Who are we to tell a kid what to believe? Can we really we look into a kids heart, when it seems there dreams are slipping away. Can we really know if the kid has the strength within to see the fight though? Well last night, IRIS AZCONA answer the bell and BUTLER UNIVERSITY OF THE BIG EAST answered the call. IRIS AZCONA is officially a Bulldog. She is a Bulldog because she was willing to fight a little harder and a little longer than most kids. She is now a role model for doing things right and moving forward step by step, when it seems impossible to find the strength… it’ called being positive when all around you says just the opposite.

When you make a dream come true there must be a battle. The battle is between faith and hope. You have to have the faith that all your hard work will not be for nothing. You see hard work does not guarantee you anything. It just gives you an opportunity to be ready when your time arrives. A player also has to hope that somebody, see’s not only the hard work and sacrifices but the development, the talent and above all the will and desire to never quit. Then they need that thing that separates one player from the next. That never dying ability to get up whenever they get knocked down. The ability to say I will not be stopped. IRIS AZCONA refused to be stopped. She has been on a relentless journey to greatness and yesterday that journey took another big step. When she committed to BUTLER UNIVERSITY.


Sometimes the road just gets so hard. Sometimes you start questioning what is next and how many more disappointments can you take. Sometimes god has to send you a ANGEL. IRIS AZCONA may not have known it until now. She has many angels and they all live with her. Her family are those angels who gave her the strength and a reason to work harder, see clearly and chase greatness when it made no sense to do so. They gave her the strength to change her body and lose 30 pounds while doing so. They gave her the strength to get up at 5am in the morning. They gave here the strength to transfer to TCA in order to play with and against the best. IRIS AZCONA’S family indeed have been Angels. But it’s been her mother who has been a pillar of strength. Jaye, has believed from day one her daughter was special. She knew god put her daughter on earth to do big things. But she also knew god made her a great basketball player and that was a gift she wanted her daughter to enjoy and the world to see. Today Jaye and IRIS are not just enjoying what this gift has brought them. They are also seeing all the sacrifices being rewarded with tears of joy.


I stood in the middle of the gym when Jaye Santos walked up to me. She said, I heard so many things about you. But “all I am asking you to do is believe in IRIS because she wants this so bad. She works so hard. Basketball is her life, tell me what she needs to do and we will do it”. Now, I hear this just about everyday from parents. That is until the yelling and pushing starts, then they see it’s not easy making a dream come true. But Jaye Santos, had tears in her eyes that day. Her daughter who I had not seen in years looked bigger and stronger. But appearance can be deceiving. You see IRIS AZCONA left Pennsylvania to play at powerhouse TCA. She had to sit 30 days. She has never been without basketball. Then she was a role player because the team was rolling and the talent was insane. But IRIS AZCONA took advantage of some of the best coaching a player could dream of. But the Covid cut her already short high school season even shorter. She never got a chance to play on that big stage she craved so much for. She thought moving to Team Miller would be the key to showcasing her talent this spring and summer. But Covid took that away too. Jaye Santos had a daughter who was wondering what was next.. what she didn’t know, was next was GREATNESS IS WHAT WAS NEXT.


TCA prepares a kid to roll with the big dogs. The kids with big reputations and going to D1 schools. TCA kids fear nothing and nobody. They are coached up from top to bottom. You either in or you’re out. That’s why I should have not been surprised when she showed up at 7am after waking up every weekend at 5.30 to attend NBS. Her class started at 8am but she never missed early bird shooting. It’s that TCA work ethic that she has developed. It’s also why she didn’t bat an eye when she saw all the competition at NBS. She knew what D1 competition looked like. She just wanted the world to know, she was as good as any of them. So week after week , she kept getting better and better. Week after week she proved she was different than most. IRIS AZCONA was becoming what her mother already knew…. SPECIAL!

THE HOOP GROUP EXPOSURE TOUR was a collection of the best talent in New Jersey. You had the state Player of the Year. 7 power 5 players and over 60 future D1 players on hand. But it was IRIS AZCONA who stole the show that day. It was IRIS AZCONA who may have been the best player that day. But what many don’t know is this …IRIS AZCONA may have missed her big moment on the big stage. She had a conflict in schedule that day. But somehow that conflict was changed and she did attend the event. She did put on her a show, she did show she was as good as it gets.. she also showed GOD IS GOOD by allowing her not to miss her moment.

The journey is not over for IRIS AZCONA, who is just a Junior. She has so much more to accomplish. Her high school is trying to win a State Championship that was stolen from them last year. She has a new AAU TEAM, the HOOPERS 2022. She has never been more happy. Her family has never been more happy. Her mother is crying tears of joy. I guess building a court in the backyard during covid has paid off.. All this is just part of a new beginning for IRIS AZCONA. She has had to climb the highest mountain and now she has the best view of anyone… just ask BUTLER UNIVERSITY… CONGRATULATIONS TO IRIS AZCONA, her family and all of TEAM AZCONA.. you made it❤️❤️



JAYE SANTO got a phone call this last spring. He grandmother, somebody who was a mother to her was dying from Covid. While her grandmother LUDOVINA sat in a hospital bed in New York, dying. The doctors told her not to drive from New Jersey. That her grandmother would be gone. But Jaye, said “no” and she and her husband Ralf Azcona drove to New York.

She fought to be let in to see her grandmother. The doctors finally let her in and she sang for her grandmother. Her grandmother who had been in coma and had not opened her eyes in days, STARTED TO CRY.

Jaye told her Grandmother how much she loved her. She then told her Grandmother, she believed in angels. She asked her Grandmother before she passed on… to please help her daughter make her dreams come true. Iris needed her…. yesterday Jaye’s grandmother answered Jaye Santo’s prayers and Iris now knows the power of ANGELS



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