It’s rare that I miss the best young players in the Shore conference . That’s why going into this years first day of practice is so very interesting at DONOVAN CATHOLIC. That’s because they have one of the best sophomore guards in the Shore. A player that just might put them over the top this season. Tanaiyah Decker Is a game changer. Soon she will be a household name not just in the Shore but across the state and in DIVISION ONE college coaches offices across the country. That’s because Tanaiyah Decker just might be the next BIG THING!
In the fall, NBS meets every weekend for 3 months in the fall. The girls session is loaded with some of the best players in New Jersey. It’s a place a kid could easily get lost. It’s also a place players can really challenge themselves. It’s a place where a player can get exposed as well, especially a young player who is not use to being in such a highly competitive environment. In the case of TANAIYAH DECKER, it was she that did the exposing. It’s was clear to everyone at NBS , the Tanaiyah Decker she is special talent. She was just different. Her attitude was different, her work ethic was different and commitment is different. I guess you can say TANAIYAH DECKER is just on a different level than most kids in the 2024 class and the Shore conference is about to find this out! Her new high school coach GLENN JANSEN told me “she was special”. He has never been more right about a player.
When TANAIYAH DECKER arrived at NBS I didn’t know much about her. I didn’t know where she went to high school or played AAU basketball. She didn’t talk much. All she seem to do is just nod her head and go to work, it’s been that way every weekend since she arrived. She’s like a pro, she shows up and does her job, which just happens to do; better that most 2024’s I have seen this fall. She does it very well and she does it with a flair sometimes that makes you shake your head. Her court vision and feel for the game is just different. Watching her dance in the lane for buckets is priceless. She is is clearly a gift for the Donovan Catholic faithful. But what’s most impressive, is that she is doing it against some of the best guards and players in the state
There are some very gifted players at NBS. They are very talented and and have big futures ahead of them. But at NBS your reputation doesn’t really matter..WE DONT CARE. What we do care about is how you preform. TANAIYAH DECKER preforms and it doesn’t it matter who she is playing against. She does it against kids heavier, bigger, stronger, quicker and more experienced. But when you are one of the smartest players in the gym, it gives you an edge. When your basketball IQ is light years ahead of your age, it allows you to compete against the best.
You see MISS DECKER is no ordinary young player. She is the real deal regardless of her reputation. She spent her freshman Covid year at Central Reg, not exactly a hot bed for getting the attention of the media. It’s why despite averaging 13 points in her first 4 high school games as a freshman nobody including yours truly even mentioned her name. She scored double figures in just about every game her freshman year. But it was her marvelous passing and leadership skills that impressed then coach Doug Shaw “I gave her so much responsibility it wasn’t fair to a freshman, but she made everyone better and rose to the occasion” if the truth be told if Tanaiyah Decker played at a more visitable school last season… she would have most likely been 1st TEAM ALL FRESHMAN… the numbers don’t lie folks and hers were impressive.
Most talented young players, play offense. Most talented young players need and want the ball in there hands. Few learn to cut hard, set screens, stay in constant movement and make grown women decisions. Tanaiyah Decker is not like most talented babies and does all these things. She does all the things you never expect a young player to do. It’s why she is going to be one of the very best players in the Shore one day. It’s why college coaches will be calling and asking about her this year. Tanaiyah Decker just may be reason Glenn Jansen’s Donovan Catholic team just may be the best team in Ocean County and make a run at a state Top 20 ranking.
Tanaiyah Decker plays with a confidence that seniors only wish they had. She is quick, athletic, so explosive and smart with the ball, it’s scary at times. Her ability to create room for shots and get to the rim is a pleasure to watch. In 3 months, I have yet to see her out of control once. I also never saw a bad shot, remember that IQ I talked about? I always test a players attitude and pressure them to see how they react. When I bark Taniyah, she doesn’t flinch, she looks me right in the eye and nods her head. No faces and nonsense but rather a look of tell me more. You see, this is a kid that plays the game the right way. What I love most about TANAIYAH DECKER, is despite her innocent face, she has that edge, you don’t teach.…she is not somebody to test physically. That part of her, which screams competitive nature , it’s either in you or it’s not….TANAIYAH DECKER HAS IT IN HER!
This season, TANAIYAH DECKER is going to be a household name around the state of New Jersey. Soon D1’s will come calling. Soon people will see the wonderful combination of an elite finisher, ball handler and toughness of a young player not often seen. Soon Tanaiyah Decker will be known as one of the best young players in New Jersey and when this happens, some are going to ask…how good do you think she can be? So let me answer that for you right now…As good as she wants to be!!! Because she just might be the NEXT BIG THING🔥