By Jerry Del Priore
When Lab Museum United junior guard Delilah Kalle scored her high school career 1000-point against Seward Park last week, head coach Michael Lloyd called a timeout with approximately a minute left in the first half, and presented her with a trophy for the accolade.
Kalle had scored her 17th point in the game up until that point, but wasn’t fixated on her milestone. It took the dynamic player off guard, to say the least.
“I actually was very surprised,” recollected Kalle, 16, who drained 23 total points in the tilt. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Moreover, Kalle figured she’d hit the 1000-point mark sometime late this season, but not in the middle of January.
“I didn’t think I would get it so soon. If I were to get it in my junior year, I was thinking late February,” said Kalle, who also plays third base for Lab Museum’s softball team. “But I am pretty proud of myself for getting it now. And I think it’s just been a big goal, and it made me work harder.”
Seeing Kalle play in junior high school, Lloyd beamed with gleefulness as he reflected on her hoops contributions when she first entered the program. But he feels that with a little more commit to the sport, there are a lot more accomplishments left to be had for the five-foot-six-inch sparkplug.
“I am definitely proud of her,” Lloyd said. “I remember seeing her play when she was in another school. And to see her now, I remember her freshman year, she came in right away, working and contributing. I think that now is the situation where if she just focuses on the game a little bit more, she can do more amazing things.”
Though reaching the momentous individual mark was important to her, Kalle sees the bigger picture. And she believes the Lady Gators can go deep into the PSAL basketball Class A postseason this season because of their white-hot collective desire to win.
“I think we have a good chance to go as far as we like,” she said in all earnest. “We really want to win a (PSAL) Championship, so we can get to Albany and play for the States. And I think that as a team, we’re energized because we really want it.
“I think we have as good of chance, maybe better, than anyone else,” the Upper Eastside naïve continued. “And I think we work well as team, and we have each other’s backs.”
Lab Museum (14-0, 18-2) travels to West 50th Street Campus Friday at 4:30 p.m. for a Manhattan Class A West tilt.