Saved by the Bell


Kim Bell drives to the basket in the Lady Wolverines’ game against Seattle University.
Shane Maryott/UVU Review

It doesn’t take a professional scout or basketball analyst to realize that some athletes just have got it figured out, and Kim Bell is one of those athletes.

UVU lady Wolverine basketball fans can attest to that, as they watch the young freshman continuously grow on the court. It’s not every day you see a freshman with the responsibilities that Bell has taken upon in her early Division I career.

“We’re trying to help her get better; she’s been thrown in the fire a little bit,” said Head Coach Cathy Nixon. “She’s had to defend some big solid 6’4” kids on the low block, and also had to defend kids out on the perimeter.”

The 6’1” forward has welcomed the tough and new responsibilities of playing a position that her coach noted was, “a position she had never played before,” and goes out every day with confidence so that she can succeed at it.

“Its just learning to have to go into every game and play your hardest and not back down,” said Bell. “Sometimes that doesn’t always happen, but just being mentally prepared for every game and knowing that you want to do your best and play your hardest – that’s something you can control. Trying to do the things that you can control to the best of your abilities, hopefully everything else will fall into place.”

It is quite amazing to see the young freshman so mentally strong so early in her colligate career. Bell credits her father, Thomas Bell, for teaching and guiding her down the road of success.

“He was never there to sissy me or baby me,” said Bell. “He would understand things I was going through, but then he always had the best advice to give me on how to correct what I was doing wrong or how to help other teammates to help me get better as well. Stories he told me about his own personal experiences were the best because he was amazing, and just learning from things he had to tell me really helped.”

Bell and her father, a former NFL player and member of the BYU Hall-of-Fame, aren’t the only athletes in the family; her mother and sister both played basketball at BYU, and her brothers played football as their father did at BYU.

Playing in high school, Bell stood out, being named to the All-District team her first three years, as well as a second-team All-Region honor her junior year. She graduated high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA, but the number that really catches the eye was the 1,000+ points scored during her time there.

“I think shooting is really her strength, with her size and her range,” said Nixon. “Being able to shoot the three as a 6’1” player, she didn’t play a lot of inside kind of low block offensive in high school, so that’s part of her game that’s come along and we’re trying to help her see her strengths in that area. Any time you get somebody with her size and can shoot the ball, it definitely is a threat.”

And a threat she has become as her playing time and production continues to grow.

“I tell Kim ‘shoot the ball’,” Nixon went on to say. “I hope she feels that from us, that we need her to do what she does, and what she does is shoot. My job and our job is just to help her continue to believe she’s going to make it and just get her the ball in places where she can be successful.”

The lady Wolverines coach emphasized the fact that Bell has been in a tough situation with her new assignments, and just how proud she is of how she has stepped up to the challenge and has become an even better player than she was in a short time from high school.

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