Thursday, July 02, 2020


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Deanna Mayza Advancing on Hill Coaching Staff
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Three years removed from her only season of professional basketball, Deanna Mayza isn't ready to give up the game, now working to establish her

Deanna Mayza

coaching credentials.

            "I haven't made peace with officially ending my career," she said.

            This season, Mayza will serve as the associate head coach for the The Hill School's girls basketball team. On May 21, the school announced her promotion from assistant coach for the 2020-21 season.

            According to the Upper Hanover native, the plan is to have her become the head coach the following season. If the students come back this fall, Mayza will also work in the equipment and security departments at her alma mater.

      An ankle injury ended her only professional season. Surgery stabilized the joint. Though it healed well enough to allow her to compete in an adult league and run with her players in practice, Mayza decided to focus on coaching.

      The guard spent the 2017-18 season playing in Eastern European Women's Basketball League, evenly splitting time between Denmark and Lithuainia. She battled language issues and loneliness off the floor, often communicating with her family via Facetime.

            "I loved the experience," Mayza said. "I'm happy I did it. It was metnally challenging to balance everything."

            She started with Lemvig VB in Denmark, was named a team captain, and played nearly every minute. In January of 2018, she signed with Kibirkstis Vilnius in Lithuania. Due to a bigger bench, Mayza played fewer minutes. 

"The competition was great," she said.

            In April, Mayza aggravated an ankle injury she initally suffered in Denmark. She expected to miss four weeks but was rushed back after four days. She did her best to push through the pain since running, jumping and cutting were painful. 

"I didn't know if it was broken or not," Mayza said.

            The University of Hartford standout served as an assistant coach at Montclair State, a Division III school in New Jersey, during the 2018-19 season. Last season, she accepted a similar position at The Hill School.

            Mayza has embraced her new role. She was three practices into serving as the head coach of a seventh grade AAU team before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the season.

            "I was super excited about that team," Mayza said. "They are a great group of girls."





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