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Posted On: 09/22/18 5:00 AM
We’ve seen Anthony Mazzeo’s (2019) game take on many different renditions.
As a rising sophomore, Mazzeo was a ball-centric flashy scorer for King James Shooting Stars. As an underclassman utility guard for Massillon Jackson, that year’s Division I State Champion, Mazzeo was mainly a spot-shooter and remained in some form of a complimentary role through last year.
After battling mobility concerns because of separate calf and ankle injuries, the 6’2”-6’3” 180-pound combo guard’s game is becoming increasingly dynamic while shooting turned into his most deadly scoring weapon. With a blossoming skill-set and guys like Kyle Young, Logan Hill, Jaret Pallotta, and Ethan Stanislawski off to college, senior year looks to be Mazzeo’s time at Massillon Jackson.
“Obviously I’m going to have to step up a lot this year,” Mazzeo said. “I’ll probably be the man this year. So that’s always going to be a challenge for me. But I feel like I’ve put in a lot of work and I feel like I’m ready to accept that role.”
The process that has led him to this point is marked by extra skill training and capitalizing on injuries in an untraditional way.
“[Massillon Jackson] has been working out. We’ve been having open gyms on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And then I work out every day after school myself,” he said. “Just like shooting on the gun and ball-handling drills, stuff like that.”
Once a prospect known for off-the-dribble creativity, on-court emotion, and a teardrop floater in the lane, Mazzeo has morphed into a knock-down outside shooter who needs zero dribbles to score the rock.
“When I got injured last year, it really made me work on my shooting. So I feel like my 3-point shot got a lot better,” Mazzeo said. “But also as I’ve recovered from that, my game has also evolved and taken another step from just the shooting aspect of it to now getting to the rim creating for others.”
The evolution of Mazzeo has led him into the recruiting process, a moment he’s met with diligence and poise. Over the last month, Mazzeo began his slate of visits to various Division III programs across the Buckeye State.
“I’ve been on visits to Mount Union, Baldwin Wallace, Capital, Marietta so far,” Mazzeo said. “Ohio Northern just contacted me last weekend. And Seton Hill has been sending me stuff pretty much every day and I’ve been in close contact with their coaches as well.”
The 4.2 GPA student who carries a 26 ACT (will re-take in October) would like to find an academic fit, winning program, and the right playing style. As far as style is concerned, Mazzeo will need to see that for himself once the season tips off.
“I kind of want to see all the teams before I make a decision,” he explained. “I’ll probably make a [college] decision mid-to-late [high school] season, somewhere in there. I just want to see all those teams play.
“I don’t really have a specific playing style. Just kind of like motion offense, just moving the ball really well setting picks for each other. Obviously shooting the 3-ball, that’s something I love to do,” Mazzeo said.
His work ethic and translatable game offers him the freedom that any prospect to shoot for: options. All those extra hours in the gym after school, resilience through injuries, and a willingness to evolve has led to a moment where Mazzeo truly gets to make a choice. As a recruit, he won’t be beholden to just one option. Four, and maybe more, schools appear happy to absorb his talents after next season. Now he gets to enjoy the earned privilege to choose a four-year home.