to PSA
Louella Allana prefers the comfort of her routine. Like really, really prefers it.
“I hate change. I am that type of person,” she said recently from her home in Laval, Canada, just outside of Montreal. “I love having everything planned out.”
She admits that it was only natural then to assume that when she left St. Laurent to further her basketball game at a school in the U.S., Winston-Salem (N.C.) Christian Academy was the only (comfortable) choice because a lot of her former teammates were there.
But then, she had an enlightening moment or two.
“I told myself that in life, nothing comes easy. Nothing comes to you on a silver platter,” Allana said. “So if I can not face adversity now, while I’m still young, the adversity I face at the next levels of my life will be even harder. For me, to challenge myself at this age right now is preparing me for an even bigger change coming up.”
And so Allana, a member of the Class of 2022, eschewed the comforts of North Carolina and committed herself to Putnam Science Academy.
“I’m most excited about being in a place that I’m not so comfortable in but trying to make it work,” said Allana, a 5-foot, 4-inch point guard. “Here in St. Laurent, we don’t have that many international students but we have such a diverse culture by being first generation here in Canada. But being able to go to Putnam Science and really seeing other people, other cultures, and adapting to it, as well as me adapting to an American culture, plus learning their game of basketball, that’s what I’m most excited about.
“That’s the main reason I decided to go to Putnam Science. I know that it’s going to be nothing that I expect but all in the best and good ways.”
Allana points to Mustangs coach Devin Hill, who will be entering his first full season at the helm after taking over midyear last year, as someone who made her feel, well, comfortable with PSA. Because she was unable to visit the school in person, Allana had to lean on technology to get a feel for the school and the program. Hill won her over.
“We were able to create relationships and what he is looking for in me, I feel like that’s what I trust the most,” she said. “His vision, his plan for the team, that’s what I trust in him.
“Again, I’m someone who likes to plan, who doesn’t like going into the unknown. For him to be so engaged in his players lives, for him to start already helping in the recruitment process without us even being in the school or playing for him yet, it just shows how much dedication and heart he has for the team and his players. I think that’s one of the things that brought me to PSA.”
Hill has talked a good deal this offseason about upgrading the talent for next season, which he admits is asking a lot considering the Mustangs finished third at last season’s national tournament. He certainly believes Allana helps them do just that. And her personality is such that Hill has had her join him on Zoom calls with other players he is recruiting.
“She’s the one everyone says the same thing: ‘I really like that kid’ or ‘I love that kid.’ Some players, it doesn’t matter what the team is, they’re going to fit in,” Hill said. “That’s Lou.
“And the other thing too is she’s really, really, really good. She is everything you want in a point guard. I can’t stress that enough. She is everything you want in a point guard. Sometimes we talk about levels and worry about (colleges) and can she play here or there. I’m telling you, I don’t care where she goes, she is going to be someone that everybody likes and she’s going to play. And I’m talking about the highest level. I don’t care. She is the total package. I’m not exaggerating with that at all.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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