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Bell Signs With Fort Valley State

Bell Signs With Fort Valley State
(L to R): Mahogany Bell (sister), Patrina Smith (mother), Marley Bell, and Roy Bell (father).Photo by Makaylee Randolph
Bell Signs With Fort Valley State
(L to R): Mahogany Bell (sister), Patrina Smith (mother), Marley Bell, and Roy Bell (father).Photo by Makaylee Randolph

Montgomery County High School standout athlete Marley Bell signed her scholarship to attend Fort Valley State University. She will be playing both basketball and softball at the collegiate level.

Bell said, “It feels unreal, but it is amazing. I’m glad that I am able to do that and blessed to do that. I have many favorite memories, but my top is us going to the Final Four, because that is my first time going that far in the playoffs ever in basketball. The fans were great, and it’s an awesome memory.

“I am most excited about playing girls at the next level. I am excited to see how well I will be able to play at that next level.”

“I would like to thank my parents because they always sacrificed a lot to take me to places for camps and AAU and travel softball.”

Her father Roy Bell stated, “It makes me so proud that she has been able to work hard and achieve her goals. Since elementary school, she has been going and going. She and Munchie have an older sister, Mahogany – she was the first one to go [into college athletics] and since then, they have been following. Every last one of them have worked and got better and better. They have always been competitive and have been able to do some things I have never seen kids be able to do. They have good grades, are good role models – I have been proud of them since day one.”

Her mother Patrina Smith said, “It’s very exciting that both (Munchie and Marley) are able to go and do what they want to do, because both love athletics and sports. For them to be able to go and do that, it’s amazing.”

MCHS Basketball Coach Tyrone Madison stated, “It feels great. It feels good and bad at the same time because I’m losing her, but I know I’m losing her to something big that she really wants to go to. We have been talking about it – we are really, really close and have a lot of talks where I share a lot of advice for things to do from now on to the future. When she gets to Fort Valley, it’s going to be very tough for her doing two sports, so now, you’ve got to buckle down, you’ve got to grind, and you’ve got to remember that grades come first. It’s a real, real good feeling to see her accomplish this dream.

'This year, she grew up the most, and she took control, and she was that leader that I have been wanting her to be. Before, like during her freshman year, she had her sister. Her sister was an awesome leader and kept her in line, but this year, she’s grown up tremendously and become a real force on the court, scoring 2,191 points over her tenure is hard to do. Over 1,300 rebounds. Athletically, I think she stands alone, and honestly, I still don’t think she has tapped in to all that she can do. She is going to work some more this summer and try to get a little bit more under her belt, but it’s an honor to have coached her and it’s going to be a big loss for me, but we are going to have to try to replace her.

'Honestly, I think she could even throw track in there if she wanted to. She has been an exceptional athlete. There is nothing that I have ever asked of her to do that she hasn’t done. Just knowing her work ethic, when she wants it, she’s going to go get it. That’s one thing about Marley B. – when she wants it, she’s going to go get it, and I feel like she wants this really bad. She had the opportunity to go play softball or basketball, but she chose to do both.'

MCHS Softball Coach Chase Young added, “She’s meant everything to us for our softball program. You just look at her stats and see the numbers that she’s put up, but besides that, we’re going to definitely miss her leadership. She’s always out there pushing the other girls to get better. She's an all-around good athlete, all-around good person that you hate to see go.

'You can just look back at her high school career and see all of her sports and accomplishments. She’s been able to do it here, and double what she’s going to do in college. I think she’s played every girls' sport that we got here. It’s going to be a challenge – that’s a different level – but she has the ability and talent to do it, so I’m looking forward to seeing her get out there and do both sports.”

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