LYNN, Mass. — Bella Owumi picked up a basketball at an age when some kids preferred picking up crayons. Her passion for hooping started in kindergarten when tagging along with her dad to his pickup games.
“I just really wanted to get into it, so they signed me up at the YMCA and I started playing with the boys. I didn’t really like it at first, I thought they didn’t pass the ball enough, so I wanted to quit but thank God I didn’t,” says Owumi.
She has since dribbled her way to St. Mary’s Elementary through high school in Lynn. For the past two years, she has played on the varsity team while still in middle school.
“As a coach, she is the type of player that makes you look good because she is able to do things that really are God-given and not something you coach,” says Jeff Newhall, St. Mary’s Girls’ Basketball Coach, and Athletic Director.
“I usually just work out when everyone is sleeping,” says Owumi.
The 6 am workouts have paid off. She has scored 5 college scholarship offers-netting the first one from the University of Rhode Island as a 7th grader.
One of her other offers came from Boston College just 40 minutes from St. Mary’s
“I have a lot of time to decide, and I am humbled that I have even one,” says Owumi.
Her skills don’t stop on the basketball court. It’s “and one” with her classroom performance. Harvard has also offered her a scholarship.
“I feel like her reputation as a student, as a person, and as a basketball player is what is making her really something that people are interested in,” says Coach Newhall.
“My dream schools are South Carolina and Louisville,” says Owumi.
Owumi’s hoop dreams ultimately include playing in the WNBA, but first one basket and a time.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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