By Christopher Barca and Marc Raimondi
Last week had a deeper meaning for Reana Mohamed than it does for most players.
For the Mary Louis star, who is headed to George Mason next year, it wasn’t just about playing or getting the Nike gear. The Wheelchair Charities HS Basketball Classic was profound because her late uncle, Rollie Mitchell, was once a patient at Coler-Goldwater, the hospital the proceeds from the event go to.
Mohamed found that out after last year’s tournament and couldn’t wait to compete in the event again. She knew how much the technology at Goldwater helped Mitchell in his time there. It was especially emotional for her because Mitchell eventually died from the gunshot wound he sustained.
“When I found it was the same hospital, I was like wow,” Mohamed said. “I definitely wanted to be part of it again.”
Not only was she part of it, she led the Queens girls to the championship game, where she scored 18 points last Thursday night at York College. Mohamed was named Queens most valuable player.
“God gave me a talent for a reason,” said Mohamed, who will head down to Mason in July for summer classes. “Any time I can make people aware and raise money for a good cause, I think it’s a great thing. Whenever I have a chance to be part of something like this, I will be.”
Big few months for Nwajei: There was an adjustment period in transferring from Mary Louis to Murry Bergtraum in early February for Jasmine Nwajei. She admitted to missing her former teammates badly — “those are my sisters” — but has since settled in.
Recently, the junior guard said, Bergtraum Coach Ed Grezinsky named her captain for next year’s team, which will try to win a 15th straight PSAL city title. Nwajei is already getting into that mindset.
“I’m going to have to lead the team,” she said.
But before next season, she will play her final summer of travel basketball with Positive Direction. Nwajei said James Madison, Stony Brook and Fairleigh Dickinson have all contacted her recently. Mohamed, her longtime Positive Direction and former Mary Louis teammate, sees big things on the horizon.
“I think she’s going to have a big summer,” Mohamed said. “I think she’s going to get a lot of looks this year. She just has that competitive edge. She hates losing.”
Randolph star impresses: Jaywana Bradley couldn’t have picked Jete Griffin out of a lineup a few weeks ago. Now the Manhattan Center coach considers herself a fan.
“She’s Miss Athletic,” said Bradley, who coached the Manhattan team this week. “She can rebound, put the ball back, pass the ball and she would be an asset to any team she would play for. I’ve never seen her before, but these last few days have been extremely impressive.”
The 5-foot-8 Griffin averaged 23.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season for A.P. Randolph of PSAL Class A. She embraced the challenge of playing with the elite players in the city and will probably go to a junior college next year.
“Playing with these girls was really hard and different,” Griffin said. “They are better all-around players than I’m used to playing. But my athleticism helped me out today, as all of those girls are great athletes.”
Binder stands out: Rye Country Day’s Carolyn Binder was unknown to most New York City high school basketball people before this week. But she made a statement at the Wheelchair, going for a game-high 16 points, including four three-pointers, in the Bronx team’s consolation win loss to Manhattan.
“It’s great to know that all of my hard work on and off the court paid off today,” the junior sharpshooter said. “Long range shots are kind of my thing after all. I’m happy they fell.”
Alston essay winner: Jasmine Alston won Brooklyn/Staten Island’s best essay award for her writing on how the hospital visit to Coler-Goldwater affected her.
The Bishop Loughlin junior guard has developed an affinity for writing while penning her biweekly diary for nypost.com, All That Jas.
Manhattan 65, Bronx 58 (girls): Bergtraum’s Shequana Harris had 13 points and A.P. Randolph’s Jete Griffin and Lab Museum United’s Ashanti Plummer each had nine points to lead Manhattan in the girls consolation game.
Rye Country Day’s Carolyn Binder had 16 points and Cardinal Spellman’s Onia Webb and Nicole Awooner-Renner each had nine points.