An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

The new Murphy Crossing MARTA Station located in southwest Atlanta will be developed jointly by real estate development company Culdesac, Inc. in partnership with Urban Oasis Development.
New MARTA Stations announced, establish rail and BeltLine connection
Shalin BhatiaMay 27, 2024

In his State of the City address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new MARTA rail station in southwest Atlanta adjacent to the Atlanta...

Wortmann dominates the paint, leads team to success

Ellie Palaian
Sophomore Hailey Wortmann sets herself down the court while a teammate takes her free throws. Wortmann had the highest field goal percentage of the Knights roster, and had 13 double-doubles this season.

Standing at a height of 6-foot-1, sophomore Hailey Wortmann shined on the girls basketball team getting a total of 13 double-doubles, contributing to the Knights historic State Championship run. 

Wortmann started playing basketball in elementary school, which helped her skills develop from a young age.

“I always liked watching basketball when I was little, so my mom decided to sign me up for a church league because a lot of my friends were doing it,” Wortmann said. “I’m extremely happy that I started playing when I was younger because then I was able to learn the basics of basketball. I’ve been able to learn things that are a little more advanced because I got a little head start.”

Wortmann started her freshman year and continued to start her sophomore year, giving her the helpful advantage that she attributes to her experience last year

“I was excited to keep starting, as I worked very hard in the off season,” Wortmann said. “I was extremely nervous and excited for the season, I put in the work, and I was hoping that it would pay off. Having gotten to play a lot last year I feel like I had an advantage over posts that were less experienced on the high school court.”

Longtime teammate and friend, sophomore Katy Constanides, said she was proud when she saw Wortmann playing well. 

“I’m really proud of Hailey,” Constanides said. “She works very hard so I knew she deserved the way she played, and I’m really happy her hard work paid off.”

Senior Briaiah Lewis said she was happy to have Wortmann as the team would have a post presence. 

“Going into last season, I was very nervous that we weren’t going to have a true post,” Lewis said. “Hailey started showing up to conditioning and the early practices and that’s when I saw how good she was despite her age. To say the least, she really stepped up and had a crucial role on the team.”

Head coach Martavious Little agrees with Lewis as Wortmann improved the team’s success.

“My first impression of her was that ‘this is a young girl with size,’” Little said. “She gave us a post presence. She stepped up when her number was called.”

Wortmann led the team with the highest field goal percentage at 58% and averaged 8.6 rebounds per game.

“Hailey got many crucial rebounds for us and also made multiple layups that we needed in games,” Lewis said. “It was as though she wasn’t even a sophomore; she was dominating by getting rebounds and blocks.”

Wortmann said it was stressful to play with and against many upperclassmen.

“I was nervous to play with the older girls on my team because I didn’t want to let them down,” Wortmann said. “I was also nervous in games playing against a lot of seniors because they had a lot of experience as it was most likely their fourth year.”

Little said Wortmann competed well against the older girls, despite being an underclassman.

“In comparison to upperclassmen post players, Hailey is young, she has a lot of growth that can be done,” Little said. “Older post players have already maxed out and aren’t trying to learn. She still wants to get better and wants to learn, so by the time she is an upperclassman she is going to be dominating.”

Assistant coach O’Neisha Smith believes that Wortmanns’ work ethic is what helps to allow her to compete with upperclassmen.

“What makes Hailey unique is her willingness to want to do it,” Smith said. “She wants to make every shot, and she does a good job on being tough on herself, she pushes herself to become better during every moment she can.”

Unlike many other teens, Wortmann goes to bed at 9 p.m. and sticks to a vegetarian diet, attributing these two things to her success.

“Sleep is a big priority to me because it makes me feel so refreshed in the morning, and it gives me so much energy,” Wortmann said. “I also really care about the environment so that’s why I initially became vegetarian, however, I do think it also helps my body, so both a lot of sleep and being vegetarian makes me feel rejuvenated.”

Little said he is proud that Wortmann competed this season, and he is excited to watch her continue to grow as a player and a person.

“She has developed by being able to make corrections,” Little said. “Initially it was a shell shock to her, but now she takes it with a grain of salt, and she keeps on going. It is only up for her from here. My goals for her are to get better, get faster, get stronger, and by the time next year she will be dominating.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cate Barton
Cate Barton, Sports Managing Editor
Cate Barton is a junior and this is her third year writing for The Southerner. She enjoys soccer, basketball, running and hanging out with friends. She is excited to continue writing for The Southerner.
Ellie Palaian
Ellie Palaian, Sports Managing Editor
Ellie Palaian is a senior and this is her third year on staff for The Southerner. She plays varsity soccer for Midtown High and is excited to write for the paper this year.

Comments (0)

The Southerner intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet these standards. The Southerner does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a name and valid email address submitted that are variable. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible.
All the Southerner Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *