March 12, 2017

A Home-bred Champion

Sophie Goldman ‘19

Ally Landau has distinguished herself as a champion ever since she won her first championship in a youth soccer league. Now a freshman, she continues to succeed in her athletic journey, notably on Golda Och Academy’s girls varsity basketball team.
“GOA teams aren’t anything like the travel teams I have played for,” Landau said. “Even though my travel teams compete at a much higher level, at GOA everyone is much better friends.”
According to Landau, this bond strengthens her and her teammates’ performance. Her teammates agree, citing Landau as one of the key sources of team unity.
“Ally brings more than just her talent to a sports team,” sophomore Maddie Herman said. “She brings a sense of community. She takes it upon herself to befriend everyone on the team and help them succeed.”
Senior Emily Binstein agreed.
“Her love for basketball is contagious,” she said.
In addition to her support, Landau’s strong offense has led the basketball team to success. She is currently averaging 23.6 points per game, good for sixth best in the state. The rest of her stat line is just as impressive, as Landau is averaging 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 5.3 steals per game, demonstrating excellence on both sides of the ball. Much like any other player, however, Landau always wants to find ways to improve.
She said that to prepare for this season, she worked on her long-range shooting and defense. It appears her hard work has paid off: this season, Landau averaged 2.9 three-pointers per game, the 14th best in the state and she ranks 12th in steals per game.
While individual success is nice, Landau knows that she isn’t alone on the court and that she can always rely on her sister, junior Rebecca Landau.
“Sometimes I feel like everyone is relying on me to win the game, but then I remember that I always have her to help me out,” she said.
Likewise, Rebecca said that her sister pushes her to be a better basketball player, especially through her impressive work ethic.
“When I’m too tired to crawl out of bed, she’s already at the JCC working on her skills,” the elder Landau said. “Being 5’2” doesn’t give her a big advantage in basketball, which forces her to work even harder. It’s amazing how she never gives up and pushes herself towards incredibly high standards.”
After just one season, it is clear that Landau will continue to succeed, both on the court and off. Still, it’s not just the success that drives Landau. Even now, she said she still loves sports for the same reason as when she first began.
  “Mostly, I just play sports because I find them very fun.”

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