Leah Gallagher Senior Malone

Malone’s Leah Gallagher credits two older brothers for fueling her interest in basketball. John Gokey/Malone Telegram

Q: How did you fall in love with your sport?

A: “I have two older brothers who were very good high school basketball players. I spent many days, nights and weekends in the gym watching how much fun they had playing basketball. As I got older, my father and mother began working with me and I began to love the competition and the challenge of playing the sport. I loved preparing for the games and the indescribable feeling just before the game starts and having all eyes on you. Basketball was an escape for me. When you are playing it is the only thing you are thinking about and all other problems in life just seem to fade away. Playing also gave me a great sense of accomplishment.”

Q: What’s your favorite moment as an athlete in basketball?

A: “Winning the Section 10 Class B Championship. When the clock was winding down, the buzzer sounded, and you and your team are champions, the feeling is indescribable. Your teammates and friends run to you and the celebration begins, it’s a feeling you never forget. After the initial celebration you also get to enjoy the victory with your family. I was always lucky to have my family there to celebrate victories or losses. Having family there meant everything to me. That memory of the Section 10 Class B Championship always brings a smile to my face.”

Q: What is your favorite sports moment as a fan?

A: “My brother Mitchell’s senior year of college football and my brother Camron’s freshman year of college football. They both played Division III at St. Lawrence University. During that year St. Lawrence was nationally ranked and the games were incredible to watch, but the most memorable thing was watching both of my big brothers compete on the same team.”

Q: What athlete do you look up to the most?

A: “Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. She has inspired me. Bethany was attacked by a shark in 2003 and lost her left arm; however, she was able to eventually return to surfing and compete at the highest level. After watching her movie ‘Soul Surfer’ and her documentary she impressed me even more. Seeing a strong young lady come back from a devastating injury inspires me and makes me feel as though there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.”

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received from a coach, mentor or teammate in the sport of basketball?

A: “I consider my mother, father, and brothers mentors and coaches. My mom and dad have always told me to play every game to the best of my abilities and not to take any plays off. Although I know it is impossible to not take any plays off I always tried to do my best. My brothers always used to tell me to enjoy every game because before I knew it my high school basketball career would be over. As I look back I cannot believe how right they were, it seems to have gone by like the blink of an eye.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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