Peoria Notre Dame’s Mya Wardle relishing in the pressure

Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 11:04 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Peoria Notre Dame girls basketball is full of Christmas cheer during the quick break in their season. The Irish are 11-1 to start the season behind a stifling defense, balanced offensive attack, and sophomore guard Mya Wardle.

“She’s a special player, she just lays it out there every night. In practice, she’s very vocal. She understand the game very well, she understands personnel and situations. Just very high basketball IQ to go along with her skill set that makes her a special player for us,” said Peoria Notre Dame Head Coach Layne Langholf.

Only a sophomore in grade, Wardle looks more like an upperclassman on the court.

“I have just been raised to think a little bit differently than everyone else and I think that has helped me mature a lot as a person,” said Mya Wardle, Peoria Notre Dame sophomore guard.

Langholf says Wardle has the mind of a coach, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Peoria area basketball. Mya has been learning the game from a great source, her dad, Brian Wardle, the Bradley men’s basketball head coach.

“I think that brings another layer to my game that maybe not a lot of girls have. I have been raised to study film, I know how to set up an offense, I know how read a defense and I think that having a coaches mentality, I also know how important it is to be a good teammate and to be a good leader,” explained Wardle. “I am like the leader on the court, I’m like the coach on the court and I think that’s just something that a lot of people appreciate. It’s just who I am, it’s just the kind of player I am and that’s what separates me from the next point guard.”

But with the name and the basketball lineage in the family there’s also the pressure to perform at your best every game, especially when you get off to the start the Irish have this year.

“I believe pressure is a privilege and I think that we have pressure on us, but that’s a privilege, it’s just a testimony to how hard we’ve worked,” said Wardle.

Peoria Notre Dame has plenty of talented players to help alleviate the pressure from Wardle. She says the trust and bond that exists with her teammates helps her play some of her best basketball.

“I am definitely a pass first point guard, it’s something that has always been a part of my game, I’ve been raised that way, but looking to score is something I’ve gotten better at and I think it’s just come with confidence. I know how hard I’ve worked, how many hours I have put in so I think that it’s my season to step up and show everyone what I’ve been working on,” continued Wardle.

Peoria Notre Dame and Wardle will certainly have a ton of teams giving them their best every night, but they think they have what it takes to go the distance this season.

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