NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The trip from Davie, Florida, to Nashville was a long one for Bella LaChance. But luckily for the South Florida star, she has some teammates that make her feel right at home at Vanderbilt.
Vandy sophomore guard Kaylon Smith is a former AAU teammate of LaChance’s and sophomore forward Koi Love is a former high school opponent. And LaChance remembers going with her father to watch Vanderbilt sophomore guard Chelsie Hall in action.
“It’s cool how I’ll get to be able to play with those girls,” LaChance said.
A 5-foot-5 guard, LaChance comes to West End as the 2019 Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald 9A-71 Player of the Year. And after scoring nearly 2,000 points for her career she’s prepared to come to Nashville ready to make an impact.
But not necessarily in just the stat columns.
“(Coach Stephanie White) expects me to come in and be a leader on the floor as a young guard,” LaChance said. “Really just bring that energy that I’ve portrayed before and have a voice on the team and not be shy – embrace my role and be a good teammate and just be a leader out there and have team speed.”
The relationship between LaChance and White is one that really pulled the student-athlete toward Music City. After visiting campus as a recruit and for basketball camps at Memorial Gymnasium, the two-time All-State selection was impressed by the Vandy program’s family atmosphere.
LaChance also said the opportunity to play for such an accomplished coach like White was too good of a chance to pass up.
“Coach White has been a really amazing person toward me,” LaChance said. “Ever since the first day I met her I loved her and the way she was and how she coaches. Even just at camps, how she is as a person and how she really, really wants to teach.
“I like her background of when she played and how good she was when she was a kid and how good she was in college and into the WNBA and then into coaching – it’s really remarkable to me.”
I am ecstatic and grateful to announce that I have verbally committed to Vanderbilt University! Thank you to my family, all of my coaches, and friends who’ve always supported and believed in me. This is a dream come true!! #AnchorDown🖤💛 @MiamiSuns @CoachBerens @Coach_Randy pic.twitter.com/fUf1BKGdbI
— BELLA LACHANCE (@BELLALACHANCE0) July 14, 2018
Considering a minor in business and possibly a career in coaching when her Vanderbilt career is complete, LaChance had plenty of time to watch the Commodores in action during the 2019-20 season. The passion with which her future teammates played with only made her that much more eager to begin her time in Nashville.
It also helps that Vandy has become known for its propensity to break out the team dances at any moment – and LaChance is ready for that, too.
“No matter who they’re playing they always bring the energy and intensity, and I think this year we’ll try to do the same thing and execute and really just get those important wins in the SEC,” she said. “We’re just going to have a great season – I’m excited for it.
“And I love to dance. I don’t know how great I am at it but I’ll definitely give it my all out there.”