Hudson Valley Sports Report

ZOE MESUCH EARNS FIRST D-I OFFER AS EIGHTH-GRADER

Daughter Of Former OLL Star And Coach Is Making Her Own Name

 

By Benji Isay
Special to HVSR

WALLKILL – It is a common saying that “the apple does not fall far from the tree.”

So it is no surprise Zoe Mesuch, who is a rising ninth grade at Wallkill Senior High School has already received an offer to play Division I basketball at George Mason University in Virginia.  Her mother, Sarah Mesuch was a star high school basketball player for Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie in the late 80s, leading the team to three state championships and then later returning to coach for the team leading them to three state title appearances and winning the crown in 2004.

The younger Mesuch received the offer in late June, just as her middle school experience was wrapping up.

“I was pretty surprised,” she said, “I wasn’t expecting it this early.”

Mesuch, who did play on the varsity at Wallkill as an eighth-grader this past season, has spent this summer traveling to AAU tournaments, most recently in Atlantic City and Kentucky.

Coaches from New Jersey Institute of Technology and State University of New York in Albany have reached out to Zoe, but neither school has made an official offer at the moment. Some other schools have inquired about Mesuch through her AAU coach, Kristi Dini, but Zoe acknowledges that she is still in at an early stage in the college recruitment process.

“I just want to go somewhere where it’s warm,” said Mesuch when asked if she has any preference to where she plays in college. “It’s not that big of a deal to me though.”

Sarah Mesuch, who is a mother of four daughters, has been proud of her youngest daughter, Zoe, throughout her budding career thus far and has tried to help her daughter with the mental side of the game and less with the fundamental side. “It’s very different being mom than it is coach. I had to let her coaches be able to coach her,” Sarah said. “But we sit down, and we go through film after most games and break it down and see where we can be better, both offensively, defensively and emotionally.”

Zoe Mesuch, age 3, as one of mother’s Our Lady of Lourdes practices when Sarah coached the Warriors.

Zoe’s game revolves around her ability to shoot threes, drive, and finish layups in traffic. She can finish with both hands and her moves do not lack style.

“She has the ability to do it all by herself,” says Wallkill coach AJ Higby.

Leaving Wallkill for a private school with a more established basketball program might help Zoe get noticed by more college scouts; however, Mesuch has no plans to leave.

“My AAU program with Extreme is going to get me everything I need, so I don’t think staying at Wallkill is going to hurt me,” she said.

“She is unbelievably driven. She is so competitive and so driven. She understands the amount of work that has to be put in. She is one special player, there’s no doubt about it,” Higby said when asked about Mesuch’s greatest strength.

Mesuch agreed with her coach’s sentiment: “I am a very competitive person.”

While Mesuch is a killer on the court, most people don’t know her personality when she is not playing basketball.

“She really is a funny kid and can make us laugh a ton,” Sarah Mesuch said. “When you see her on the court, she’s very serious. She loves this game more than anything. You don’t really see how funny she is.”

“I am extremely proud of her for where she is right now. She [and the rest of the family] all know that she has a long way to go and we’re proud of her for the work and effort that she has put into her game already,” Sarah added, “We just know there is a lot more to it.”

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