Freshman rising to the challenge

Already a national recruit, Alli Campbell is now dominating the ICC

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Phoebe Potter

Alli Campbell is averaging more than 16 points per game through the first half of the season.

Ethan McGee, Staff Sports Editor

Freshman phenomenon Alli Campbell has been stellar for Lady Blue Devils this season.

With half of her first varsity season in the books, Campbell is averaging more than 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.

The numbers don’t lie: Campbell is a major factor in the Lady Devils’ game plan.

This type of success is nothing new for Campbell.

Before the season even started Alli hwas receiving attention from many Division 1 programs due to her huge success and hard work over the the last several years playing AAU.

Receiving scholarship offers from programs such as Akron and Monmouth before ever playing a high school game really built up some hype for the upcoming season and it is very uncommon. This kind of attention only comes for the most elite players in the nation.

“I have gotten letters from many different schools, but I have received two full division 1 offers from Monmouth and Akron University. I also talk to coaches from Penn State, Rice, and Depual,” said Alli.

Alli has been recognized in all three varsity tournaments this season as an all-tournament team selection, garnering honors at tournaments in Forest Hills, Tyrone, and at the Jaffa Mosque. The double figure scorer has no intention of slowing down the success that has been coming her way.

Alli has scored more than 20 points three times this season, posted two double-doubles, and just missed another when she scored a career-high against Tyrone to go along with nine rebounds.

According to Alli, there are many people who have factored into her early success.

I am dedicated to getting better every day, outside the gym and in practice.”

— Alli Campbell

“My parents are very supportive. I can’t say enough about the coaches and teammate’s I’ve played alongside with,” she said. “I am dedicated to getting better every day, outside the gym and in practice.”

After defeating Juniata Valley this week, the Lady Blue Devils are 12-2, and Alli and her teammates have goals that will definitely push them to their limits.

“Our goals for the rest of the season are to win the ICC Championship, District 6 Championship, and compete for a state championship,” explained Campbell. “We also want to get better as a team each day.”

The sky is the limit for Campbell’s future. While gaining national respect and big time attention at a young age can sometimes rattle a player, that’s not the case with her.

“I feel my biggest challenge will be to continue balancing my academic and athletic schedules to achieve my goal of playing Division 1,” Campbell finished.

B-A coach Jim Swaney has been around great players numerous times in his career, which spans more than three decades. At Tyrone he coached two Division I scholarship winners and many college players during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, while at B-A he has coached some of the program’s top scorers, including current IUP guard Ana Hollen,  as well as all-time leading scorer and current senior Karson Swogger, who has her own Division I scholarship to play next year at St. Francis. According to Swaney, Alli has the potential to be a player like those stars.

“She is an absolute joy to coach. I am honored to be her coach,” said Swaney, “I look forward to see what the future has in store for her. There is no limit  to how far she can grow her talents.”

While Alli has played a lot of basketball in her life for a kid in her first year of high school, Coach Swaney said her passion for the game is special.

“Alli is a great student athlete. She has experienced a lot of success at a young age. She has a fire that burns inside of her to be the best she can be, on and off the court,” said Swaney.