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Swedlund’s work ethic pays off big-time for defending champion Winner Warriors

Warriors junior is among the state’s best!
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 11:33 PM CST
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WINNER, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Bella Swedlund’s basketball dreams began for a buck. Bella Swedlund says, “I fell in love with it when I was really young. I know there’s this picture of me back when I was maybe about 2 at Easter when my parents got me a ball and I apparently wouldn’t put it down. A big old orange basketball from the dollar store.”

It took an even greater investment for them to mature at Winner High School. “I’ve been getting to the gym at about 5:30 every morning since I started driving’” says Swedlund. Larry Aaker, Winner Girls Basketball Coach says, “I don’t know if she mentioned it but she has to drive probably 15-20 minutes too, so you’re talking about getting up at 5 AM to get in to the gym by 5:30. So that right there tells you what kind of work ethic she has.”

And it’s paid off. Starting as a seventh grader, Bella broke out as a freshman in 2019 when she averaged 16 points and six rebounds a game and helped lead the Warriors to a state title. Swedlund was even better last year, averaging 20 and 7 a game to become the only sophomore to earn First Team All-State honors. Aaker says, “She had a high basketball IQ to begin with. When you play as much as she does obviously you’re just going to keep growing and growing.” Bella says, “I’m extremely competitive. There’s no-one harder on myself besides me. I think once you fall in love with it, you know this is what you’ve got to do.”

And that’s got a lot of Division One colleges lining up to invest in Swedlund. Though she always saw big time college hoops in her future... “I don’t know where exactly I want to go. My plan is before any college thinking about I want to win 2 more state championships. It means that I have to put on my best game every game. And that’s how we win,” says Swedlund.

Bella isn’t about to be short changed in the present. Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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