ELLA KRAYL… IS GOING TO BE GREAT ONE DAY! post thumbnail image

When Justine Pissott was in 7th grade she was 5’5” not the 6’3” guard she is today. People picked apart her game. They said her feet were too slow. They complained all she could do was shoot. Many had a lot to say about her game. But I laughed and told her father. Jim Pissott this was just the beginning. I also told Jim it was her work ethic that could solve all of any issues. Justine Pissott went in to become a Mickey D ALL AMERICAN and win GOLD for team USA. Ella Krayl is just a 7th grader and who knows what lays waiting in her future. Some think her feet are too slow too. Some say all she can do is shoot. But like Justine Pissott she has that work ethic and focus that few kids her age have. It’s why one day Ella Krayl will be one of the best players in New Jersey. Despite the laser like evaluation of her game that will surely will come from outsiders not part of her inner circle. But I doubt anyone wants to question my track record in such matters, did I tell you I never get it wrong? That’s because I don’t.

I recruited Ella Kryal dad when I was an D1 asst coach at FDU. He was a deadly shooter and proved in college, I had it right. Except he did all that shooting at Monmouth University. Jason Krayl left Monmouth with NCAA rings and his name all over the record books. Her grandfather Ron was a legendary coach at Monmouth and was a great player in his own right. Many believe he was one of the true defensive master minds of his generation. He is always asking about his granddaughter defense, I guess he knows that she is going to be a offensive force already, he’s right. Ella’s mom Liz was a D1 player at Monmouth. She was known for getting buckets too. Well it seems that all those genes and knowledge has been passed along to this talented 7th grade bucket it getter.

Ella it seems has been around for ever. All the older players who are in college always are surprised when they see her. The first words out of there mouth always is “is that little Ella”. You see little Ella has been hanging around since 3rd grade. She would do the summer park workouts in the blistering heat. She’d shoot with the older college kids and basically do exactly what my high school and college kids were doing. Today that little girl is growing like a weed. She is taller than me now. She has gotten bigger, stronger and more skilled. Ella Krayl is the most skilled grammar school player I know these days. That’s because she lives in the gym. That’s because she doesn’t take shortcuts. She is no ordinary 7th grader. She already understands at a young age, the importance of accountability and responsibility. She knows with expectations comes hard work and commitment.

Now when it comes to shooting the basketball. Ella Kryal is different and on a different level. There have been some great shooters at her age in the past. But none have her range outside of Justine Pissott at this age. Her confidence drips over the court like the sweat on the back of her Jersey. The quickness of her release at this age is mind blowing. So much when you hear some talk about her feet you have to chuckle inside. That’s because I hear this often about young talented offensive players. That’s because nobody can fully understand how they do it and make it look so easy. In a strange way many are offended by this gift. But then again I know a lot of players with great feet who can’t put the ball in the ocean. Ella Krayl is just different than most at this age.

Last weekend I watched Ella and her Shoreshot teammates. A team stacked with future stars. They have future rock stars in the Shore on her team. You’ll learn all there names in due time. Division One College coaches will one day flock to them and beg for their attention. Did I tell you I never get get that one wrong either. No wait I was wrong once in George Washington was President…LOL…I was impressed by their performance on their way to winning the Hoop Group winter league chip. But what I was really impressed with was Ella Krayl’s court vision and basketball IQ. Folks her ability to pass the ball simply has no rival at this age. Some of her passes are flat out next level right now. More importantly she has the teammates that know what to do with it when she gets the ball to them. It’s just another step in her evolution as a player.

Last summer my goal was for ELLA to take as much pride in her defense as her scoring ability. This year she has done that. I love that she talks on defense and understands team defense. I like that she is moving her feet better. This is about growth and commitment, especially at her age. These things are going to matter in a few years. Ella is going to be a big strong guard. It’s why posting up for example is going to be important for her this summer. I believe her game could be very different than many before her. That’s because I believe she can be that rare ELITE COMBO GUARD. That player that can run the show or get you buckets and I mean lots of buckets

Ella Krayl loves the game. She loves being in the gym. She loves being around her friends. It’s funny, I asked her one day.

“Do you want to be great?” She looked at me and said “I don’t know”.

What’s she was really saying was, I just want to have fun playing basketball. Well newsflash like it or not young lady… YOUR GOING TO BE GREAT ONE DAY!


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