Sports Spotlight: Alliya Pinckney - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Sports Spotlight: Alliya Pinckney

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She's new to the program and in many ways new to the sport, but Alliya Pinckney dribble circles around most college basketball players.

The University of Mary junior is so good at it, she actually leads the team drills, which is why Alec Ausmus puts her in this week's Sport Spotlight.

Some fundamentals are easily over looked, but are extremely important to the game. Alliya Pinckney (Pink-Knee) is new to the Marauders Basketball program, and has a skill that separates her from the rest.

"I'm obviously a lot shorter then other people that I'm going to come across, so I need some way to set myself a part," says Gallia Pinckney.

Listed at just 5-foot-5 Alliya mastered a different skill.

"My brother has always challenged me to be the best ball handler I can be, and I've put so much time into it and my brother has always put me through drills and I always take them to the next level," she says.

"You know just working on your skills, I don't think I've coached anyone that can dribble like her and you know I used to be the two ball dribbling wizard for basketball camps when I was a young coach cutting my teeth, but I'm no where close to what she can do," says coach Rick Neumann.

You would think it would take a lifetime to develop the handling skills Alliya has, but basketball hasn't always been her main focus.

"Gymnastics, at the level I was at, it's not really a team sport. I was by myself, but basketball is definitely team work and you can't win without your teammates, but in gymnastics it's every man for himself," Pinckney says.

"Some of our recruits talk about how they follow her Insta-gram page and they are trying to do some of the drills that she does on her own in here," says Neumann.

Pinckney adds depth to the point guard position for the Marauders and can be that positive spark plug every teams needs, but every player always has something to improve on.

"That is why ball handling, as I've grown has made my life harder, because I have so many options but when I learn to stop thinking and let the game come to me, then honestly the sky is the limit and I know that," she says.

It's not always about being the tallest, but good at the basics.

It's a busy week for college athletes like Pinckney.  It's finals week, and the Marauders play their in-state rival on Friday.

U-Mary is hosting Minot State at the "MAC." The doubleheader will be live on NBC North Dakota Sports beginning at six central time starting with the women's game.  The Beavers won both games in their first meeting of the season.

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