Maine West hoops star gives another sport a shot
A week before Alisa Fallon took her first shot put, she was taking her last basketball shot of the season.
Normally known as a star on Maine West High School's girls basketball team, Fallon decided to try shot put this winter, and a new star was born, as she won the Central Suburban League indoor title in March.
Fallon told the North Cook News in an email that the first time she got out to throw the shot put was on March 6, just after the basketball team's season ended in the super-sectional. She said Steven Phia, Maine West's head track coach, was instrumental in getting her to try it.
“Coach Phia approached me earlier in the school year and asked me to try it out in the spring," Fallon said. "I figured that since I had never tried it, and I've heard nothing but good things about Coach Phia, I'd give it a go,” Fallon said.
She said she had doubts about competing.
“I was really happy that I proved myself wrong and even hit a strong," she said. "Coach Phia said that this was a great way to head into the outdoor season."
A "strong" is jargon for a personal best. In this case, it was Fallon throwing the shot put 35 feet, 6 inches.
Spring has been kind to Fallon. She was named to the Class 3A/4A All-State Second Team by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, the second time in a row the junior earned recognition from the IBCA, having been a special mention selection as a sophomore at Trinity.
Fallon earned her most recent basketball honor after averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, according to the team's statistics on MaxPreps.com.
When she transferred to Maine West from Trinity before last season, Fallon was coming from a freelancing-style of play to one that was more focused on sets and plays, she said. Playing last season in the Maine West system helped her expand her game knowledge.
“I know that these skills are important to have at the next level, and I understand that it's important to start working on them now,” she said.
She also felt she benefited from the emphasis on physical condition at MWHS, with her muscle mass and conditioning improving and helping her game. And she said she expanded her leadership qualities both on the floor and off.
“I couldn't be any more proud of my team here at Maine West, but the only thing missing this year was a state championship," she said. "We're actively working on that and hope to get there next year."
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