695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Aberdeen's tenacious defender Nia Alleyne has been a crucial part of the team's recent success. In addition to her stellar defense Ms. Alleyne has displayed a knack for making big shots and being in the right place at the right time. She has proven to be a reliable scorer by leading the team on more than occasion. The future pharmacist took a few minutes to answer some questions for 695Hoops.
695: How old were you when you started playing? How did you get started?
Nia: I played basketball at the gym and on the streets since I was like 6. I got started playing organized ball at age 11. My cousin was currently playing on a travel team called the Lady Bulls. They needed players. I wasn't very experienced but I said "why not?" and began playing basketball there.
695: Where did you grow up?
Nia: I pretty much grew up here in Maryland. I've been living here from K-12.
695: Have you played any other sports?
Nia: I also run cross country in the fall season and I jump and run in track and field in the spring.
695: Which AAU teams have you played for?
Nia: I played for a team called the Lady Bulldogs when I was 12 along with some of my current teammates, Lakeia Hayden, Jimmia McCluskey, and Grace Taylor. From age 13 to 15 I played for Wardell Selby's Baltimore Cougars, then I played for Mike Blizzard and the Baltimore Starz the summer before my freshmen year. Then, later I returned to the Cougars for my last two years of AAU.
695: Who is your favorite coach that you have had so far?
Nia: My favorite coach that I've had so far would be Wardell Selby, my AAU coach. He taught me how to play more aggressive and still stay disciplined on the court. He's no joke, he knows what he's talking about when he coaches.
695: What do you want to add to your game?
Nia: I need to add to my defensive game. It's good, but it could never be just good enough. I can't settle for decent defense, it needs to be tenacious, so then my offensive game will come easier.
695: How is it playing with a dominant post player like Brionna Jones? Does it help your game?
Nia: Playing with a dominant post player like Bri Jones does help my game. Knowing that she's down in the post and is always willing to kick the ball back out makes me not have many second-thoughts with my actions in the game. I can go for shots or penetrations confidently knowing that she'll be there for the rebound or the dish-off.
695: You guys had a nice run to UMBC last year. How was that experience?
Nia: That experience playing at UMBC last season was astonishing. There's nothing like playing on the big court. It felt really good to make it up there and have all that hard work pay off.
695: Who is your favorite player?
Nia: My favorite player has always been Chauncey Billups. I just love the way he plays. He's not Kobe or Lebron, but a very quality player indeed, in my opinion.
695: Yes, he's not afraid to take and make big shots either. What's your favorite class in school?
Nia: My favorite class in school this year is a class called Science Research and Technology. It's offered to students in the Science and Mathematics program at my school, which I am in. I love biology and chemistry. This class sort of combines them. It also gives me the opportunity to do work in actual labs on military bases working with chemicals and such.
695: What other hobbies do you have besides playing ball?
Nia: My other hobbies are playing video games and just hanging with my best people.
695: Tell me about a funny basketball road trip.
Nia: Every bus ride is funny with the girls. After every victory, we get this idea that we're all rappers and singers and the bus turns into a moving concert. It's just wild and fun.
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