Players Seem To Get Better Under NJ AAU Coach

Reporter Mike Sullivan discusses the advantage of having a tough-minded but fair AAU head coach in Matt Pauls, who has done a terrific job helping several low to mid-level players improve in their individual games ...

Every so often, while traveling and covering many AAU basketball programs, you run into some special individuals who utilize their time and wisdom to help propel young players both on and off the court.

This past July, we covered extensively the NJABC basketball program, which had a deep run into the players at the 16 and under Showcase held at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex.

Led by tough-minded and passionate head coach Matt Pauls, his group of low to mid-level players competed against the very best players from the 2010 class.

While they weren't the biggest nor the quickest, his roster of players blended together as a team and landed many quality wins while playing in the House that the Mouse built.

"I'm fortunate to have a good group of players," Pauls told us down in Florida.

It is a good group of players. But Pauls has been terrific in leading them, always encouraging them when the opponent would go on a big run, and never letting his team get down in tough moments.

Players like Steve Rennard (photo) improved his ability in his overall game. It's certainly hard for any AAU coach to convince his players to think team first when scholarships are on the line during the July evaluation period.

But Pauls has done just that and he continues to follow his group of players as they all prepare for the high school basketball season.

The good news for Pauls and his players is that each of the returning juniors and sophomores go to excellent schools with solid coaching staffs.

So the improvement continues. And the loud voice that utters positives words will continue to greet his players, no matter what the score.

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