Posted On: 05/9/18 9:00 PM
One of the state’s hidden gems, Girard wing Caleb Muia is putting together a strong spring playing with Victory Ministries out of the Joplin (Mo.) area.
An athletic 6’3 player with a long, rangy frame, Muia plays much bigger than his listed height due to a wide wing span and impressive hops. He’s capable of throwing down rim-rocking slams, playing high above the rim and skilled enough to handle the ball, pass and shoot. He’s a versatile defender who can guard multiple spots and move his feet.
“I like to move the ball a lot and get the defense moving before I shoot, but I also love running in transition,” he says. “If I ever have a chance to score on a fast break wether it’s two on one or one on one I’m going to capitalize. Scoring in transition is a very big part of my game.
“I like to rebound the ball on the defensive end and take it baseline to baseline and dunk. I’m a very explosive player and can jump. Not many people can jump as high as me so it’s easy to get rebounds. Half the time I’m inside and half the time I am handling the ball. I like to post up on little guard that may not be as strong or as tall as me. The inside is where I score a lot of my buckets.”
As a junior, Muia put together a big stat line averaging 21.3 points and 11 rebounds per game as he helped lead Girard to a Class 4A sub state championship where they lost to Frontenac, its biggest rival. He was chosen for the all-tournament team at the Wilson County Classic and was all-area first team,
“I loved playing on my high school team. It was full of all the people I have known and played basketball with since first grade,” Muia said.
That success has carried over the spring with Victory and says the experience has been about more than just hoops.
“I love the fact that everything is surrounded around God as well as basketball,” he says. “I enjoy it. Church and basketball are both big things in my life and I found a team that focuses on both. I think my coach is a great guy he pushes us to be the very best that we can be. He played a ton of basketball all over the world and I like having a coach that has loads of basketball experience and know what makes a great team.”
Muia has teamed with Pittsburg 2018 6’5 forward Marque English, also a long, rangy athlete capable of playing above the rim, to form an exciting duo.
“Since he’s a big body and can dribble and I can dribble and post up it’s hard for teams to guard us,” Muia said. “They either have to put a big guy on us and we can just drive past them or a little guard that we can post up. Marque and I work really good together.”
Muia says he is spending the offseason focusing on adding some much needed strength and muscle mass, as well as improving his play at the defensive end of the court.
“If I want to go and play at the next level and prosper I need to be strong,” he says. “I’m going to be lifting with my gym coach during the summer to improve my strength and get better and more fit.
“I also need to get quicker on my feet. While playing defense I’m kind of tense and try to hard to predict what the player is doing. I just need to focus on staying in front of my man. I’m going to work with my both my coaches all summer on my defense. I this summer I’m going to work really hard on just my overall game as a whole, but defense and strength are going to be my number one priories.