Posted On: 04/11/19 10:35 PM
True point guards are few and far between in today’s game, as more and more players are hunting their own shot on a consistent basis. The term “combo guard” more oftentimes than not, means a shooting guard in a point guard’s sized body. Washington does have some pure point guards and junior Dayla Ballena just so happens to be one of the very best. The 5’7 floor general has made some major strides in her game in the last year and the accolades and college attention is starting to resonate as a result.
Kentridge High School has been home to a lot of talent in recent years and Dayla Ballena is apart of the talent surge in Kent. In her freshman and sophomore seasons, she received zero accolades acknowledging her contributions on the court. Scoring 30 points and displaying pure domination with size is not necessarily her strong point, but the 5’7 point guard found her niche just before the winter of her junior season. As apart of her maturation process as a player, Dayla mentioned, “my experiences throughout last summer not only made me more of a leader, but it brought me closer to my goal of being a confident, aggressive and mature point guard.” Attending camps and running the point for her former club team, the Seattle Stars, helped her gain the edge that she felt was missing. She made her presence felt this winter, being voted onto the NPSL First Team All-League and All-Defense rosters. When asked how she would describe her own game she says, “I would describe myself generally as a true point guard. I find joy in assisting my teammates. I am a floor general. I create for teammates and myself. I would say that I am quick, but at my quickest on defense . I can get to the hoop when I need to and knock down shots from the arc and beyond.”
Dayla has a strong work ethic and has spent her entire life working in the gym to ultimately play basketball at the highest level she can and gain a scholarship. It has been a pleasure to watch Dayla play for the last 7-8 years and track her progress. Prep Girls Hoops caught up with the pure point to see what she needs to work on and how the recruitment process has been going so far.
The recruitment process in September was crazy! September 1st (the first day I could be contacted directly) was very exciting! Several schools from the Big Sky conference, Pac 12, Ivy League and multiple others were and have been in contact with me since. This experience has pushed me to work even harder. I knew that if colleges showed this much interest after one summer, It would make my goal even closer to reach.
As mentioned, Dayla is being recruited to the Division 1 level. As of right now, Dayla has said that she will stay in touch with all of the schools that have been recruiting her headed into her final club season, competing with Tree of Hope’s 17u EYBL team. She loves her home state, but she is willing to travel far for school if it is the best fit for what she is looking for. So, what is she looking for? “I take pride in my education and what happens in the classroom. Any school that makes education a priority is high on my list.” Dayla hopes to take multiple unofficial visits this club season, then cut her list down. When she is down to a short list of schools her plan is to take some officials and make her final decision following the summer. “Until then, you’ll find me working hard in the lab!”
Dayla’s Club Season Schedule: