IRVINGTON, NJ – This summer, Tiara Mahorn experienced the thrill of playing for a national championship team.
The Irvington High School rising senior helped Team Heat Lightning capture its division in the Run 4 the Roses Classic, a national AAU girls’ basketball tournament held in Louisville, Ky., July 5-8.
Team Heat Lightning also won the bronze for the entire tournament.
Mahorn credited the team’s coach, Joe Owens, in preparing the team.
“It feels pretty good,” said Mahorn about winning the tournament.
The team then participated in the “Nike Nationals” Tournament of Champions held in Chicago, July 10-12 and finished in second place.
New IHS girls’ basketball head coach Noel Segarra said Mahorn told him that she felt guilty about missing time with her IHS teammates. But Segarra told her it was okay, knowing that he knew it would benefit her.
“She was excited,” Segarra said. “She talked to me before she went and that she was going to miss the first week of camp for us and she was upset with that, but I told her that if she was going to miss that to go to a national tournament, I told her that was okay with me.”
Segarra was happy for Mahorn, but is thrilled to have her back and working with the Blue Knights this summer.
“For her to go out and do that, is incredible, to showcase her talent… I was glad that she got to work with those girls (on Team Heat Lightning), but I am more excited that is going to work with (IHS),” he said.
Segarra has reason to feel excited about the Blue Knights. In addition to Mahorn, who earned First Team honors on the All-Super Essex Conference-Independence Division last winter, the team returns rising junior Aniyah Massey and rising senior Herbina Exume, who made Second Team and Honorable Mention, respectively.
The Blue Knights, who are looking to improve on last year’s 7-16 record, also are expected to add a key transfer from Christ the King Prep, and Segarra is hoping to convince an talented incoming freshman to attend IHS.
“If she stays, then this team is looking good,” said Segarra.
Mahorn’s success with her AAU team will do wonders for her this upcoming high school season.
“I’m hoping that she can take that experience and bring it back here,” Segarra said.
Mahorn is looking forward to the high school season.
“I want to win a state championship,” she said.