Bella Alarie on the Her Hoop Stats podcast

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This week on the Her Hoop Stats podcast, John Liddle talked with Bella Alarie, the former Princeton standout who the Dallas Wings selected fifth overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft, about her senior thesis, what Princeton could’ve done in the NCAA Tournament, and more. 

Read the highlights from the interview below and listen to the entire episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode Highlights

On her senior thesis:

I wrote about a musical from the 1920s and kind of did a deep analysis of the script and the history. Kind of talked about gender, gender roles and stereotypes and things like that. [It’s about] Shuffle Along. The cool thing about being a history major is there’s so much that can be used to make arguments and to uncover things. I’ve always been a huge fan of Broadway musicals and stuff. For me, the exciting thing was reading an original script from the 1920s and applying my knowledge and doing a deep analysis of something that I was really interested in. … At the beginning, there’s a daunting, 80-page paper to write, and then by the end, you’ve accomplished this huge task with just putting in work every day. It was exciting and really satisfying at the end.

On what could’ve happened in the NCAA Tournament:

I think we would’ve gone on a run. We were playing really good basketball. I’m a true believer that defense wins championships, especially after this season, and we were the best scoring defense in the country. I think that would’ve taken us far. Obviously, devastating for us and every other team that didn’t get the opportunity to compete, but I like to think we would’ve made some noise in the tournament.

On developing mental toughness:

I think there were two big moments in my career that kind of helped me push my mentality forward in a positive way. The first one, after my freshman year I got to play on the U19 USA team. If anything, that boosted my confidence a lot as a player because I got to play with and against the best of the best in our country and internationally. That kind of gave me that confidence boost I needed as a player. Later, down the road in my junior year, I broke my wrist before our season started and I had to sit out for the first part of our season and not get to play. That time that I spent just training, trying to get better, get myself ready and back in shape and everything, that made me so motivated to get back on the court. I felt like, my first game back, I just had a whole new gear I was reaching and had this whole new mentality. 

On the emotions of getting drafted:

I think, for me, I felt like it was the culmination of all this hard work and growth I put in as a player. It was a dream come true to be called fifth in the WNBA Draft. It was definitely a lot of emotion, and we also had a technical difficulty right before they called my name where the phone that was recording us died and we had to charge it and get it all up and running within, like, 10 seconds, so a little bit of what you saw in that reaction video was me super relieved that it even worked. But yeah, there’s so much that goes into preparing over the course of your life and specifically in my time at Princeton that got me to draft night, so it was definitely emotional.


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Thanks for reading the Her Hoop Stats Newsletter. If you like our work, be sure to check out our stats site, our podcast, and our social media accounts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also buy Her Hoop Stats gear, such as laptop stickers, mugs, and shirts!