Home > Brag Board > Brag Board: Melissa Poderis, Daughter Sister, Student, Volunteer, and Point Guard (Updated)

Brag Board: Melissa Poderis, Daughter Sister, Student, Volunteer, and Point Guard (Updated)

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Jeff Bohen
Staff Writer – (jbohen@buxmontnews.com)

Update 3/2/11: In an update to the story below,  Villa Joseph Marie came back from an early 10 point deficit for a  44-39  win last night in Wissahickon to clinch a PIAA state playoff berth and beating Nazareth Academy for the first time in three tries this year.

Congrats to the Lady Gems.

This will be VJM’s 1st  appearance in the finals since 2004.

Original Story 2/27/11: Parents brag about their children’s accomplishments to friends and family whenever possible.

For them its an essential right,  like the first amendment of parenthood “Freedom to brag will not be abridged by…..”

Local papers and media often celebrate the achievements of local youth also.

Student of the week, athlete of the week, and similar can be found in  plenty of local publications.

What about that young adult in a broader context?

Focusing on them as they grow,  blossoming into young adults while carving out their place in the world, kids of the community, what they do, and who they are take second place to the latest, greatest, “breaking news” story in terms of media.

This is an attempt  to change that here at BuxMontNews.com.

On a bright, crisp,  February morning,  Wednesday the 9th  moving swiftly towards Philadelphia on the Warminster Regional Rail line.

Mrs Patricia, “Patti”  to friends, Poderis, mother of  three, Mark  Jr.,  Melissa, and Andrew sat next to me while on the phone, staring me down until I moved the carry bag on the seat to the left, saying “Friend do you mind?”

She overheard the conversation I was having, talking  basketball, and from there what was a lazy ride to work, became an animated conversation about basketball and her daughter Melissa and the family she and Husband Mark are raising in Willow Grove.

In the 44 minute ride from Willow Grove to 30th St. Station there wasn’t a nanosecond of pause in the exchange.

Reeling of the stats of the day like an ESPN reporter, Poderis  told me with pride and humility about  her daughter Melissa, starting point guard for Villa Joseph Marie girls  basketball team. She won “Athlete of the Week ” for the 3rd time in this past January she said beaming.  Bragging about the young woman she is turning out to be outside of basketball, saying, she’s a great student, does volunteer work at  nursing home and has great friends”

Scrappy, tough, a team leader  unselfish, hard-working, and calming are the qualities required to be successful running the point on any basketball team.

Those same qualities are needed for a successful life too, and its apparent when talking to the entire Poderis family, possessing this kind of depth as people is highly valued.

State Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) was appointed Secretary of  the Children & Youth Committee  earlier this month, knows the Poderis family well.

“That family is solid like a rock. and I have no doubt Melissa will be successful in whatever she chooses to do in life, she is bright, articulate, and a great communicator,” Murt said, late Friday, in an afternoon phone call.

When asked  generally about the family role Murt Said….

“The contribution of the family to  a young persons  development is vital to success as an adult as an adult. I have no doubt  she will excel in the choices she makes for herself.  We have spoken about the importance of going to college…I know she hasn’t made a decision yet about where she’s going to go, but she has a lot of support from those around her,  She’s really a great kid, Murt offered, and “she can come back anytime” to volunteer.

'The Fam'

Poderis family from L to R 1st row Melissa, Patricia, Mark, 2nd row Andrew, Mark Jr.

Dad, Mark Poderis, a bus driver for SEPTA in Philadelphia, said, “I encourage her to socialize, I want her to have balance”  that is difficult for any young person whose team makes the papers weekly.

Asked what’s been her greatest challenge with the team, she said “when I wasn’t named a starter, coach had to find me minutes for me here and there, at first  I don’t think I really worked hard enough…and her father mentioned it to her, “…after that I got back on track ” and now she starts.

Poderis’ self-awareness and honesty and compassion for others is evident as she offers her answers.

Unsure  what she want’s to major in when college starts, she knows, “I want to do something with kids, not sure what, but I know it’s not teaching, that’s not for me.” Yet she has a quiet reserved confidence, her sense of place in the world around her is grounded with a quiet a confidence.

Her favorite subject is “science”, she awakens each morning to a Lady GaGa ringer, finds her younger brother Andrew  “amusing” respects older bother Mark Jr, but “he thinks I drank his Coke the other day,” and “I’m daddy’s little girl.”

Poderis shared about a  discussion in a class last week, about cliques, and the perception sometimes that teams are that, she said “we  (the teams) spend so much time together that we are a click in way, but more of a family” than anything else.

In describing  the support she gets from her family she said, “Mom doesn’t come to many games anymore because she’s taking my little brother (Andrew) all over the place…. Dad comes to my games, knowing he’s there to support me is comforting.”

Still sharp at 9;45 p.m. on Wednesday night, Poderis quickly told me what she would do, with her team, down by 1, six-seconds left, and ball at half court.

“Well if we have a time out call  it…   take the ball to the top of the key, dish it to Mary (Newell) because she towers over everyone, “for an easy lay-up, and we win,” she said, without blinking an eye.

In the game of life, Poderis is just about at the top of the key heading for half court, deliberate, thoughtful, looking at the options, knowing she can dish it to mom or dad, if she needs to.

Mom and Dad know the game, the game of life that is.

Villa Joseph Marie won  Friday night over Springfield (Delco)  in a PIAA District One Class AAA girls basketball quarterfinal., when Poderis, sank the clinching free throw with about :08 on the clock.

Wednesday’s semifinals at Wissahckon is against Nazareth Academy 6 p.m.

BuxMontNews.com is officially on the Gems bandwagon.

We wish the team luck in their  pursuit of a title, and more importantly, in succeeding in life.

They are all worth bragging about.

If you know of a young person, you that  you want to  brag  about, contact  JBohen@Buxmontnews.com.

Tell us why and we’ll get back to you.

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