Why anyone is surprised that  SJV is once again the best team in the state shocks me. I guess people are still putting stock in fall and summer games. Well it’s the real deal right now and SJV is reminding us they are the real deal. But there is another thing that shocks me. People being surprised about Aleena Dinker the 2025 combo guard for SJV. You see Aleena Dinker is the real deal too and why anyone is surprised at what she is doing these days is a shock to me as well. I guess people either have short memories or they do their research. That’s because Aleena Dinker has been one of the best guards in the 2025 class long before this season started. It’s just now the uninformed are seeing what happens to talented players who are willing to take the SJV challenge. The Challenge that turns players into stars, big winners, the Chip winners. It’s where players  develop and then go sign their D1 scholarship papers. It’s the place where










When Aleena Dinker dropped the sweetest pass we may see this year at the Boardwalk Showcase. You could hear and feel the crowd buzzing. It was really just a small example of the things Miss Dinker can do with a basketball in her hands. When the game ended a bunch of little grammar school girls came running up to me smiling and making believe they were throwing a ball over the head backward. One of the girls joked “I am going to use that at practice tomorrow”. I laughed and thought to myself, well she going to have to buy a  really good pair of eyes for the back of her head if she going to do that. But it’s funny how everyone seems to be  just discovering Aleena Dinker, it’s not like she dropped out of the sky.  Aleena Dinker a year ago was considered one of the best entering freshman in the state of New Jersey. The reason you didn’t hear about making All Freshman or scoring 20 points in a game and all those things other so called star freshman do;  is because that’s not how it works at SJV. You see at SJV you have to practice against the the best defensive guard in the state for a year as in high major   D1 player Ashley O’Conner (Fordham U). Then you have to play against the best player in New Jersey history  everyday in Madison St. Rose (Princeton U) and they you guard the best guard player in New Jersey this year Zoe Brooks. If that’s not enough you have to learn the SJV system. You have to learn game planning, how to practice. How to compete, make teammates better and win. You see at SJV it not about you, it’s about winning.  Aleena Dinker choose this route, like all the other SJV greats. It just now that everyone is getting their first real look at the mega talented guard. First she had to do her  apprenticeship. She clearly has been a A+ student based on what we are seeing these days.

This summer Aleena Dinker played her first game with SJV. where she a prime time  was player in the rotation. She ran around the RFH guards and basically did as she pleased, when she pleased. I remember sitting in a chair watching and people keep walking by and saying “who is the girl”. I laughed and just said that’s “Dinky Dink baby”. I joke around with Aleena who is quiet and doesn’t like attention. I can see she get embarrassed whenever I do this. I just can’t help myself because she is so likable and humble, I love putting her on the spot. The same way she puts defenders on the spot. Her quickness and speed are gifts from the heavens. But it her handle and ability  to make and see plays that most mortals don’t see, that make her so much different than so many other young guards. I love watching her in transition. Defenders look like they are ready to meet the executioner when the see her coming. I mean she is going to get you, some how,  some way at some time and defenders know it’s just a matter of time. That’s just the fact of the matter. I guess it’s the five stage of grief that hit when defenders see her. The speed, the quickness, the vision, the handle and the pressure she applies.  Now that she is shooting three’s with ease now. I am not sure what the solution to guarding is now. I just know when she and freshman Madison Kocis coming running off the bench, it has to nerve racking for other teams. They play with so much energy and confidence, it has to leave any reasonable person unsettled.  Aleena Dinker one day is going to be FIRST TEAM ALL DEFENSE. I mean even a blind man can see that. Not because she has quick hands and feet. Not because she long and athletic. No Aleena Dinker is going to a elite defender because throughout her basketball career she will never see the collection of guards she currently has to practice against, during her entire career.



I have a soft spot in my heart for competitive kids. The kids who don’t run from the competition. The kids who don’t focus on hype but rather performance. That’s Aleena Dinker  all the way and it why she is one of the best players in the 2025 class. That is not up for debate. I mean look what she is doing this year. She has been asked to fill big shoes under the spotlight. But please don’t call what she is doing a  surprise or so called break out season. She is just doing what is expected of her. She is just playing basketball at a high level and doing it better that most, Coach Karpell would expect nothing less.  I have watched Dinker grow as a player as she squeezes her talent. She gets to see how important shooting is by watching Julia Karpell everyday, She gets to understand how important it is to embrace a role like Bri Delaney, she understands the value of turning the crowd on by watching Zoe Brooks. She gets to see what a blue collar worker looks like in Janie Bachmann. You see Aleena Dinker is learning from the best; her teammates. That’s why she went to SJV, to be around the best and to become one of the best. She is playing for the best coach because she wants the best of everything and that’s exactly what she is getting these days.








Aleena Dinker, is no surprise folks. What is the surprise, is that some people are just finding out her special she is. just now. Nobody with this type of talent and skills is a surprise. Aleena Dinker is going to one day flash all her championship rings. Watch banners get hung up in the gym. Collect her All Shore Awards and have people talk about her time at SJV. Everyone will be say congrats on her scholarship to college. Yeah, that going to be her last act at SJV before moving on to D1 and terrorizing players at the next level. I mean isn’t that a SJV birth right…



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