How a Delawarean engineered the Fightin' Phils' big deal. Plus, Homeland Security takes a very close look at Wilmington U., the next Elena Delle Donne?, and more.
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Hoopster Betnijah Laney may be flying under the radar, but there’s no doubt this Eagle is flying high.
She’s not getting the fanfare that Elena Delle Donne did, but Betnijah Laney is still creating big buzz in basketball circles. The Smyrna High senior has caught the eye of the nation’s top recruiters, having been scouted by the likes of powerhouses UConn and Rutgers. And no wonder—Laney scored more than 1,000 points during her first two seasons at Smyrna, and she set the state single-game scoring record for high school girls with 52 points. The 6-foot guard-forward was named Delaware Player of the Year in 2010, as well as Delaware’s Gatorade Player of the Year, when the Lady Eagles played in the state championship game for the first time in school history. Laney’s dominance has folks comparing her to the state’s all-time best. “She’s definitely in the top group,” says Andy Walter, sports editor at the Delaware State News in Dover. “It’s hard to compare anybody with Elena and Khadijah Rushdan. You’re talking about two kids that people started talking about in grade school and they were in Wilmington, where they get more attention. But Betnijah is right there as far as dominating games.” Laney is expected to announce her college choice in April. She has narrowed her list to Rutgers, Duke and Oklahoma. After college, Laney hopes to play in the WNBA. For now her focus is on leading the Eagles into the state tournament and savoring the last few games of her high school career. “I will be a little sad at the end of the season, but not too sad because I’m moving on to the next level,” Laney says. “I’ll miss my teammates, coach, and all the great times we had together.” —Kelley Cole