This edition of Five Qustions & Quick Hitters is with Ella Mullenbach, a talented 2025 Guard from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School (MN) and Minnesota Stars club program. Thanks for your time Ella!
1. You play club basketball with Minnesota Stars. What were some of your fondest memories from last season, and what are some of your expectations for yourself for the coming season in 2023?
It was such a fun AAU season! Some of my favorite memories were winning our first tournament, "Battle for Mom", beating a very talented Metro Stars team who we lost to earlier in the season and seeing so many great people every practice and tournament!
I expect myself to trust my training. Be confident in all the skills that I work so hard on everyday.
2. Minnesota Valley Lutheran is coming off a 21 win season, but there has been a lot of loss to graduation. As one of the key returning players, what are some of your team goals, and what would you like to see from yourself individually in your Sophomore season?
During my freshman season at MVL, I got to learn from 8 seniors and good coaches. This year will be a rebuilding season. We have a new head coach who brings a lot of great passion to the game!
My team goals for the coming season are to get everyone "all in" and invested in our program. I want to help utilize everyone's strengths and get people to realize every player is valuable. If we can play strong defense as a team, we have a shot at winning some games that no one expects us to win. Some of my personal goals are to adjust quickly to each defense, finish through hard contact, get to the free throw line, quick releases on 3's and get a few "sneak steals" each game.
3. Over the summer you attended Tampa Women's basketball camp. What was the experience like and what were some of the things you learned while working with the college coaches?
I felt like I was in a dream and didn't want to wake up. It made me even more motivated. Their facilities, campus and coaches are excellent. I learned different ways to attack the basket and several little tweaks to help my defense. All the coaches were extremely positive and it was so fun to play with people throughout the country.
4. Following that question with a recruiting one. Do you know what you will be looking for in a college and basketball program, and who are some of the people you will look to for advice on their recruiting front?
It can get tricky...I'm trying to enjoy every second of high school ball while also thinking ahead. I'm open to going almost anywhere in the US for college. I'd love to play for a basketball program that will continue to push me to be my best and sees value in me.
I've been asking former and current college athletes for their insight. Shannon Shonrock (now Swanson) is my little sister's AAU coach and she has been full of good insight on the recruiting process. Mike Mills has been a great resource for me as well.
5. I noticed 1 Corinthians 2:9 in your Twitter bio. I looked it up, but what does the reading mean to you personally, and what role does faith play in your athletic endeavors?
That verse is so powerful. I strongly believe we all have a purpose. We've been given a variety of gifts and talents and it's our job to make the most of them. Trusting in God's plan for me even though I see a little bit of the picture. My faith keeps me focused and moving forward.
1.Fastest teammate: Addison Hoof, 4th grade NT
2.Favorite All-Time Coach: Contreras, Post
3:Favorite Social Media: snapchat
4:Favorite Netflix Series: Stranger Things
5:Favorite Class: Art
6:Toughest Class: Geometry
7:Biggest phobia: Drowning
8:Go-to game-day snack: Bubblr
9:Name of favorite High School play you run: Football
10:Favorite place you've traveled to for basketball event: Tampa