December 6, 2020 

Taina Mair is staying home; commits to BC

BC is getting a hidden gem in Mair

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One of the country’s best guards in the 2022 class is off the board, as Taina Mair has committed to head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee and the Boston College Eagles.

Mair, a native of nearby Dorchester, Mass., will not have to travel far as she gets set to take her talents to the next level. Proximity, and playing for the hometown school, certainly played a role in Mair’s decision. “Most of my family lives in Boston, so being able to have them as a close support system, and also being able to play for the city that I grew up in means a lot to me,” she told The Next.

While you may not find Mair’s name on the ESPN top-60 list for the class of 2022, anyone who knows basketball in New England, particularly NEPSAC basketball, knows how good and talented Mair is. Mair, a junior guard for the reigning NEPSAC Class B champions, Brooks School, plays there for head coach Ushearnda Reynolds.

Reynolds, also known as “Coach U,” has had a significant impact on Mair’s life. “Coach U, who has been with me since middle school, helped me have a healthy, yet killer mentality and taught me to always have faith throughout my journey even when it gets hard.”

Mair also plays AAU for the Lady Rivals program under head coach Scott Hazelton. There, Mair has played with and against some of the most talented girls’ basketball players in the country.

According to Hazelton, Mair’s decision to attend BC could really turn the tide for the Eagles in regards to obtaining local talent. “She really is the first highly touted player from our area to go to BC in some time. BC has done an unbelievable job recruiting and really turning that program around rather quickly. I think by T going there it’s going to open the door for other great players from our area to choose to stay home and play for the Eagles.”

McNamee has BC rolling right now, as the reigning ACC Coach of the Year has turned the Eagles program around quickly. They broke the school record for conference wins last season, while earning a No. 6 seed in the ACC Tournament. Many believe that the Eagles have a legitimate chance to better that this year, while competing for an NCAA Tournament berth and a possible spot in the top 25.

When asked about what skills Mair possesses that will translate well to the next level, Reynolds stated, “Taina understands that each possession is one within itself. She enjoys details of the game, staying in the moment and being engaged.”

For Mair, the thought of playing in the ACC was an extremely attractive one. “It’s a very competitive conference that has a lot of talent, and I can’t wait to play and show everyone what I got.”

I have the unique experience of getting to write about a player that I’ve coached against, and in both games, Mair was sensational. She has the ability to influence the game in a variety of different ways. She can go out and score 30+ points and dominate offensively, or she can score 10 points and have even more of an impact. She is a terrific passer, is great in transition, can shoot and get to the bucket, can rebound, and is elite on the defensive end. She truly is an all-around talent that can go for a triple-double any and every time out.

Above all else, she’s a winner. Mair helped the Holderness School (NH) win a NEPSAC Class D championship as a freshman before transferring to Brooks for her sophomore year, where she was not only named the NEPSAC Class B Player of the Year for the 2019-2020 season, but also led Brooks to a Class B championship victory over St. Luke’s School. Two seasons. Two NEPSAC championships.

For Hazelton, her knack for winning never goes unnoticed. “Taina is a winner who leads by example! She plays with an edge which absolutely rubs off on her teammates.”

According to Reynolds, it’s Mair’s leadership that is extremely impressive. “She leads by  being trustworthy and complementary, but holds her teammates accountable. It goes to her generosity and ability to bring people together to achieve one common goal.”

For Reynolds, who has turned a Brooks program around very quickly in just two seasons, Mair’s arrival at Brooks was a program changer. “Taina is one of the most wonderful additions to the program. Her leadership, competitiveness,  knowledge, and commitment to always being coachable, has been an amazing addition for my vision of what I’d like to build this program into. Taina has also been a terrific addition to the Brooks School community as a whole.”

BC hopes that Mair’s arrival to Chestnut Hill will have a similar impact as the Eagles look to continue their upward trajectory in the ACC and nationally.

While Mair won’t have the opportunity to go for four straight, as NEPSAC championships have been canceled, she has her eyes set on the future.

As far as Mair’s goals at BC and things she hopes to accomplish, the answer is simple: “I want to win a national championship.”

When all you’ve done in your basketball career is win, why wouldn’t that be your goal? I, for one, would not bet against her.

Written by Matt Ward

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