Groomed For The Game

by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup

Alex Bentley was groomed for the game.

“I have had a love for basketball ever since I touched the ball. I got introduced to the game by my dad, who used to play in a lot of local leagues. I used to go around with him from gym to gym while he played and that’s how I got started,” Bentley told SLAMonline.

The Indiana native was taught a solid foundation early in her basketball career, and continued to build upon that throughout high school. As Bentley’s confidence grew and instincts took over, Bentley became a force on the court.

While at Pike (IN) High, Bentley starred at the point guard position. Playing alongside now-Kentucky guard Bria Goss and Dee Dee Williams of Purdue, Alex led the team to a 30-0 record and the No. 1 rank in the nation. Despite the opportunities to play ball in the Midwest, Bentley had other desires.

“I wanted to get out of Indianapolis. I grew up there for 18 years but I wanted to experience something different. It was time for a change and see another part of the country,” Bentley said.

Timing is everything. In came Penn State coach Coquese Washington, providing an opportunity to play early and in an up-tempo offense. The offer is too tempting to resist, as Bentley signs on to be a Nittany Lion.

Coach Quese’ kept her word. When describing Penn State Basketball Bentley said, “We play fast. We want to put points up on the board, which we do night in and night out. It’s so much fun.”

Scoring in bunches comes natural to a backcourt partner nicknamed “Machine Gun.” Maggie Lucas loves to make it rain treys, and is the perfect complement to Bentley’s relentless dribble attack.

On her downtime, Bentley also loves to watch the game and to this day, is a devout Indiana Fever fan.

“I think Tamika Catchings is amazing. I think she is the best all-around player in the league. She works terribly hard, and her focus on the court is unprecedented,” Bentley said.

Some things in life, we learn best through observation. Bentley has a similar workman-like approach to her game. “I am excited to get into the gym, I am always pumped up to get after it here. I have to be a leader and encourage my teammates.”

Things seem to be rounding out quite nice for Bentley, as she led her team to a Big Ten championship last year.

“It speaks volumes to what we came here for, which was to win and rebuild a program here. Raising that banner just signifies us coming together as a team,” Bentley said.

Many draft boards may have the guard as a lock for the first round in the next WNBA Draft, but Alex has her eyes on something else first: a National Championship. And even though she’s not too hot on the idea now, Alex won’t rule out calling plays in a different light—with the clipboard: “Coach Quese in one of our convos said she didn’t want to coach either. but she got into it over time. So you can never say never,” she said.

Right on, Alex. Right on.