Stephon Marbury. Ron Artest. Rafer Alston. Elton Brand. Jermaine O’Neal. Shawn Marion. Zach Randolph. Kareem Reid. Cuttino Mobley. Terry Dehere. Erick Barkley.
Antonio (Mousey) Carela was listing all the former and current NBA standouts who played for his Bad Boys streetball team at Rucker Park in the late 1990s, the one that claimed three straight championships. Right by Carela’s side during every game was his young daughter, Starr Breedlove.
“All those point guards right there, Starr watched all of them sitting on the bench with me,” said Carela, who now runs the Tri-State Classic streetball league in Harlem.
He still has a picture hung up at his house of Baron Davis and Breedlove hanging out together at the Rucker. All of that greatness that she watched with her eyes growing up has rubbed off on her game.
Breedlove, a 5-foot-5 Bronx native and rising junior at Paterson (N.J.) Catholic HS, is one of the top point guards in the area. She’s coming off an excellent summer season with the Gauchos and has interest from Division I programs such as Syracuse, Memphis and UMass.
Carela, a former star point guard at John F. Kennedy HS, said that Breedlove could have watched more basketball than anyone, but it was what she took from it that would make her as a player.
“It was up to her to learn what she had to learn by watching them,” he said.
It seems like she has applied that knowledge nicely.
Gladden said this summer Breedlove has taken off on a national level. She owes at least part of her success, Breedlove says, to being around basketball – and great players – since before she could even walk.
“I just liked watching them play, their decision making, the moves they do,” said Breedlove, who moved to Teaneck, N.J., two years ago. … “[Carela] just put a ball in my hand, I just started playing. I love it.”
She said this summer with the Gauchos she improved her defense, jump shot and her decision making. Because she grew up playing on the streets of the city, there was a transition period from playground ball to system ball. Her game has less streetball flair in it now, though.
“Nah, not too much,” Breedlove said. “I upgraded. After I listened to my father, the tips he gave me, it was easier.”
Last year, Breedlove, 16, helped Paterson Catholic make it all the way to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions semifinals and is hoping to take her team all the way to the title.
If she does that it’ll be like father, like daughter – a family of champions.
“When you grow up watching this stuff and your father is winning Rucker three years in a row, that’s a winner,” Gladden said. “And that’s what that girl right there is.”