Mahopac senior Mike Cazzari is a guard for the varsity basketball team. He also played split end for the varsity football team.
How old were you when you started playing basketball and how did you get started?
I started playing basketball when I was 9 years old with the St. John’s CYO basketball team. I met some of my future varsity teammates with St. John’s. Most of our current varsity team has played together since the eighth grade.
What are your strengths as a basketball player?
My strengths as a basketball player are my defense and shooting ability. I try to be the hardest worker on the court because that is what makes the difference between winning and losing the close games.
What is your favorite aspect of basketball?
My favorite aspect of basketball is teamwork. There isn’t a better feeling than when you’re on a team that enjoys playing together and has a good chemistry out on the court.
How would you describe this season so far for the team? Is there anything the team needs to work on?
So far we have had a tough start to the season that is very similar to last season. We need to work on being better defensively and buying in on what our coaches tell us during practice. Once our team is completely healthy and we’ve figured out our issues we can match up against almost any team in our section.
As a senior, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?
I see my role as being someone who can teach the younger players on our team about the experiences we went through last season and what it will take for our team to be as successful as we were last season.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?
My favorite pregame ritual that I share with my teammates is coming out for warm-ups when the student section is packed and going crazy. The Maniacs get our team hyped for the game and push us to another level of basketball.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My biggest role model over the years has been my sister Catherine. I have learned so much from her as a basketball player and a person. We are very similar when it comes to how we play the game and the challenges that she has faced have changed my perspective on how I want to live my life.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
One thing that not a lot of people know about me is that I have a very big family. They aren’t that difficult to find at my games as my four sisters and parents are all interested in basketball.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I plan on studying as a communications major in college because I am interested in advertising and public relations and how they relate to business.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
My favorite professional athlete is Odell Beckham Jr. My favorite pro sports team is the New York Giants.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
My favorite music to listen to before a game is rap and my favorite artist is Meek Mill.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
It would to be able to live forever because I want to see what life is like 200 years from now.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would like to visit Europe because I have never left the United States and always wanted to go to Europe.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
My favorite food to eat before and after a game is a Crosstag from Crossroads.
Best place to eat in Mahopac and why?
The best place to eat in Mahopac is Bliss because they have a lot of great food to choose from and you’ll always see someone you know there.
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Twitter, because everyone’s on it.
For a young athlete growing up in Mahopac, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the basketball program and why should they go out for the team?
Growing up in Mahopac I always wanted to be a varsity basketball player and was in middle school during Mahopac’s four straight County Center appearances. There is no greater experience than playing basketball for Mahopac and you will make friends and memories that you will never forget.