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Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week: Micaela Ryan of Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart has been playing some good basketball lately, and Micaela Ryan is a major reason why.

The Sharks’ junior is dangerous from around the basket and away from the basket. The 6-footer hit 53 percent of her shots from three-point range, and made eight of them in a game with Wilson. Ryan also is hitting 87 percent of her free throws.

She’ll be playing at a higher level once she graduates from high school. But in the meantime, Ryan is the choice as the Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Week.

Year: Junior

Position: Guard

Uniform No.: 42

Twitter: @ryan_micaela

Coach Jack Coppola on Micaela: "Micaela was the only returning starter. It was clear to the coaches and Micaela that in order to be a successful team she would need to take on a substantial scoring role. Micaela’s main focus independent of everything else was to be a scorer. In the last several weeks the team has grown and matured offensively where the players totally trust each other. This has allowed Micaela to change her focus to be a complete player. Instead of chasing points, she has allowed the game to come to her and it has resulted in increased scoring by her and her teammates. It’s also translated to nice wins against good teams. "

Tell us about your week: “My team won three big games against good schools this week. I had a really good shooting week. This week, I was 53% from three point range, 57% from inside the arc, and 87% for free throws.”

How has your season gone so far?: “Our season has gone pretty well so far. Sacred Heart is 6-1 in league play and 13-6 overall. We lost a couple of games that we probably could have won but won some games against some great competition. We are really starting to play well as a team as we are getting to the end of the regular season and looking forward to playoffs. I am averaging about 20 points/game at this point thanks to my team looking for me to score.

Highlight of athletic career so far: “Winning the NY Class A Catholic State Championship last year for SHA. Also, I’m already receiving several Division I offers to play basketball in college at some great schools.”

Favorite thing about my sport: “The thrill of winning, getting to play basketball and travel with my teammates to different parts of the country, and hitting a long three.”

Favorite teammate and why: “If I had to pick a favorite, it would be my sister Siobhan, who is a freshman playing with me this year. She looks for me when I am open and we play well together. We have a lot of fun playing and training together.”

Toughest opponent and why: “Cardinal O’Hara High School, which is a league rival and one of the best teams in NYS. O’Hara is well coached and has many players that are very athletic, college bound basketball players. I have played with many of them on my AAU teams and against them in high school.”

WNY athlete I looked up to and why: “My older sister Kathleen who is playing Division I basketball at Brown University. She tore her ACL last year during her senior year at SHA. She worked really hard to come back from that injury. She has shown me that you can reach your dream by working hard and never giving up.”

Pro/college athlete I admire now and why: “Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, former UConn player and now a WNBA player for the Seattle Storm. She set the three-point shooting record in college for the most three-point baskets made in the NCAA.”

When I’m not playing or practicing my sport, I’m: “Hanging out with my friends or family or doing homework.”

What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): “Hopefully, an opportunity to return to the state play-offs and try and win another state championship for SHA this year. I am also looking forward to playing basketball for I-90 Elite, my AAU club. We are traveling to some great cities this year to play in some top tournaments beginning in April.”

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Attention, coaches: If one of your athletes has an outstanding week, you can nominate him or her for Prep Talk Athlete of the Week. Send an email outlining the person’s achievements by Saturday night, and we’ll consider him or her for the week’s honor.

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