I’m a old school cat, I 100% admit it. I like kids who play hard and who are respectful. I like kids who give it up for teammates and coaches. I like kids who represent their schools and families out there on the basketball court. Now those things are not talked about much these days. They simply don’t mean as much to people as they did even 10 years ago. Today it so much more about the “ME” culture. I say it all the time we are living in the era of disrespect. But not all kids are buying into this disrespectful era. There are some kids who are not old school but rather the right school. Kids like Mainland high school stars and current EYBL NJ GEMS players, BELLA AND AVA MAZUR.
These days when you hear about a kid being respectful, playing hard and being a good teammate. It’s usually a kid on the team who doesn’t play very much or it’s the coaches pet project. Rarely these days is it the best players or most talented players. That’s why twin sisters Ava and Bella Mazur caught my attention last weekend. I watched the two sisters explode with energy, passion and a competitive nature that rocked me to my core. Two kids that brought a smile to my face. Two kids that proved there are still kids maximizing their ability. But yet showing real respect for how players should act and react towards all around them. I found out there are still kids who look there coach in the eye. There are still kids who respect opponents, still kids when they make mistakes admit it and move on. There are still mega talented kids who don’t think they are bigger and more important than the game. I found out that Muzur twins who are both future D1 players have been blessed with a gift. Not there blazing speed, dirty quickness off the dribble or there next level competitive nature. They have been blessed with a little something called “GOODNESS”. They are just good kids, my kind of kids. The type of kids you build programs with. The type of kids who make your culture elite. The type of kids college coaches should be crawling on bloody knees to sign if you ask me and may have seen and coached a few good players along the way, if you don’t mind me saying. I would line the Mazur twins against any of them.
Now Bella and Ava Mazur were not totally new to me. I had watched Mainland last season destroy Neptune and Jackson Memorial and I am putting that nicely. I didn’t know much about Mainland at the time other than Kylee Watson played there. I just knew they blew out two shore basketball teams. In both games I noticed both girls playing like a hurricane turned loose in small high school gym. It really didn’t seem fair to anyone not wearing a Mainland uniform. They seem to do a little of everything from the start of the game until they left the game late in the 3rd quarter. The were in a word “brilliant”. But watching them back then, I only focused on their basketball talents. The first thing I noticed is both had live action type bodies which are strong and athletic. Ava who is a knock down shooter, and Bella who seems to score in all type fashions are a perfect fit together. The two are in constant movement always. They both can score at all three levels because of their mental toughness not just due to their raw talent. That’s because they play with a edge you cannot teach….they play with a angry respect for the game. It seems to be in there DNA. Loose balls seem to be a birthright as is their ability to defend. The two do so many intangibles that usually the best players tend to leave to other on their teams. But Bella and Ava are cut from a different cloth it seems. They same okay doing the dirty work, in fact they enjoy the dirty work.
Bella and Ava Mazur I’m sure are different in many ways off the court. I have never met either young lady. I am simply an old school coach who is is impressed we still have kids who honor the game. Both young ladies have things they have to still learn. They are both just rising juniors and will be playing for one of the best coaches in the country in Dawn Karpell. The girls have made the the decision, to make the long trip to the shore 3-4 times a week. It’s a sacrifice they have made to reach their potential as players. If there is one thing that is clear, it’s the Mazur girls do not cheat themselves, teammates or coaches. They give you a 100% effort each and every step of the way. It’s the old school or shall I say the right school way of doing things.
I believe kids can still be talented, yes Division One talented and yet be good people, ego free and hard workers. I think the Bella and Ava Muzur fall into the category. I don’t know their parents, but I really believe it starts right here. I have a sneaky suspicion they come from families who believe in teaching kids that doing the right thing leads to great things. Mainland High School won a sectional title this year, that really is no surprise now that I have watched both young ladies. Because when you have leaders who believe in leading by example it makes life easier for everyone else. Now Bella and Ava will be playing the highest level of AAU (u16 basketball). They not only will get better all summer, but they will make everything around them better as well….that’s because when TALENT MEETS HARD WORK AND CHARACTER…. IT’S UNBEATABLE! That’s the way I feel about Bella and Ava Mazur…THEIR UNBEATABLE