PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sofia Bell hasn’t signed her commitment letter to college just yet, but her recruitment began about a generation ago.
It’s impossible to separate her love of the game from the love of a daughter for her father, Greg Bell.
“We had a hoop outside our house and we always shot around. He coached me when I was younger and so that was really fun and we still go to the gym together like every day,” Sofia told KOIN 6 News. “So, yeah, he’s still a big part of my basketball life.”
That she picked up some basketball skills from the former Pac-10 guard is obvious but maybe more importantly is the mentality Greg passed on to his daughter in these backyard basketball sessions.
“The dedication, I think, is the main thing, having someone that you respect as a player is big,” she said. “So just being able to listen to him and learn from him — he played guard, as well — so just being able to hear his feedback and learn from him is really cool.”
But Sofia, currently enrolled at St. Mary’s Academy, learned the game from more than just her dad. Her 6th-grade inspiration in the women’s game needs only a first name.
“In middle school, a lot of Sabrina,” she said. “She’s definitely my favorite player.”
The likes of Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard made the Ducks as electric as their uniform combos.
“Just seeing also the amount of fan support those players drew was awesome, like so many of my friends in Portland always talking about going to the games,” Sofia said. “Being able to see how they elevated their game while in college and the player development is really cool.”
That in and of itself may have been enough to seal the deal for the Ducks on the state’s highest-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023. But for Sofia the truth of how she made her decision is as simple as it is straightforward.
“My dad played at Oregon and so I’ve been a Duck since I was born,” she said. “I just have always been a Duck fan and, so, yeah, being able to commit here is really exciting.”
It also didn’t hurt Sofia has been attending camps at Oregon for years and said the relationship she developed with Head Coach Kelly Graves was also a big part of her decision to commit to Eugene.