SARAH DIAZ ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
H.S. Female Athlete of the Week: Sarah Diaz of Fort Lee
BY CHUCK O’DONNELL
Sarah Diaz says she’s more comfortable handling the ball and taking it to the hoop this season. Inevitably, however, the more time in the paint, the more bumps and bruises for the Fort Lee junior point guard.
To her, they’re black-and-blue badges of honor.
"I actually get banged up quite often," The Record Female Athlete of the Week said. "It’s just part of the game. You’re going to be tugged and pushed and you’re always gonna go home with some bruises and scratches. At the end of the day, it’s worth it."
It was worth it last Tuesday when she led Fort Lee to a 56-35 victory over Cliffside Park with 19 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Two nights later, Fort Lee fell to Dumont, 47-39, despite her 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
In the past, Diaz said, she would have let the loss affect her. She has discovered the cathartic power of music and how it helps her "move on to the next game.’’
"At first I like to think about [the loss]," she said. "I like to think about the things I could have done better as an individual. Then I listened to music to get my mind off of it so I could focus on the Lyndhurst game."
On Saturday, Diaz was dazzling. She scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds as the Lady Bridgemen beat Lyndhurst, 40-28.
Coach Stacie Findanis said Diaz was their defensive catalyst, as usual. She’s not afraid to ask Diaz to defend the other team’s best player.
"It’s a good feeling that you’ve, not necessarily kept the game under control, but the player is under control and you stopped them from doing what they needed to do," Diaz said.
"You make other players on the other team need to step up and prove themselves."