Some of the best things in life aren’t forced. They are all natural.
Watching Mya Bembry on the court is a joy. While others lumber as they run the floor, she glides from spot to spot. When the ball touches her hands, she lights up. Many young players look mechancial when letting loose a basketball move. Mya is at her best orchestrating on the fly, weaving move combinations seamlessly from one to the next. Bembry is a smooth operator.
Recently we sat down sat down with Mya to discuss playing for iExcel, winning the first sectional title for West Orange, her best selling point to college coaches and more. -Christian Mordi @thedribbledrop
TheDribbleDrop: You play for the iExcel. For those who don’t know. Tell us about the program.
Mya Bembry: iExcel is an independent program based in the tri-state area. We have traveled all over the country for tournaments. We spend a lot of time on skill development as well.
TheDribbleDrop: One word to describe iEXCEL basketball?
Mya Bembry: Intense. Practices are probably the most intense ones you will ever get. I know if you can keep up here then college practices will be a breeze. You could say that practice is tougher than the games for us. He has high expectations and we all do a good job of bringing it every practice.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to highlight one facet of your team that makes you guys stand out, what would it be and why?
Mya Bembry: I think our chemistry. We do a really good job of pushing the ball and creating easy baskets in transition.
TheDribbleDrop: Let's talk a bit about the AAU landscape. You could’ve played for a team on the EYBL, UAA or Adidas Gauntlet but you chose for an elite independent program in IExcel. Tell me the pros and cons. Also, do you think you guys are the best independent AAU team on the East Coast?
Mya Bembry: Well for starters I think there are plenty of great independent programs. We get a lot of the top recruits on the east coast within our program. I think our program has a more personable feel and they are very loyal and dedicated to the players they have within the program.
We may not have the gear of some of these teams or a designated complex to the program, but we still represent every time on the floor and compete with anyone.
I think we are the best independent AAU team on the East Coast.
TheDribbleDrop: There is always a large discussion among basketball coaches about the quality of basketball in public schools in comparison to the private schools. In regards to the learning experience, a lot of people say the public school system is sub-par in comparison to private schools. What are your thoughts on that?
Mya Bembry: In my opinion it really doesn’t matter, especially on the girls side. I think there is a bit more roster turnover, but on the other end you could public schools are more loyal to their players and build them up instead of looking to ship players out or outsource.
There is a lot of good coaches as well in the public schools.
TheDribbleDrop: You play for coach Williams. Tremendous former player which has transitioned into a stellar young coach. Tell me about your relationship with her.
Mya Bembry: We have a great relationship. I have known her since middle school. She has always pushed me in a positive way to expand my game and she always has my best interest in mind. She is also a former player and is familiar with the recruiting process and she helps me a lot of well.
TheDribbleDrop: What’s the best piece of advice she gave you on or off the court?
Mya Bembry: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When I first came in I may have hid a bit and played more reserved but now I have opened up. She’s given me confidence on the floor to play my game.
If I were to use one word to describe her I would say “Inspirational.” What she does for everyone is amazing. A lot of coaches may only care on the floor. Coach is all in. She gets to know you and your family.
TheDribbleDrop: Last year was a program defining season as you guys won a sectional title for the first time in program history. You guys later fell short in a tough game against Franklin. What lesson was learned from that game and how much did that add fuel to the fire for you this offseason?
Mya Bembry: The year previous we lost in the semi finals of the section. We came back this year with a vengeance and won the section. We played Franklin and they were really good. They were the best team we played all year. They shot the ball really well that game. With that being said I thought we left the game with a lot of confidence for next year.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to highlight one facet of your game that makes you stand out what would it be and why
Mya Bembry: My versatility. I can play 1,2 or 3. I can move over to the post if needed. I also run the floor well so I can make it hard for bigger players to guard me in space. In the half court, I can create shots for myself or others.
TheDribbleDrop: Last year you made 2nd Team All STATE. Tell me one facet of your game your worked hard to improve on this off-season that you wanted to take to another level.
Mya Bembry: Offensively I’m working on consistency with my jump shot. I want to be able to elevate my game on all levels shooting the ball at an elite level next year.
TheDribbleDrop: Right now you are uncommitted. Tell us some things you are looking for in regards to a school.
Mya Bembry: Well I’m studying engineering in college, so I’m looking for a school that can push me in the classroom. I’m also looking for a family-like environment. I also want to play for a school that strives for success on the court, that pushes in the NCAA tournament every year.
TheDribbleDrop: Is West Orange the team to beat in Essex County?
Mya Bembry: Oh yeah. We’re coming.