Eleko pg 1 9-3-20

Eleko came
ready to work
Alphonsia Eleko got right to it. In her phone calls and Zoom meetings with Putnam Science Academy girls’ basketball coach Devin Hill, she wanted to know if she could work one-on-one with the coaches to develop the parts of her game that she wanted to develop.
“Most kids ask about who else is on the team or this or that — and those are all legitimate questions — but Alphonsia, she wanted to get to work,” Hill said recently, while also adding he answered in the affirmative. “We love that. She wants to get better. Her questions were about development and growth as a player but as a person too.”
Eleko, a versatile 6-footer, announced this summer that she would be leaving St. Laurent in Montreal to begin her junior year with the Mustangs in the fall.  A physical post player who can also shoot it from outside, Eleko’s adds to the stockpile of talent the Mustangs are amassing in hopes of claiming their first national championship.
“I play inside. I think that I’m strong one-on-one inside,” she said. “Outside, I can shoot the ball and I can drive a little bit too. This year with St. Laurent, I would start inside and then float outside if I wanted to.
“Talking about basketball, I really hope we win a championship as a team. And I hope I’m going to be a better player and go to the next level. I really work hard so I hope that going to Putnam is going to open doors for me and I will become the player I want to be.”
Said Hill: “In 2020, the way the game is played, she’s the perfect wing/forward. She’s a legit 6-foot. She’s really strong and she can really shoot the ball, which is nice. And she’s someone you can’t hide a bad defender or a small defender on because she’s really physical and can really score in the post. You need to match her physicality or else it’s going to be a long game for whoever’s guarding her.”
One of Eleko’s PSA teammates will be a familiar face in the person of Louella Allana. The two have played together for five years, including the last two at St. Laurent, and Allana has seen drastic improvements over the years.
“The thing I like about Alphonsia is that she is always a hard worker,” Allana said. “She wants to prove people wrong. You can see the changes in who she is right now from who she was before.
“I think the best thing about Alphonsia is that she is always willing to learn, she’s always willing to unlock another level for her to succeed. When she knows Level 1, she knows she can’t stop at Level 1. She always tries to be at Level 2, and then Level 3, Level 4. That’s what I love about Alphonsia.”
Eleko, who picked up an offer this summer from Mountain West member San Jose State, felt comfortable that Hill and PSA’s coaching staff were the right people to keep unlocking her levels. But she said she knows it’s not just about basketball for them either, which was just as important to her.
“Other coaches at other schools, I was feeling they cared about me because I can bring something on the court. But do they care about me, do they care about my grades?” she said. “Devin, he believes in me in school and on the court.
“My hope here, if I say in general, I just hope that when I go to university, that I am going to be a better person and that Putnam is going to help me mature and learn things about people and the world. I feel like they will help me be a better basketball player but also be that better person too.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


RocketTheme Joomla Templates