Navine Mallon comes from an athletic family. Her older sister, Karena Garcia, was a multi-sport athlete at Flowing Wells. Garcia just graduated from Smith College, where she had competed in cross country and basketball for four years. Navine (pronounced Nuh-veen) also has a brother, Talon Fish (yes, Talon Fish) who just graduated from Flowing Wells, where he played basketball.
Navine, a junior, is an integral part of the Flowing Wells basketball team, which is expected to be one of the best in all of Southern Arizona. Flowing Wells has a longstanding tradition of excellence in girls basketball and this year’s team should be very good.
“We’ve been working very hard ever since the end of last season,” says Navine. It helps that her coach, Michael Perkins, is “super positive. He helps make basketball fun…even practice.”
She stands a good 5’ 9”, but she can handle the ball like a guard. It doesn’t really matter to her where she plays—out front or down low—as long as she’s playing.
The Cabs will be starting off the season by making the trip up to Scottsdale Horizon both before and after Thanksgiving for the cleverly named Feast Mode Thanksgiving Tournament. (Over the holidays, Flowing Wells will also be hosting their own, long-running Christmas Tournament.)
Come January, the Cabs will dive into conference play and should face stiff competition from Ironwood Ridge, Mountain View, and Catalina Foothills.
“I think we have a good chance,” she says. “The conference is tough but we have experience and we have starters coming back from last year.” (Either two or three of them, depending on whom you ask.)
Last year’s team made it all the way to the Class 5A state finals before falling to Millennium in the championship game. They (and everybody else in the tournament) caught a break when top-seeded and heavy-favorite-to-win-it-all Casteel had to forfeit its first-round game due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The Cabs probably would have met Casteel in the semis.
“It was great making it to the championship game,” Navine recalls. “But it was a weird year with almost no fans and with masks and everything. It was definitely unique, something that we’re always going to remember.”
After basketball season is over, Navine competes in track & field for Flowing Wells. Last year, she finished third in the state in the shot put and also placed at state in the discus. She wants to win both events at state this year and next.
“I prefer the shot put. It’s more of a pure strength event. The discus requires a lot of technique. But they’re both fun.”
In her spare time (such as it is), she works at the Sporting Chance Center, as did her two older siblings. Tom Carle, who runs Sporting Chance, says of Navine, “She’s great, a real hard worker.”
One of her friends at work plays at Catalina Foothills.
“We play them twice this year,” she says. “And I want to beat them twice.”