The most common question that keeps coming in: If Queen of Peace won the Liberty Division, why aren’t any of their players on First Team, Second Team, or Honorable Mention?
This question usually comes from fans who believe that the best players are always selected for all-league teams. In a fair world, this would be how all-league is chosen. And, as a result, since Queen of Peace won the Liberty Division it would make sense that many of their players be listed on First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention. However, all league teams are not chosen by neutral parties who have no connection to the teams. If this was an option then players could be chosen based on who a) plays the best (has a high basketball IQ, strong fundamentals, and contributes more than others) and/or b) helps her team the most to success. Although the philosophy behind the all-league selections is to choose players that encompass those attributes, it does not necessarily work out like that based on the process.
In order to choose all-team the head coaches of each high school attend a meeting in which they discuss who they feel should be placed on all-league. After the players are listed coaches vote and establish who should be on First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention. Suffice it to say, if a coach does not promote his/her player, that player will not be considered for all-league. If a coach does not attend the all-league meeting, none of those players can make the all-league listing. The Queen of Peace coach was not in attendance at the meeting therefore none of the Queen of Peace players were listed for the all-league listings. If Queen of Peace had been represented at the meeting it would make sense that many of their players be listed on all-league because not only did they win the league, they dominated considerably in every game they played in that league, and some of them already have offers to play in college.
Additionally, there is also the major factor that everyone has a difference of opinion regarding what criteria makes someone the best player on the team. For example, a head coach may feel that his/her shooting guard is by far the best player because of her ability to knock down threes. Other coaches at the meeting, who had the opportunity to play against this team, may feel that team’s center was the best player because they were unable to guard that center from rebounds and lay-ups. If both of these players are put up simultaneously to be considered for first team the coaches may choose to vote for the center because in their opinion the center contributed more on the team. However, if the head coach only chooses to put up his/her shooting guard’s name then the other coaches do not have the opportunity to vote for the center.
Unfortunately, there is no consistently fair way to choose the best players on each team without adding bias to the decisions. And, because of the vast differences in opinion regarding what criteria makes a player better, there are also many instances where it could be argued that a player should have earned a higher listing than she received.
A few examples of this are as follows: in the Liberty Division junior Bionca Chambers from New Milford received Honorable Mention. Chambers is a dominating point guard who has a major effect in every game she plays. Simply put: she controls the ball and sets her teammates up for shots. For weeks on MaxPreps.com she was one of the leaders in assists. She is also a strong scorer. She was one of the main reasons New Milford won the state championship game against Midland Park, largely having to do with some key baskets she scored. In AAU Chambers plays for the North Jersey Celtics and is currently being recruited by several D2 and D1 colleges.
From the Patriot Division senior Genesis Bayron from Hawthorne Christian was placed on Second Team. Although Bayron is a shooting guard she stepped up as the point guard this season and lead the team in points and assists. She was a major leader who communicated well with her team during games and practices. Sophomore Chloe Kasbarian from Midland Park recovered from last year’s ACL tear and started and played the whole game as point guard this year. She is a passer who helps to get Carey, Hansen, and Ghalam open (These are great scorers who earned First Team placement). As a result she does not record a lot of points, but is a major contributor to the game. Many could argue that these two deserved a First Team placement.