Today I want to give parents and kids out there a little lesson. The lesson is really quite simple. Keep your mouth shut, work hard and be ready when your opportunity arrives. That is exactly what Jineen Ayyash of RED BANK CATHOLIC has done for the last 3 months and yesterday she got a little bit closer to gaining the respect, she so desperately has been searching for.
Georgia Heine, is a full blown star these days. But what most forget is that she had a tough road to walk in gaining the respect that she has to today. That’s because labels are hard to break and reputations can carry a player a long way. Jineen Ayyash, has been finding this out. She has no reputation and has watched many with big reputations riding those reputations, while leaving her behind. But one thing is different about Jineen from most kids in this situation, Jineen Ayyash has a work ethic that is 2nd to none. In fact there is a case to be made she is the hardest worker in the state of New Jersey… and folks that is not a exaggeration. Her work ethic is well know by her peers. It’s this work ethic that just may be opening the doors that Jineen Ayyash has been trying to walk though.
When Jineen Ayyash decided to attend RBC many told her not to do so. They said she would never play. This summer she was brought to tears when a AAU COACH told her to leave RBC. It can be a major blow to a kids happiness and dreams to hear such words. But what those questioning Jineen Ayyash future did not know was this… she has a mental toughness and Awareness that you can’t find in a book. It can only be found in a heart. That’s why when many were saying Jineen Ayyash not playing fall games with the varsity was a message being sent to her, that she didn’t understand. What they didn’t know was Jineen Ayyash was reading that message, she was just reading it differently than everyone else. The message she was reading said, work harder, not quit. The message she read said stay ready. The message she read was your time will come. The message she read said earn it, don’t talk about it or complain about it …. AND THATS EXACTLY WHAT SHE HAS BEEN DOING!
Awareness is something all athletes should remember. You see RBC, lost some very important players from a year ago. They also have some players with big reputations on their roster. But here is a little secret. Those players outside of Pissott, Carman and Prior have been role players at best in the past. They have not been prime time players on a big stage yet, that hopefully comes this year. This is to be their time they hope. Which brings me to that word again Awareness. Sometimes kids make assumptions. Sometimes kids don’t work as hard as they should. Sometimes kids don’t perform up to expectations. Sometimes kids forget all must be earned. It also why I saw something coming at RBC that most did not…. I call it blood in the water or in lay men terms… a opportunity for a hungry player.
In the past month I have watched players in some cases go though the motions. They come to the gym put a little work in , take a few shots, have a few laughs and head home. Many have big reputations and suspect games. But reputations always get you first crack in life, that’s just the way it is … like it or not. I have watched Jineen Ayyash walk in the gym everyday and grind, work and do it over and over with no expectations. It’s why after watching her on Tuesday I turned to one of my coaches and said these exact words…
This morning I woke up and re-watched the RBC game again to make sure I was not seeing things. I noticed Jineen Ayyash making sweet cuts to the rim, making nice passes, finishing in transition and knocking down jump shots. Why do I bring this up? She was doing all the things RBC has struggled doing this fall. She played with energy and purpose. She also did two things I want every kid to listen too… she gave RBC BODY LANGUAGE… when she broke out for a layup and then knocked down a three. Marlboro called time out. When they returned Jineen Ayyash was back on the bench. I made sure I watched her body language. Here she was cooking, finally getting her chance and head coach Joe Montano watching and she got pulled. Most kids would have a melt down. Not Jineen, she stayed cool as a cucumber and cheered her teammates. Folks this is a kid who understands her journey will take winning over doubters and yes even the decision makers… but if Jineen Ayyash didn’t prove anything last night she proved this…. SHE IS STAYING READY…. and oh yeah I stand by my words. She will be a factor for RBC this year in a big game!