Athlete Spotlight: Leila Wells


Averaging twenty-four points a game, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals, sophomore captain Leila Wells (‘24) has led the women’s basketball team so far this season.

Basketball has been a crucial part of Wells’ life for over a decade.

“I started playing basketball because Megan Bareis’ (‘24) dad asked me to play,” Wells said. “I originally did not want to play, but my dad was like ‘just try it out, you know, for a week or so,’ and here I am today.”

Wells moved to Chelsea in kindergarten and the small town has been her home ever since. Before moving to Michigan, Wells lived in Perrysburg, Ohio, and basketball has brought her back to her home state multiple times. Wells is currently playing for a large AAU program based out of Columbus Ohio called Sports City U and has thrived there for the past few years.

Wells has played for a select list of high-level teams over the years, and with high-level teams come high-level coaches. Coach Larry Arico from 03 Elite has been one of Wells’ top supporters.

“Larry Arico is my best friend’s dad—we’re super close with him—but he’s also a coach, and so much more than that,” Wells said. “He’s always been there for coaching advice, helping the team, and being a leader.”

Wells has accomplished many things because of her love for the sport, but in the end, she owes it all to her dad, mom, and God.

“It’s always been my dad who helps decide which team I pick to play for,” Wells said. “Then my mom helps me mentally get through it.”

Some say that what you give to the game gives to you, and Wells is a walking example of this. Countless years of work and dedication have provided Wells with an unbreakable love for the game.

“It’s taken up a lot of my free time but has also sent me to a lot of places that I never would have gone without it,” Wells said. “It has also given me a whole bunch of experiences, for example scoring the game winner or just winning by fourty with your team and celebrating.”

So far Wells has been dominating her second season on the Chelsea varsity team. As a sophomore captain, Wells is establishing her leadership skills day by day as well as improving her game. Wells is feeling more confident in her ability to score, rebound, and assist as the season is finally getting off the ground. The team currently has a record of 3-1 and is looking to keep the wins coming.

“I think our team is looking really good this season, and I think we can go pretty far,” Wells said. “Although we’ve only played a few games, it was nice to see us working together [since] we have one of the most unique teams Chelsea has ever seen.”

Wells’ role this season has pushed and encouraged her to improve her skills as a player and as a leader. She is looking to improve physically and become mentally stronger than any year before. There is no doubt that Wells has amazing things coming to her this season, with her work ethic and determination, there is no one and nothing that will stop her.