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Redbank Valley Sophomore Guard Addy Bond Flourishing in New Role for the Bulldogs

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Addy Bond is quiet and unassuming off the basketball court.

She speaks softly. Smiles shyly. Words drip with humbleness.

On the court, though, there are few as competitive or as fiery as Bond.

That has served the sophomore guard for the Redbank Valley girls basketball team well already in her burgeoning career.

(Pictured above, Addy Bond gets set to shoot a free throw against Moniteau on Jan. 3/photo by Stephanie Bonanno)

“I hate losing. I hate it. I love winning,” Bond said. “It’s just like you’re in a different little world when you’re on the court. When you’re out there, you just know that you have to play your best and do everything you can to put your teammates in spots so they can succeed as well.”

Success has come quickly to Bond.

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Last year as a freshman, she was a key reserve for the District 9 Class 2A champion Bulldogs. She was a spark off the bench and made some big shots and had some big nights, especially down the stretch.

This season, her role has drastically shifted.

With the loss of a bevy of key seniors, including 1,000-point scorer Alivia Huffman, a lot was placed on Bond’s plate.

All she has done is serve up impressive performance after impressive performance.

Bond is averaging 14.1 points per game this season for Redbank Valley. Many of those points have been impact ones and she’s had some individual performances that have been eye-popping.

(Addy Bond)

One such night was at Moniteau on Jan. 3.

Bond scored 24 points — 22 coming in the second half — and hit a 3-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 39-36 win.

Bond has had a penchant for rising up when the pressure is at its most intense.

“She never lacks in confidence,” said Redbank Valley girls basketball coach of Bond following that win at Moniteau.

That confidence has been nurtured during rigorous offseasons full of basketball for Bond.

She plays AAU for SLAAM, which is located in Pittsburgh.

This summer was a very important one for Bond, she said.

Bond was well aware how radically her role would change for Redbank between her freshman and sophomore seasons.

“AAU really prepared me for the game-situation-type things,” Bond said. “My coach (Mariah Ward) really prepared me, too. I also worked and prepared really hard for the season on my own, doing stuff like dribbling and shooting.”

Bond was determined to make an impact. And she has.

She’s very much in the same type of role that junior Mylee Harmon was in during her freshman and sophomore seasons.

Harmon had huge campaigns, getting steals and piling up points in bunches with her athleticism. Bond is doing the same type of things this year as Harmon has garnered much more attention from opponents now that weapons like Huffman have graduated.

Still, Harmon is having a big year, too, averaging a team-leading 16.9 points per game.

“I just tried to prepare myself for that as much as I could,” Bond said. “I wanted to help this team win districts again.”

Redbank Valley is 11-2 — the only two losses coming on back-to-back nights to Hazelton and Marion Center in a holiday tournament.

In the past few years, the Bulldogs were able to lean on their depth. This year, not so much.

That has put even more of the onus on Bond and the other four starters, who have to play a lot of minutes.

“It’s so much different,” Bond said. “You have to play different roles and step up and do different things. Izzy (Bond) has stepped up on her rebounding. Kira (Bonanno), her rebounding is amazing and she makes those big moves inside. And (freshman Elaina Carrico) is really good at defending and she knows how to take a shot if we need it.”

Bond and the other starters got a taste of being ironwomen during volleyball season when none of them came off the court.

That mentality has transferred from the volleyball court to the basketball one.

“It really helped us build up team chemistry,” Bond said. “Next volleyball season, we’ll have the same thing, so we better get used to it.”

Bond has been used to being a competitor from a young age thanks to her older sister, Izzy.

“We’re super competitive,” Addy Bond said. “Every time we go one-on-one, it always turns into a fight because of how competitive we are. It’s great to play against someone like that because it makes us both better.”

Competition between the two isn’t isolated to basketball or volleyball.

The sisters compete in just about everything.

“Just in the dumbest things, like who can do something the fastest — just the littlest of things we’ll turn into a competition,” Bond said, smiling. “We do it all the time.”

When push comes to shove, though, Izzy is Addy’s biggest defender.

When they are on the court and Addy takes a hard foul, many times Izzy will take great offense.

“She’ll stand up to people,” Addy Bond said. “If someone pushes me, she’ll be on that player and make them back down. She always has your back out there.”

Despite their competitive streaks, Addy called Izzy “my best friend.”

“She’s been such a role model to me,” Addy said. “I always try to be like her because she’ll be the first one to tell you that you are doing something wrong, but she’s gonna be the first one to come over and say great job and pat you on the back. That’s the player I want to be.”

Addy Bond plans on being a player for a long time.

She has the rest of this season and two more to make her mark at Redbank Valley.

Then, she hopes to make her mark on the collegiate level.

“Obviously, I haven’t made a decision yet; I’m just a sophomore,” Bond said, smiling. “But I definitely want to play college basketball. “I know I want to do something in the medical field, but I’m not exactly sure what.”

For now Bond will focus on continuing to grow as a player and help Redbank chase another D9 crown.

“I just try to do my best,” Bond said, “then anything is possible.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.