Sofia Battista to continue basketball career in college

PV senior set to attend NYU

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Sofia Battista to continue basketball career in college

PV senior Sofia Battista at the podium of Pascack Valley's winter signing day ceremony, where she officially committed to NYU for basketball.

PV senior Sofia Battista at the podium of Pascack Valley's winter signing day ceremony, where she officially committed to NYU for basketball.

Matt Austin

PV senior Sofia Battista at the podium of Pascack Valley's winter signing day ceremony, where she officially committed to NYU for basketball.

Matt Austin

Matt Austin

PV senior Sofia Battista at the podium of Pascack Valley's winter signing day ceremony, where she officially committed to NYU for basketball.

Mason Baronian, Sports Writer

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“I always thought that I could play [basketball] in college, but I never thought that it would be at such an amazing school,” senior Sofia Battista said.

Battista signed her letter of commitment to continue her basketball career at New York University (NYU) on Wednesday Dec. 18 at Pascack Valley’s annual signing day ceremony.

According to Battista, NYU reached out to her after seeing her play in an AAU tournament in Atlantic City. She credits her father for serving as her top mentor through the years.

“My dad was my first coach and he taught me all of the basics,” Battista said.

Pascack Valley girls basketball coach Jeff Jasper helped Battista reach her goal of playing in college as well.

“[Jasper’s] helped me with making decisions, [advising me to] take a step back and not make a [college commitment] right away. [He suggested that I] see everything that was offered and look at it as a whole, [as opposed to] certain aspects of the school. He’s also helped me with my game, like my jump shot and things like that.”

Battista’s love of basketball blossomed as early as when she was in third grade, as not only did her father’s love of the game rub off on her, but her older siblings who played served as influenced to her as well.

“My brothers played and my dad really liked [basketball] so he coached me,” Battista said. “I had a basketball hoop in my backyard because I have a lot of older siblings that all played, so I decided to play too.”

In the end, Battista’s decision came down to two schools: NYU and Emory University. However, she couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to live the city life.

“I really like the city atmosphere,” Battista said. “It was between two schools and [Emory] isn’t as city-like as NYU. I’m a really big fan of New York and [how] it is very diverse.”

Ironically, Battista doesn’t watch basketball, so she doesn’t have any professional players that she looks up to or models her game after.

“I just like playing; I’m not really a big fan [of] watching sports,” Battista said. “I just don’t find it that interesting.”

Above all, Battista’s hard work over the years has helped get her to where she is today.

“What sets her apart from other players is her work ethic,” PV girls basketball head coach Jeff Jasper said. “She is tireless. She plays with passion and focus. Her success has much to do with a wonderful and supportive family, [as well as] Sofia’s desire to be the best she can be. She is always among the first on the court and often among the last to leave practice.”

Jasper doesn’t doubt the impact Battista will have for her new team.

“NYU has a player who will make the coaches proud and make the players on the team better players and people,” Jasper said. “Sofia has that impact.”