Nura Zanna, Coral Springs Christian, small-school boys basketball
( Mike Stocker, Sun Sentinel / March 5, 2013 )
Coral Springs Christian senior
Ht.: 6-7; Pos.: Forward
Statistics: 19 ppg., 10 rpg.
Season highlights: In the regular season, Zanna scored a school-record 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against Orlando Dr. Phillips, and had 26 points and 15 rebounds against Sagemont, converting a three-point play with 4.6 seconds left in the one-point win. He racked up 26 points and 20 rebounds in the regional quarterfinal overtime win against Summit Christian. "He put us on his back and pretty much willed us to a win," coach Steve Fitzgerald said. Zanna then posted 22 points (10-of-14), eight rebounds and four steals against Melbourne Florida Air in the 3A state semifinals and 11 points and 12 rebounds in the final against Jacksonville Providence.
Comment: Zanna, who has signed with Long Island University-Brooklyn, was a force inside for Coral Springs Christian and the No. 1 reason the Crusaders advanced farther than they ever had in program history, falling just short of winning the 3A state championship. His quickness and good footwork and ability to score in a number of different ways around the basket made him a tough player to defend. And his rebounding, including his effort on the offensive boards, made him a major asset. "I just think pound-for-pound, he's the toughest matchup around – not just in this county," Fitzgerald said. "He loves physical [play] and contact, which a lot of players shy away from. He's got sort of a beast mentality where he's got a consistent motor and never stops on the court."
Athlete's quote: "This season was the best season I've had since I've been in high school. Making it to states was a great thing to me and to this school because this is the first time we did it. Coach pushed me to go hard and put in more effort all the time and I'm proud of the hard work I put in. I really worked on many things with my game – my offense and defense, free throws and shooting range – and I feel like I really improved my game. And that helped the team."