By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
Without Faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible - Mary McLeod Bethune.
Faith was born into the game of basketball. I mean, it’s in her blood. Her mom organizes an AAU program called the New Jersey Belles. As a result, Faith spent a large portion of her time in the gym. Without much thought when she was a kid, Faith would join the fun, soaking in tutelage from instructors while honing her game. The hard work paid off, as Faith possessed a polished skill set far beyond her years in middle school.
After middle school, Faith went on to Manasquan High. The Warriors was an ideal spot for Faith, as they have produced numerous division one players in the past decade. “Going to Manasquan was an easy choice,” said Masonius. “The school is in district and we have a great coach (Lisa Kukoda.) I was excited to go to a public school.” When word spread that Faith would be attending Manasquan, her new teammates embraced her with open arms. “Everyone was so welcoming,” Said Faith. “We would link up in groups and go play ball at the parks and stuff and workout.” One of the friendly faces in the park was her best friend and teammate, Dara Mabrey. The bond they have is amazing. “We always protect each other. If someone comes at her I always have her back and she always has mine. Being able to play with your best friend is so much fun.”
Faith Masonius saw a lot of success her freshman year. Faith spoke highly of her coach, saying her preparation played a pivotal role in her success early on as a player. “Coach really knows her stuff. She really cares about defense, which is something that a lot of people take for granted," said Faith. “She also does a great job preparing us for games. She has packets full of information every game to prepare us for opponents. She’s awesome.” Word spread quickly of her ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. Despite their youth in the rotation, The Warriors made an deep run in the states, winning their Group and facing St. John Vianney (ranked #8 in America at the time) in the T.O.C. final. While Manasquan put forth a valiant effort, The Warriors lost to St. John Vianney in the final, 65-58 in double overtime.
Faith used the ending of her freshman year as motivation to propel her game to another level her sophomore year. Faith came back year two with improved ball handling and increased confidence in her shot. The talented forward became a matchup nightmare due to her ability to create in space off the bounce against opposing bigs. Teammate Lola Mullaney spoke of her skill set, saying “One thing that stands out about Faith is her ability to handle the ball like a guard at her size.” The Warriors again made a magical run to the T.O.C. final before they ran into a new foe in Franklin High School. Manasquan delivered an amazing performance, but lost at the buzzer, 50-48.
Faith spent the spring and summer pushing herself to another level. Last spring was her first year playing for the Philly Belles. Faith performed at a high level during EYBL tournaments and the offers started to roll in. Masonius sensational summer poured in the season as well. The talented wing is posting career highs in points and rebounds this year, averaging 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Dara Mabrey spoke highly of how far Faith has come as a player, saying “Faith can score and also find you. She’s one of the biggest girls on the floor but she’s always on the floor for every loose ball. Being a point guard and having a versatile post is so fun.” A couple weeks ago, Faith also announced she will be continuing her basketball career on the collegiate level at the University of Maryland. When asked by she chose to be a Terrapin, Masonius replied “Maryland is everything. It’s close to home. It’s one of the top programs in college. The area is great. The coaches are great and I love everything about it.”
With the Shore County Tournament Final this weekend and the states coming up, Masonius is thinking less rear view mirror and more dashboard. She’s ready for any and everything coming at her this postseason.
The key to Manasquan bringing home the T.O.C. crown this year is simple: The Warriors need to have a bit more Faith.