The two most powerful warriors ever are named patience and time.
When Brendan Thiele first stepped onto the court at a freshman, his game clearly showed potential, but a couple flaws. Luckily for Thiele, he had a coach like Alex Mirabel to push him to another level.
While many young players crumble under the pressure of playing varsity basketball so early in their career, Thiele rose. Once lanky, he became strong. Once labeled just “the shooter,” Thiele worked tirelessly to develop a complete overall game. Last year was a breakthrough season for Thiele. St.Peter’s Prep had a sensational season and Thiele showed could handle being one of the focal points of the offense. The talented swingman possessed all the tools of a division one player, he just needed to show consistency on the AAU circuit.
The hard work paid off, as Thiele committed this November to play for Army in the Patriot League. While his future is set in stone, nothing has changed in regards to Thieles’ approach to the game. He gives his all everyday in practices and games. He sets a good example for underclassmen. “The hard work he’s put into the process of becoming a better athlete is pretty amazing,” said coach Mirabel.“Seeing him as a freshman, you may not have been able to envision him being a division one player. He had potential though. He came to the gym, he put in the work and he didn’t miss anything. Brendan got his offer but he hasn’t slowed down down. He’s still working hard to prepare himself to contribute to that team immediately on the next level."
The sensational senior now tells everyone the secret coach Mirabel told him years ago to achieve success on the court: Work hard and trust trust the process.
Recently TheDribbleDrop sat down with Thiele to discuss shedding the label of “the shooter,” committing to Army, pushing his team to a championship game at Rutgers
By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram
TheDribbleDrop: Let’s talk about this off season. This spring you played AAU basketball. How was that experience?
Brendan Thiele: I played for a team down at the shore called Game Seven Sharks. I played for Coach Mugsy. It was a great experience. I had a lot of coaches reach out to me during the process. Overall it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.
TheDribbleDrop: Last year you guys had a very strong year across the board. You guys played in county championship and lost in the sectional championship to Bergen Catholic by one. What did you learn last year that you took into this season?
Brendan Thiele: Last year was a big year for us. Our schedule was tough, but that was a good thing. I think playing in intense environments helped the players that returned this year. As a team, I feel like we have grown a lot. Guys who may not have played a lot last year got to observe and experience it as well. This year we are ready.
TheDribbleDrop: How would you describe St. Peter’s Prep basketball?
Brendan Thiele: Organized. We use a bunch of sets offensively. Defensively, we use a bunch of detailed presses as well. I think our coach knows us well and puts us in good position every game to perform at a high level.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to highlight one facet of your team that makes you guys stand out, what would it be and why?
Brendan Thiele: I would use the word “Togetherness,” to describe my team. We are all really close. In my four years here this is the closest I have been to my teammates. We hang out all the time. We dtrust each other and that’s big for us.
TheDribbleDrop: So you play for one of the best coaches in the state in Coach Alex Mirabel. Tell me about your experience with him.
Brendan Thiele: Coach and I have a great relationship. I have been playing for him for four years.
Coach is a grinder. I think he has instilled that in me. Sometimes when I want to slack off he pushes me in a positive way to get better everyday. He always keeps me working on my game. He’s played a major factor in regards to where I am today as a basketball player.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to highlight one facet of your game that makes you stand out, what would it be and why?
Brendan Thiele: At first I want to say shooting, but I feel like I have moved on from that as a player. I feel like I have expanded my game. I would say IQ. I think things through on the floor. I don’t just put my head down and go. I feel like I have come a long way in regards to knowing how to play and letting the game come to me.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me one facet of your game your worked hard to improve on this off-season that you wanted to take to another level.
Brendan Thiele: Ball handling and getting to the basket. I think for many years I was viewed as the shooter. I dedicated my summer to moving past that stage of my basketball career. I didn’t want to be viewed anymore as just a shooter. I worked hard to expand my game so that people would just view me as a good overall basketball player.
TheDribbleDrop: Today you played in the Kean festival Vs St Joe's Montvale Describe the pace of the game and how you guys played.
Brendan Thiele: At first the game was pretty close as we just traded baskets a lot. I think we found our way near the end of the 2nd quarter and made adjustments. We locked in defensively for long stretches and held them to 4 points that quarter. As a team, I have seen us play defense at a high level that way all year. I know we are capable of doing that at any moment. We were a big sluggish in the 3rd, but we finished the game strong down the stretch.
TheDribbleDrop: So you guys committed to Army. Tell us the deciding factors to continue your career there.
Brendan Thiele: For starters, I did my research on the school, as there is a bit that comes with committing to the army besides basketball. Army meant a lot to me because they were my first division one offer. I really loved the coaching staff there and the location. It was the perfect school for me. They also play a similar style to us on both sides of the floor. I think I will fit in nicely there.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s your personal and team goal for your senior year.
Brendan Thiele: In regards to a personal goal, breaking the 1,000 point mark would be pretty cool.
Team wise, we are focused on making it to Rutgers. I think we have a really good chance of doing that. I think a lot of talent graduated from our bracket last year. We play very hard and I think we have a legitimate chance of making a deep run.