Nowadays kids are playing basketball at “elite” levels in grade five, but Ella Mellinghaus never really got an opportunity to take basketball seriously until she got into grade eight — where she averaged about four minutes a game and was just happy to be on the team at Argyle Secondary.
After her first offseason going into grade nine, her grade eight coach Steve White would get her and fellow posts Maxine Turner and Julia Gocal working with former Argyle legend
Kelsey Blair and the work started to pay off. In grade nine her minutes doubled to roughly eight minutes a game and she started to fall in love with basketball. When the senior team needed a player for a club game in Victoria she stepped in and had her highest point total with a 12 point game playing alongside current SFU guard Georgia Swant. She was off to the races.
With the start of the grade 10 year upon her, Argyle Senior Girls coach Anthony Beyrouti pulled her up to the Senior team and she started from day one making an immediate impact. In 2018, that team ended up upsetting Carson Graham in the Lower Mainland Championships. Her love of basketball continued to grow and after an eventful high school and spring season, she was just recently named an all-star
in the AAA Sea To Sky Championships.
“The thing that makes Ella special is she is a great teammate and genuinely cares about the other people on her team more than herself," said Anthony Beyrouti, her head coach at Argyle and with VK Basketball. "She wants them to get the ball, she wants them to win the awards, she wants them to have fun, she rarely thinks about herself."
"I remember when we offered her a spot on our VK Basketball club team she thought I was joking and ignored the offer for a bit. The good news though is that she has put in the work and has excelled, her late start to the game has not gotten in the way of her development the last three years and she is now a legitimate U Sports player that I think will continue to get better."
Ella has worked on her game tirelessly, something that Beyrouti and her teammates say is due to her dedication and the quality coaching she has received.
"We have seen a recent jump in her game as she has continued to put in time in the weight room" explained Beyrouti "and has had great post-work coaches on her high school team with Alex Vieweg over the last few years and this year with former Canadian National team player Al Kristmanson who has really focused on the details of the game with her. It has been very cool to see the arc of her career continue to skyrocket.”
You can catch Ella and the Argyle Pipers squad at the AAA provincials starting next Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre. The seeding will be announced tomorrow night starting at 7:30.