How McKee/S.I. Tech's Stephanie Sabido transitioned from role to go-to player
announced January 15, 2016
MSIT.s Stephanie Sabido looks to dish off a pass. January 12, 2016 (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)
By Charlie De Biase Jr. | firstname.lastname@example.org
on January 15, 2016 7:30 AM
McKee/Staten Island Tech's Stephanie Sabido transformed herself into a true go-to player the old fashioned way.
Simply put, she earned it.
Sure, there are several factors that have helped Sabido go from averaging 8.6 points per game at the conclusion of her sophomore season to presently averaging 21.1 ppg.
For starters, she did enter this season with two solid years of varsity experience, not to mention she grew three inches in the off-season and now stands 5-foot-10.
"It definitely makes it a little bit easier to shoot over people,'' Sabido said with a laugh.
A NOTICEABLE INCREASE IN CONFIDENCE
Truth of the matter is, since the conclusion her sophomore season a year ago ... MSIT captured the PSAL A city championship and made a trip to the state Federation A tournament in Albany ... Sabido has put in countless hours of hard work to make her the high-scoring player she is today.
"I worked on my game a lot over the summer, hoping to open things up for me as a scorer,'' said Sabido, who played travel ball for the Castle Lady Knights of Harlem in the off-season. "I worked on all kinds of things, from triple threat, to driving to the basket, shot fakes and pull-up jumpers.
"My whole mindset was to just be more aggressive,'' added the three-year varsity player. "Now I'm trying to make moves, get to the basket more and I just have a lot more confidence now than I did when I was a freshman.''
MSIT coach Peter LaMarca said Sabido's confidence level is definitely the biggest difference in her game.
"She's playing with a heck of a lot more confidence than she's ever played with before,'' said LaMarca, who watched Sabido score 15 of her game-high 27 points during the third quarter of Thursday's 49-34 PSAL win over host Petrides. She also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds despite missing the majority of the final period because of a bloody nose. "She's realized her athletic ability and she's taking advantage of it.
"She's definitely our go-to girl and she deserves to be,'' added the coach. "She really put in the time during the off-season, making a commitment to get better and she really did.''
Sabido, who currently has 775 career points, has seen an increase in her three-point shooting as well this season. The junior has buried 39 from behind the arc so far this season after notching a combined 35 treys in her first two years.
SUPPORT OF HER TEAMMATES HELPED TRANSITION
She said the support of her teammates has helped her transition into her new role smoothly.
"There's really not a lot of pressure (going from role player to go-to player) because I think I have the right mindset,'' the Westerleigh resident said. "My teammates have made it easier for me. We have a lot of chemistry and because of it, I think everyone knows where each other is going to be.
"They've really made it easier for me to (become more of a scorer).''
"The girls all love each other and they know to get the ball to the hot hand,'' added LaMarca. "Stephanie has taken shots because she has (one to take), but she knows to get her teammates involved as well when they're open.''
LaMarca said as great as it's been to see Sabido increase her scoring average by 12.5 points per game so far, he thinks there's more room for to improve in other facets. Specifically speaking, he believes in time she'll improve her defense as well.
"She's already worked extremely hard to become much quicker laterally and in time, I think she willl be a total shutdown defender,'' LaMarca said. "That's the next step for her and she knows it.
"It's just a matter of time.''