There are kids who start paying the price early. These kids learn at a early age what true hard work and commitment feels and look like. There is a fine line when a player first enters the world of true long time development. Push a kid too hard when they’re young and may lose them, take away the love of the game. Don’t push them hard enough and they don’t learn the keys to true long term development. Danella Matus is from Fairfield NJ and is a young lady who is fearless, welcomes hard work, committed and embraces development.
Danella Matus, is just a 8th grader. She is one of the most talented 8th graders in the state. Her skill level and work ethic are special for someone so young. Her commitment to her craft at such a young age is rare these days. I’ve known her since she was in 4th grade. I have seen the development over the years. I have seen that all important improvement curve grow every year. I always say to college coaches, it’s easy for me to predict what’s in store for kids. Rarely am I wrong. That’s because over the years I see the work ethic, the desire, the raw talent and the skill level development over long periods of time. In so cases like Danella for years.. so I know which kids get better each year. I know which ones relate to their peers, the ones who embrace coaching. I know the crazy parents and the parents who get it. I see the big picture and Danella Matus, has been painting a big masterpiece of a picture. Soon she will be a household name with college coaches and fans of the game.
Things have changed in the world of youth basketball. Now parents are more concerned with ranking by people who in many cases have never seen there kid play. These days bragging about playing for a name brand AAU team matters more than a players growth. Young players now are into the hype game instead of the development of their games. They spend their days bragging about winning AAU games and winning awards that will collect dusk in closets one day. Danella Matus has been one of the rare ones. She has focused on becoming a better basketball player, the thing that matters most.
Danella and her father Michael, her personal uber car… are not concerned with brand names, sneaker companies or most importantly what others think. She is into the commitment game and she plays it very well. See wakes up weekends to drive a hour plus to NBS. It’s a trip she has made with her dad for years now. Some days, she wakes up at 6am to attend early bird shooting. Some days after her 2 hour workout, she stays and shoots for a hour before the long ride home. Not so easy for a 8th grader. But Danella is no ordinary 8th grader. She’s been making such sacrifices since 4th grade. It’s why, its anyone’s guess, what she will become one day because the SKY’S THE LIMIT. We just know this, she is and will be one of the best players in the 2025 Class!.. GAME RECOGNIZE GAME.
As I have watched Danella over the years. It’s become apparent she is going to be an elite player. She is tall, long, lean and physical. When you look at her, you know right away she has been blessed physically. You can’t teach strength and size at her age. Those are gifts inherited. What was not a gift was her sweet handle, amazing vision and skill sets. Each year it’s also no mistake she has become a better shooter each year. Her shooting range for a 8th grader at time is shocking. I find myself yelling at her about shot selection often because her range catches me off guard. But what really makes Danella different is her toughness. She has been playing against D1 high school players since 5th grade. It’s why pace of play is a non issue for her. In transition she is a pure joy to watch. Seeing her passing skills, IQ, along with her toughness catches your attention. SHE SIMPLY IS NO ORDINARY YOUNG TALENT.
You have to know a YOUNG talented player, pretty well, before Challenging them. Young players can lose confidence very quickly if you make a mistake. But I always say, if you have to measure and think about your words before speaking to a player.. then that player is not ready for that environment. Well Danella has been taking the heat since 4th grade and ALWAYS RESPONDS…ALWAYS. You see she doesn’t need fake compliments. Danella wants truth and it’s why she is such a pleasure to coach. She wants the good stuff, she wants the challenge and lives for the competition. Her competitive nature is about as good as it gets… DANELLA MATUS IS A ALPHA FEMALE…RIGHT NOW...there is no worry about word choosing with Danella, all you have to do is coach her and she will do the rest.
Danella Matus doesn’t have a lot to say. She that kid in the background that everyone knows is a baller. She doesn’t need the attention from others. She made that 90 min trip to NBS CAMP each way with her dad last summer. Now she is making that same trip to NBS now if the fall. She has been doing it for years now. It’s just part of her DNA, traveling, seeking competition and getting better. Most kids would bark at such sacrifices at her age.. but didn’t I tell you Danella is not like other kids in her class. This is a kid who gets it…. in the words of true ballers everywhere… GAME RECOGNIZE GAME… and DANELLA MATUS GOT GAME!