For Zaire Mateen, basketball and winning are important, and so is making sure he gets some time for his reading.
Mateen, a freshman guard on the Golden Eagles basketball team, committed to Laramie County Community College after graduating from South Shore High School in Brooklyn, New York.
“I just knew that this school would be the best opportunity for me to grow as a basketball player,” Mateen said.
Last year the Golden Eagles lost in the Region IX championship game to Gillette College, 101-97. Mateen may not have been on last year’s team that lost, but he wants to make sure the team goes further this year.
“A big goal for me is to help the team make the national tournament, and I really think that’s something we can accomplish,” Mateen said. “We just need to stay strong throughout the year and we should be able to accomplish that.”
Mateen played for both South Shore and a Nike Elite Youth Basketball AAU team while he was in high school. Mateen had a successful senior season for both his high school and AAU teams.
“We had a fantastic season and were one of the top teams in New York City,” Mateen said. “We had a lot of goals that year and only lost a few games, but sadly we lost players for some important games due to eligibility.”
Mateen is poised to bring a lot to the Golden Eagles basketball team this year, but he also enjoys his alone time off the court.
“I love reading. That’s something no one really knows about me,” Mateen said. “I love reading Harry Potter, I’ve read all the books twice.”
Like many kids Mateen’s age, he grew up on the Harry Potter books and they have a special meaning to him.
“It just feels like I’m in another world,” Mateen said. “It’s kind of hard to explain, but it is my biggest hobby that people don’t know about me. I love to read.”