I am not sure if I’ve ever said a word to SOFIA CHEBOOKJIAN in all the years I’ve watched her play at Ocean Twp. I doubt, I have ever acknowledged her contributions while she has been a member of the Ocean Twp basketball team. I certainly had no idea she played field hockey at Ocean as well. But then again I believe few have known much or given much love to Sofia CHEBOOKJIAN over the years. I doubt many realize the sacrifices she has made over the years. But today none of that seems very important. That because SOFIA CHEBOOJIAN will be continuing her education and athletic career at WILLIAM PATERSON and both the University and kid couldn’t be happier
I often wonder why some kids can give so much of themselves to a team, a school and a sport and get so little respect in return. I wonder how some kids can do all the right things and few outsider their immediate circle give them any credit. But they still soldier on. I wonder how a young person can truly believe in the team concept when they never get a pat on the back from public, rarely read their name in the paper. In a lot of ways they are treated like a ghost doing all the hard things that nobody see’s. Yet they manage to always see the big picture. Sofia CHEBOOJIAN is that rare kid who has being living that life since the day she arrived at OceanTwp. She has been a starter most of career at the school. She has been part of a group that has turned Ocean Twp into one of the best programs not only in the Shore but the state as well. She has seen the program go from a laughing stock to a program doing all the laughing. She has been as important to Ocean Twp as any player on the team. That’s because she has been so willing to let others have the spotlight. She has been okay just to do her part without fanfare or love from outsiders. That because Sofia is a winner; A big winner. The kind we don’t see anymore these days. It’s never been about her. It’s always been about the team. It’s always been about not how we make her feel. But how she makes her teammates feel. And she makes her teammates feel good, real good.❤️
When you watch Ocean Twp play. The one thing you can’t escape is their ball movement. The way they share the ball. The way they pass and cut. The way the ball moves side to side. They way they trust each other. You see Ocean strength is their belief in each other. No one player is bigger than the team. Sofia CHEBOOJIAN, is the one player on the team whose role is different. That’s because she is asked to do all the dirty work. She has to often guard the opponents biggest player. She is asked to constantly Sacrifice her game. Her shot selection has no margin for error. She has to make picture perfect passes and set magical screens on and off the ball. Basically she has do to all the things kids today don’t like doing. She has to do all the things that don’t make the papers. The things that don’t show up on social media. Sofia does all the things that help lead a team to its first Division Chip in 25 years. That help you get to a state final final. That help you land in the Top 20 and win over 20 games. All the things that make a school like WILLIAM PETERSON feel so lucky and blessed
It’s strange we see less and less kids like Sofia CHEBOOJIAN. These days for most kids it’s about attention. It’s about bragging and feeling more important than someone else. It’s makes you wonder why we don’t root harder and give more life to the Sofia Cheboojian’s of the world. I think secretly it’s because we are all a little selfish at heart. I think we too like feeling important. So we write, talk and get attached to the kids that raise our profile a little more. It makes us feel important. Maybe kids like Sofia CHEBOOJIAN will change some of that. Maybe we’ll start cheering a little harder for the good kids. The doers and true teammates. The kids making all the right moves and doing all the right things and only expecting a smile in return. This may be Sofia CHEBOOJIAN’S biggest gift to not only Ocean Twp but to every kid in the Shore who just wants to be part of something “GOOD”.
I have no idea where Sofia CHEBOOJIAN gets her unselfishness and winning ways. I know she has been lucky in that she has been surrounded by good people. Randy WESTROL and his CJ HAWKS program care more about kids than any AAU organization I know. They love kids and push them to not just be good basketball players. But to be good people and more importantly confident and consistent people. It really is what makes the CJ HAWKS organization different from everyone else. Randy WESTROL and The CJ HAWKS are like Sofia CHEBOOJIAN …. TRUST WORTHY AND FILLED WITH GOODNESS.
Mike Lazur is one of the best teachers in the Shore. His offensive and defensive philosophy is really next level stuff. I am not sure there is a better offensive coach in the Shore. He is creative and more importantly innovative. Mike Lazur is something else too! He is a risk taker and he took a risk on Sofia CHEBOOJIAN three years ago and it has paid off in a magical way. That’s because together the two people who get the least amount of acknowledgment by their peers care the least about being acknowledged. They both care about one thing… their teams happiness and culture. Not themselves. I guess it’s why both are so easy to root for these days
I believe everything starts at home, when it comes to a kid’s character. I don’t know Sofia CHEBOOJIAN’S parents or siblings. But then again I don’t need to know them. You don’t have all the qualities of Sofia, if you not from a home filled with love, kindness and grace. You don’t walk, talk and smile with such goodness if there is not love dripping through the walls of home. No, I don’t know much about SOFIA CHEBOOJIAN… I just know a lot of people and a lot of kids need to be more like her… WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY just became a better place!
CONGRATS YOUNG LADY… maybe, just maybe we’ll all start to understand a little better, what’s this is truly all about… THANKS TO YOU