Best of the Best Class of ’26: Bella Ragone

April 17, 2023

(Middle) Bella Ragone, 9, being guarded by two Buford players in a home game earlier this season.
Credit: PG Stewart

Bella Ragone, 9, is a basketball player that plays for the Varsity Lady Hawks basketball team.

Despite this being Ragone’s first year in high school, she is one of the five starters in Mill Creek’s lineup. While she is still in the process of developing, she already has Division One offers from both Marist College and Lipscomb University. When asked how she felt when she received her first offer, Ragone said, “I was shocked, but really happy. I always dreamed of getting my first D1 offer when I was younger, but that moment when it happens is indescribable. Honestly, it was one of the best moments of my life.”

Ragone may be a freshman, but she has dropped multiple 20+ point games with her scoring a season high 37 points in an 85-74 double overtime loss against Buford. Ragone is also the only freshman on the varsity roster.

When asked what it’s like playing with upperclassmen, Ragone said, “It’s really exciting to play with those that are more experienced, especially since most of the starters are juniors and seniors. To put it simply, it is an amazing opportunity.”

Ragone isn’t positive as to what college she wants to go to or what career path she wants to take due to her being early into high school. However, she says that Stanford University is one of the top schools she is considering; she says that she can envision herself majoring in sports medicine or broadcasting.

While Ragone has a lot of experience playing basketball, she is still new when it comes to navigating high school. High school is a brand new experience that is the first path of a teen growing into a young adult; it challenges one’s ability to navigate day-to-day life while dealing with the pressures of various different factors.

As far as her experience thus far, Ragone says, “It’s definitely been a different experience, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve learned that balancing school and basketball can be difficult, but once I got the hang of it, it was much easier for me to stay focused.”

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