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Shaq Mosley Nassau Player of the Year

Uniondale's Shaquille Mosley blows by Farmingdale guard Jack

Uniondale's Shaquille Mosley blows by Farmingdale guard Jack Burke for the layup. (Jan. 12, 2012) Credit: George A. Faella

For the past three years, basketball teams on Long Island have fallen victim to the "Shaq Attack."

But the similarities between Uniondale's Shaquille Mosley and NBA icon Shaquille O'Neal start and end with their first names.

The 7-1 O'Neal often has said the meaning of his name in Arabic is "little warrior," which is a description that couldn't be more appropriate for the 5-8 Mosley.

"It really fits me a lot," Mosley said. "No matter how people tried to challenge me, no matter what defense they threw at me, whatever I went through, I always continued playing to the best of my ability and tried to help my team win the game."

Mosley's team won plenty of games during the course of his varsity career, which he capped this season by being named Newsday's Nassau Player of the Year.

The point guard averaged 26 points per game -- behind only North Shore's Justin Bell (29 ppg) on Long Island -- added five assists and three steals per game, and hit a Nassau-best 60 three-pointers. He led the Knights to an undefeated regular season, but his 22 points in the county championship game weren't enough as Uniondale lost to Baldwin, 57-53.

"He's been a dynamic player for us," Uniondale coach Tom Diana said. "He joins the legacy of real good players who we've had come through here."

Mosley scored the 1,000th point of his three-year career in a win over Freeport on Feb. 21 and finished with 1,062 points, including a career-high 40 against Chaminade on Feb. 6.

The problem with guarding Mosley? Defenders can't give him space because of his lethal outside shot and can't play up on him because of his speed and ballhandling ability.

Teams threw various defenses at Mosley -- box-and-one, diamond-and-one, triangle-and-two -- but had little success because of his ability to move without the ball, read screens and create space for himself.

"He'll keep you as far away or as close as he wants you to be at any point," said Diana, who joked that Mosley's range is anywhere inside of midcourt. "I really don't think it's your choice defensively, even if you think it is."

Mosley, who won a county championship with Uniondale as a sophomore, remains undecided about where he will go to college. Wherever he ends up, he will carry the confidence that enabled him to become one of the most explosive scorers on Long Island.

"I can take over games when my team needs me to," Mosley said. "If I go out there and play the way I know how to play, I feel like nobody will be able to stop me."

They call that a Shaq Attack.

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