It’s the holiday season and I have a gift for college coaches. It will be a package stuffed with goodies. It will be filled with all the things college coaches die for these days. When they open their package. They’ll find one of the best gifts a college coach can wish for. A player who is a complete player. A player that has every skill set craved by winning programs ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL. A player whose track record of success cannot be questioned or denied. ASHLEY O’CONNER of SJV is the best gift any coach can wish for on their roster.
They say the best predictor of the future is the past. Well if that’s the case, look for Ashley O’Connor to be one of the best two guards in New Jersey before moving on to D1 basketball. You see Ashley O’Connor has played against the best of the best in her career. She has seen the killers and not only survived. But has become a deadly killer herself. There are few guards left across the state, she has not turned the lights off on. She has been a nightmare for some of the best guards, New Jersey has had to offer. It’s not just her on ball defense that makes her such a problem. But it’s her total understanding of team defense as well. Her ability to rotate to post players or rotate on help defense. Her ability to turn players defensively or come from the blindside for easy picks for steals. The state Player of the Year Madison St. Rose can thank Ashley O’Connor and her running mate, Emma Bruen for all those layups, she gets most nights. Ashley O’Connor and Emma Bruen are the best defensive backcourt in the entire state. How do I know this? Because the track record shows they have thrown the best of the best offensive guards into darkness, a sort of torture chamber with no way out. Ashley O’Connor is what coaches at the next level need to win CHIPS… it’s also why I tell college coaches this. She has outgrown her current D1 offers. She my friends is starting to look like that dream recruit, who seems to get better every time you see her.
I had a high major college coach ask this question to me. “Do you think Ashley O’Connor is big enough and strong enough to play for us” I laughed and said “when is the last time you’ve seen Ashley O’Connor play? “they said on video a couple of times. I smiled and said, “you better do your homework.” That’s because Ashley O’Connor looks nothing like those videos these days, she lives in the weight room. It’s the reason these days the junior has the type of body college coaches pray for these days. She is built like a racehorse. Lean, long, fast and oh so strong!!! Her strength catches every top player off guard. When she drives to the basket and lays her body on you. It’s like you’ve been hit by a mack truck. She explodes off the ground with such quickness it throws opponents off. Her ability to stop on the dime and pull up for jumpers is as good as it gets for any level. You see Ashley O’Connor is no one trick pony. That intensity she brings on defense, is the same intensity she plays offense with. She understands pace of play matters. That speed kills the but only when you can control it. Ashley O’Connor has mastered it.
I love competitive kids, they tend to develop more. They tend to play their best in the biggest moments. They seem to practice and train a little harder. That’s why I always say IT COMES DOWN TO THE IMPROVEMENT CURVE ALWAYS. Just because a kid works hard it doesn’t mean they are developing. Ashley O’Connor has improved every year since 5th grade. Why? Because she listens and is coachable. She wants competition, why do you think she went to SJV knowing there were 6 D1 guards in the program? Because she knew practice matters and at SJV the practices are better than most top teams biggest games. SJV exposes your game. It gives you truth and let’s you know your weaknesses. It’s why Ashley O’Connor has passed all the guards once thought to be more desirable than her. It’s why her handle is so sweet these days. The jumper is so pure. The body so powerful. Ashley has had to bring her best day in and day out. Now she is an elite killer with or without the ball.
I tell college coaches make sure you watch Ashley O’Connor with her high school team. You know when game planning and game management matters. Where sharing the ball and teamwork is a must, because everyone can play and everyone is capable of a big night at SJV. I tell them to watch her with her high school teammates. Because defense matters and details matter. Knowing when to switch and when to stay. When to make a extra pass and when to shoot it. You see at the next level you gotta know this. You have to know when the big lights go on. Like in the SCT when Ashley O’Connor put to sleep he very tops guard in the Shore. She gave them a pillow and a kiss good night. But she also stuffed the box score each night. On any given night against the best of the best. Ashley can give you what you need. If it’s double figure scoring or big shot making.. done.. you want double figure rebounding from the guard spot? Done… you want elite decision making? Done. You see Ashley O’Connor does all things that have so much more value during the high school season… during your college season at the next level. She plays winning basketball against the big girls in the big girl games In those games that matter… THE MEASURING STICK GAMES.
I know a few D1 schools are not going to be happy that I bring up Ashley’s 4.6 GPA. They won’t be happy with me saying she has out kicked the coverage. Meaning those D1 schools and Academic schools that have offered or praying to see her in the spring are going to have to work there ass off.. because Miss O’Connor has clearly outgrown her recruitment. You see gym rats do this, they get better right in front of your eyes. I have watched Ashley O’Connor at NBS, No BOYZ allowed and in fall games this year. Simply she has dominated the competition. She does it without being a pig on offense or dog on defense. She has done it by just out working other talented players.. it’s a state of mind., I guess you can call it an objective to be your best.
Its rare when a kid this athletic and make no mistake Ashley O’Connor is one of the best athletes in the Shore. Has this big of a talent and work ethic. Ashley O’Connor is a holiday present for teams hoping to elevate there talent level, locker room and commitment to excelling against the best. ASHLEY O’CONNOR is the perfect gift with the perfect track record.. and the track record don’t lie..
This season Ashley O’Connor and her teammates will try to win back to back SCT titles. They will join a small group of teams that have accomplished this feat. It will add another chapter to SJV’s book of greatest teams. It will be a reminder to us how important teamwork and development matters. Every player on the SJV roster has had to grown into their role along the way. ASHLEY O’CONNOR was different because she was born to play her role in becoming… THE TOTAL PACKAGE .