Love Lei Best proves to be Oregon’s Next Rising Star!

Love Lei Best proves to be Oregon’s Next Rising Star!

By John “Woods” Armwood III

The Oregon native and one of the most electrifying eighth graders in the country, Love Lei Best, is on the trajectory of becoming one of the most polarizing figures in basketball. During our interview, Best described growing up on a farm and how that affected her development as a basketball player. Frequently, great basketball players tend to be exposed to more of a city feel, however being isolated and surrounded by her support groups has allowed her to stay focused. Not to mention, outside the captivating style of play she displays, she also discusses the unique spelling of her name and its origin.

My mom’s name is Joy, and her parents named her a fruit of the Spirit and my mom knew if she had a daughter, she wanted to name her daughter one as well. So back in middle school my mom decided if she had a daughter she would name her Love. So when it came time to name me, it was already decided.

Where Did it All Begin for Love Lei Best?

Best began playing numerous sports at the age of four, in fact she participated in gymnastics, soccer, and basketball. Best has two brothers who played basketball, Deon and Andre. These two have played a huge part in her inspiration for wanting to play basketball, but also played an even bigger part in her playstyle. She admits her competitiveness, physicality, and understanding of the game stems from her brothers. 

“I think the part of my game that came the most natural to me was my competitiveness and physicality,” she states. “Since I have two older brothers they forced me to get tougher and I hated losing to them!”

“My brothers have been very inspiring figures to me, especially in the point guard position,” she continues. “Washington University guards Chloe Briggs and Ella Dean, Sue Bird and Steve Nash have impacted me greatly and helped implement some swag and confidence in my game, as well.”

Eventually, this would lead to the expansion of her skills and overall development. Now, Best does a ton of creative drills where she’s forced to finish at the rim, in fact one of her favorites is where she’s forced to practice her reverse layup with the opposite hand as the help defender is coming. These drills specifically allow her to gain touch and fluidity around the backboard. Best’s passion is glaring when she’s playing and working out and it speaks to the testament of the work she puts in and who she wants to become as a player. 

Best Finds Early Career Success 

It’s no secret that Bets has found immense success early in her career, however not often does she ever get to sit back and reflect on all her and temaates have accomplished. Currently, Best plays for one of the best AAU teams in the country, Maurice Lucas Lady Enforcers. Recently, they’ve competed in a country-wide tournament known as the “Winter Series” where they remained victorious. During the tournament, it required for Best and her teammates to travel to the east coast while primarily residing on the west coast. She admits the style of play was very interesting and forced the team to slightly change their mindset heading into the game. 

“The east coast definitely plays more physical than the west,” Best admits. “It was cool to go out and compete. Over there everyone can handle the ball and play defense versue here we have talented teams that focus more on ball movement. Here, we play a smoother game versus the east coast.”


She admits that the team didn’t know what to expect, however they did know they wanted to defend their title. During the trip, that’s what motivated the team and herself to practice and play as hard as they did on the road. Nonetheless, this team believes anything is possible with hard work and the correct discipline. 

“I love playing against the best because iron sharpens iron,” Best emphasizes.

Love Lei Best’s “Sh3GotGame Moment”

 Despite her young age, Best has proven she’s amongst one of the most feared eight graders on the court. Her “Sh3Gotgame Moment” only adds to that mystique and ora on the court. In the past, when she was in sixth grade, Best played in a Fall league tournament that forced their sixth grade team to play aganst opposing high schoolers, yet they still found a way to win. That day many realized that Best was the real deal, including herself. She admits it allowed her to believe that she was capable at competing on a higher level and being successful at it.

“My Sh3gotgame moment is probably when I was in sixth grade and we were playing against high school teams in the fall league,” she explains. “ We were playing against high schoolers in the fall league and we were beating all those teams. It showed me everything I’ve done in middle school translates to the high school level. Finding success on that level motivates me to continue working harder and getting better.”

In conclusion, when asked if was there any advice you would offer to any young aspiring broadcasters, journalists, and possibly athletes who may be following your journey, Best responded:

“Always surround yourself with the right people, meaning people who wants you to succeed. There’s going to be a bunch of distractions as we get older, but stay on the right path. Most importantly, always remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”

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