CEDAR GROVE, NJ - A Cedar Grove resident has proven herself as not only a valuable player on her local basketball team, but also as one of the best freshman players in the state, if not the best.
For Aria Myers, no feat is too great for her to achieve in the sport she loves. As a Paramus Catholic High School freshman, Myers has already made it as a starter on her varsity basketball team and is now standing out as a star athlete in New Jersey.
Of course, Myers' successes have not been achieved without hard work through her entire basketball career, which has spanned almost her whole life.
“I have been playing basketball my entire life,” Myers said. “The second I was big enough to hold a ball, my dad was teaching me the game.”
Once a player for the Wildcats, the Cedar Grove travel basketball team, the Union County Cyclones, and the New Jersey Crusaders, Myers has given the sport everything she has and even quit playing softball, another sport she loved, two years ago to dedicate herself to basketball. That dedication has been paying off big time.
In Myers’ 18 games she has played so far this season, she has earned 133 points, as well as a spot as a starter for the varsity team.
“So far, my season has been interesting, to say the least. In the beginning of the season, some of our key players got major injuries and more players have been getting somewhat minor injuries all throughout the season,” Myers said. “Although this is very unfortunate for my teammates, all of whom I love, this has given me a rare and special opportunity to be a starter on varsity.”
Although Myers added that the team has had its ups and downs this season, they are working together to achieve a winning record and her statistics so far are numbers that she is proud of.
Still, she knows she has more to give.
“In my opinion, my stats this season are good, but personally I want more from myself,” Myers said. “As a varsity starter, I realize that my team needs me to not only score, but have high stats everywhere. I try to improve every game in order to come through for my teammates who need me.”
On the court, Myers plays point guard, shooting guard, and small forward depending on which other teammates of hers are in the game. Her favorite, though, is point guard.
“My favorite position to play is point guard because I like to have the ball in my hands and be able to control our offense,” Myers said.
With her many successes so far this season, Myers has a lot to be proud of, but to her, her two best games were those against Indian Hills and Kent Place, both either undefeated or a highly ranked teams. Myers earned her best numbers of the season in these two games, with 16 points against Indian Hills and 17 points against Kent Place.
In addition to Myers’ talent, it was teamwork that led the girls to these two impressive wins and to a noteworthy season thus far.
“Basketball is not a game that can be won alone. A team is needed that you can trust to have your back on the court, and my teams are always like another family to me,” Myers said. “The strong bond formed by a basketball team is priceless, which is why the game of basketball is priceless to me.”
The constant rush Myers feels from running up and down the court each game is what fuels her passion and is what makes her want to continue the sport in the future.
Myers hopes to play basketball in college, preferably on a division 1 level, she said, and plans on working on her game day and night to reach this goal.
For now, though, she is thankful for the constant support from friends, family and fans alike, and the almost 50,000 votes she has received in NJ.com’s contest for the best girls basketball freshman in New Jersey.
“The support I am receiving from people everywhere is amazing. I feel so fortunate to have so many people behind me that want me to succeed,” Myers said. “I never could have imagined that so many people would go out of their way to vote for me as the best freshman in New Jersey.”