By Ellie Lieberman
Mia Mastrov always grew up playing up. Whether it was battling with older hoopers through Miramontes High School or Cal Stars, boys, girls, or graduating high school early to play at Cal, no challenge is too big for Mastrov. There is no challenge too big for Mastrov and that is evident in her first six games she played in for the Golden Bears while most kids her age would still be frolicking as second semester high school seniors. Mastrov, on the other hand, scored 20 points in her PAC-12 debut against Utah and hit four threes. In March, she scored 12 points against Arizona State and went 4/4 from the line. Even though Mastrov turned 18 today, her goals in the PAC-12 are simple: absolute domination.
“I want to try to make a name for myself in the PAC-12 and be able to do whatever I can for all my coaches,” Mastrov said.
It is clear that Mastrov is a natural-born shooter who will have an impact wherever she goes, and that was immediate from her first game. Besides her strong on-court performance, a highlight for Mastrov was a highlight reel before the game in which her new teammates added her in before she was yet to put on a Golden Bear uniform. That’s the impact Mastrov already has on her teammates in Berkeley.
That doesn’t mean college basketball is all smooth sailing for any player and it’s clear Mastrov knows she has work to do. Though Mastrov felt well-adjusted to the tempo of the game, she admits the fouls at the Division I level took some getting used to. A regular at the UPB gym, this awareness of what she can improve on and dedication to getting better are special characteristics that Mastrov possesses. She credits Packie for helping her stay composed even when buckets aren’t falling for her.
“Whenever I’m missing shots I just think about what Packie is saying,” Mastrov said. “Flick your wrist. Just simple things.
Just six games under her belt for Cal, it’s clear Mastrov is ready to do what it takes to help the program to the next level. For an 18-year-old, she radiates confidence and poise, and is ready to find her place in the game of basketball and give back as well.
When asked what she would tell younger players looking to play in college, Mastrov was composed:
“Listen to details and what they say you can do for the program. Take note of everything they say.”
It’s this drive to be better that separates Mastrov from the pack and will surely make her a popular figure in Berkeley for years to come.