest keys to your offensive output this season?


A: I think the biggest keys to my offensive output in this season is just finding a way create my own shot. I am trying to get downhill more even if it is just a midrange pullup or even just a floater to add on to the score.


Q: What aspect(s) of your game did you work on most during the past off-season?


A: During the off season I worked on getting my shots off quicker and just extending my range. I was trying to make sure that my shots stayed consistent. I was also making sure that I worked on my handle because I needed to get stronger with the ball in my hands.


Q: Tell us a little about your start in basketball. Who have been your top basketball mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?


A: I started playing basketball when I was 5 because my brother used to play and I used to be at his practices all the time. I used to be on the other side of the court just dribbling and my parents just ended up signing me up to play. My top basketball mentors have been all of my trainers. My first-ever trainer, Jordian, taught me all of the fundamentals of the game and has been on my side ever since. My second trainer, AP, taught me how to shoot, he perfected my form by having me form shoot on the wall before every session. These past two years my trainers Tyler Hines and Dave Williams have made me the person who I am now. They always allow me to work out even if it’s early morning or late nights. These two make sure I stay consistent with everything and always give me advice on what I can do better as a person and a player.


Q: Who is your favorite basketball player and why?


A: My favorite basketball player is Paige Bueckers. She is my favorite player because I feel like my game can relate to hers a little bit. She can shoot the ball well and also get downhill anytime she wants to. She just has that passion in her to be great.


Q: What attracted you to Friends’ Central?


A: What attracted me to Friends’ Central was how much my coach wanted me to come play for him. Coach Vinny (Simpson) really tried his hardest to get me into the school. He showed that he really cared and wanted me to be there with the team for my last three years of high school. The education is also really good. The school doesn’t feel like a regular school at all, it is helping you get prepped for college.


Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 30 for Friends’ Central basketball – is there a reason you chose that number?


A: The reason that I chose this number is because my birthday is Jan. 30. I also chose this number because it has the number 3 in it. A lot of generations in my family have worn No. 3 while playing basketball.


Q: What is your favorite academic course at Friends’ Central? What do you think you might like to major in when you go to college?


A: My favorite academic course at Friends’ Central was my art class that I took my first semester. This was my favorite because the projects we did let me be in full control of what I created. The course was really calming and helped me settle down from the rest of my classes. I think I would like to major in sports medicine. I would like to major in this because I would like to stay involved in sports even if I decide I do not want to further my basketball career after college.


Fun facts – Nal’La Bennett

Favorite TV show: All American Homecoming.

Favorite athlete: Paige Beuckers.

Favorite pre-game pump-up song: “Anything by Lil Durk.”

Favorite place to visit: Bahamas.

Favorite pre-game meal: Candy.


(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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