Last night Emma Von Essen showed up at NBS and did exactly what I thought she’d do.. confirm that is one of the smartest and most talented point guards I know. But of course I knew this two summers ago when I watched her play. Because of Covid 19 I just lost track of her and everyone knows I do not leave the Shore. But I have a little advice to college coaches. You better rediscover quickly because she is the ultimate point guard. She just needed a little proven ground. Yesterday she found such a place at NBS and she did not disappoint. Emma Von Essen is game over hype!
The first time I saw Emma Von Essen play was two years ago in Atlantic City. I saw this baby faced kid with a grown up game. I saw a young lady who was clearly coached up. That rare kid who had a full understanding of what a point guard should be. Her coolness and compete control of her team and the ball brought a smile to my face. I thought to myself that day. This kid is going to be special. But it was that night that I decided to watch her Team Rio teammates on film that really made me fall in love with kids game. I saw a kid run pick and roll like she invented the set. I saw a kid make every read a kid could make and some. It was fun watching a young player mastering the position. I knew I had just watched a PURE POINT GUARD.
It was the next day I called Georgia Heine’s mom whose highly recruited daughter plays with Emma Von Essen. I asked her to tell me everything about Emma Von Essen. She could have stopped when she mentioned that Emma played for Coach Slater at Long Island Lutheran high school. That’s because Coach Slater is one of the best teachers in the country. When he coached at LUHI his teams were nationally ranked and regularly beat the best teams in the Shore and in country. All his kids are successful at the next level. Emma Von Essen is just another example of his ability to teach and develop players IQ. She also will be another successful LUHI player at the D1 level one day.
I rediscovered Emma Von Essen last weekend. I was watching tape and there she was again. She jumped off the page, that’s because I love guards who know how to play. It was fun rewinding tape and watching her do all the little things great Point Guards do. I quickly invited her to NBS not know if she would attend or not. Lucky for me, she showed up last night. There were no less than a dozen D1 point guards at NBS last night. Some going off to college in the fall and some already being heavily recruited. But as I told the entire group at NBS yesterday. This is the problem with recruiting these days because “none of you should have OFFER BEFORE EMMA VON ESSEN.” I told them this because it was the truth not to hurt anyone’s feelings. You see the term point guard is so loosely used these days. My idea of a great point guard is different from most. I like my point guards to be tough mentally. I like them to have great communication skills. I like them to know how to control a team. Be a true extension of the coach on the floor. To be able to handle pressure and take the heat for their teammates mistakes as well as there’s. Emma Von Essen is that type of point guard. My type of point guard, the type of point guard you win chips with at the next level… the D1 level.
Last night I watched one point guard in the gym that understood tempo.. when to stop .. when to go. When to shoot and when to set up teammates. There were others who did some of those things. But Emma Von Essen does them all. You may have heard me say this on many occasions. Does a kids game translate to the next level? Well Emma Von Essen’s game transfers perfectly to the next level. She my friends in fact will be better at the next level. That’s because of a little thing called basketball IQ… she sees and does things you cannot teach. It’s called Instincts and her basketball instincts are special. In fact everything about her game is special. We live in an era when kids don’t take care of the ball and do not know what a good decision is anymore. You see these are the very qualities that separate Miss Von Essen from other pure point guards. She doesn’t just play the position.. she understands the position!
Like a lot talented kids Emma Von Essen has been caught up in the Covid recruiting era. Coaches have not seen enough of her the last year and a half. There was no summer recruiting or in her case a high school season neither. Yes there is video but everyone knows coaches are not offering from watching video. Video can’t tell your about the work ethic or how kids respond to coaching or their teammates. Well Emma Von Essen checked those boxes in elite fashion last night. I knew she would because the great ones always adjust to their environment. Video doesn’t show you intangibles and the details. So Emma Von Essen will have to wait a little longer before D1 coaches discover what I already know she is a D1 future winning pure point guard.
If you ask me to describe Emma Von Essen, I would do it like this. She is a dash of Sophia Sabino with her vision and ability to run a team. She is a sprinkle of Abby Antognoli in her ability to make plays. And a who lot of Ella Fajardo in terms of mental toughness and leadership. Those players are all off to play D1 basketball next year. Well coaches here is another fact… EMMA VON ESSEN takes a back seat to none of them and your going to find that out soon!