For the past few months, Patch has been highlighting some of the brightest minds, and most talented athletes that Fort Lee has to offer.
And transitioning from winter to spring, Shaina Rosa has put herself into the same class of Whiz Kids.
As a basketball playing, softball smacking, honor roll student, this eighth grader is something to see.
Shaina plays in the Fort Lee Girls Basketball League and is the leading scorer of her traveling team, averaging 11 points per game. She is also on the town’s traveling softball team, having been named the Most Valuable Player of the Championship Series last year. And if that wasn’t enough, Shaina has never missed a day of middle school and has been on the honor roll each of the past six semesters.
“[Shaina] is a hard worker, excellent student, and good role model,” said Mike Klein, the President of the Fort Lee Girls Basketball League. “She has a great personality and is worthy of being the Whiz Kid.”
Rosa says she enjoys playing basketball more than softball, and even spends her spare time on the sport. During the season, Shaina can never be seen far from the court as she operates the scoreboard for Klein and the Girls Basketball League on most nights and can also be seen practicing her jump shot whenever possible.
“I want to be the best I can be in the stuff I do,” Rosa said confidently. “I want to put 100 percent into what I do, so I’ll go out and practice every day if I have time.”
Even when it comes to softball, Shaina is committed to showing that drive in order to succeed. After not trying the sport until two years ago, Rosa quickly moved from the outfield to the infield and into the pitcher’s circle as one of the top young athletes in Fort Lee.
“My first year playing softball I wasn’t that good of a player,” said Shaina. “Mike [Klein] really helped me a lot.”
In addition to having Klein as a softball coach, Rosa also practices the spring game with her father Rafael whenever she can.
But it’s not just sports that are priorities for Shaina.
She says it “takes a lot of work” to be on the honor roll every semester and not miss a day of school, but Shaina truly enjoys it.
After school, Rosa will start her homework right away to get most of it done before basketball starts. Remarkably, she will also start projects weeks in advance to ensure that they get done.
Always thinking ahead, Shaina is already looking forward to attending Fort Lee High School next year. While there, she plans to play both basketball and softball, while also continuing her educational success.
Rosa hopes to become a teacher someday, something that she already has some experience with in guiding the younger basketball players who look up to her.
“I tell them to just practice, and practice,” Shaina said. “Then, they will get where they want to be.”
Rosa can be seen in the Fort Lee basketball playoffs this weekend, on the softball field in the spring and in the classroom at Lewis F. Cole Middle School.
But wherever you may see her in Fort Lee, it may only be a glimmer of what Shaina is possible of achieving. For someone who admitted to not being very active growing up, she is anything but inactive moving toward the future.
Editor's Note: Fort Lee Patch is seeking suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid. They don't have to be involved in sports either. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include this information:
- Nominator's Name
- Nominator's E-Mail
- Whiz Kid's Name
- Whiz Kid's Age
- Whiz Kid's School
- Whiz Kid's Accomplishment
- Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?)
Your friend, family member, or neighbor could be the next Whiz Kid!