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It's a family affair for Ward Melville's Jamie Agostino, Newsday's Athlete of the Week

Ward Melville's Jamie Agostino drives to the basket

Ward Melville's Jamie Agostino drives to the basket against Commack during a Suffolk girls basketball game on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

When you’re born into a family of basketball coaches, you aren’t really left with much choice. You’re going to spend a lot of time in basketball gyms.  

Jamie Agostino figured she might as well take advantage of it. She started shooting, and shooting, and shooting. And now she’s seeing the results pay off.

The Ward Melville senior was 9-for-10 on three-point shots during a 31-point performance in a 71-44 win over Floyd on Dec. 20 to earn Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors.

“She has a pure love for the game and knows what it takes to be successful,” said her father, Chris Agostino. “Her philosophy is never be outworked and that’s kind of been instilled in her through her love of the game.”

Chris coached Harborfields to a state title in 2012. Uncle Jack coached Amityville to four state titles from 2000-03. Uncles Anthony and Michael currently coach at Newfield and Smithtown West, respectively. All this meant to Jamie was more access to gyms.

“I guess ever since I was little I could shoot,” she said. “I started training around sixth grade with [trainer] Jerry [Powell], and the dribbling drills were OK, but shooting really came to me . . . I have higher standards as a shooter than other parts of my game.”

Since middle school, Agostino has spent most of her free time using the shooting machine beside one of her uncles’ practices or working on her game with Powell. She even occasionally practiced with her father’s team at Harborfields. She typically starts her daily workout with a seven-spot shooting drill, upping the ante after each spot.

“There’s always a standard at each spot — I usually start at 15 makes, then up to 25, 35, etc.,” she said. “It puts me in a rhythm, and I’ve been able to see myself get better.”

Agostino is averaging 15.4 points and has made 30 three-pointers in eight games this season. She’s made at least one three in each game and has had two games with four makes and one game with five. She plays an integral role at Ward Melville (6-2), which has continued its success despite graduating All-Long Island guard Lauren Hansen and losing coach Sammy Prahalis.

“I was nervous at first because Sammy knew me as a person and a player so well, but I’ve already built a relationship with coach [Jamie] Edson and he knows my game,” Agostino said. “Our chemistry is better than ever this year and I’m excited to see how far we can go.”

When the Patriots’ season does end, it’s back to the gym for Agostino. She’ll be playing at Manhattanville College next year, and they’ll need a shooter.  

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