Manhasset salutatorian turns love of sports into small business, future career path

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Manhasset High School Class of 2018 salutatorian Alex Mazer (Photo courtesy of Manhasset school district)

At 12 years old, Alex Mazer was on his way to creating his first small business through a love of sports.

Mazer, the Manhasset High School Class of 2018 salutatorian, started a small Brooklyn Nets fan page called Brooklyn Brigade on Instagram, which quickly grew to 30,000 followers as Mazer taught himself how to design and sell T-shirts.

Brooklyn Nets fans and former players Joe Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor pose with merchandise designed by Alex Mazer. (Photo courtesy of Alex Mazer)

The team eventually contacted Mazer to arrange some joint ticket sale initiatives and group outings, and only after Mazer began attending and organizing these events did his followers learn his age.

“That was a big moment for me because when I would go to games, that’s when fans would finally see who was behind that little social media page,” Mazer said.

Mazer also hosted a weekly live sports broadcast from his home for the site Meet&Greet, and 20 percent of the show’s proceeds go to the nonprofit organization 10,000 Degrees, which helps fund college tuition for underprivileged students.

Mazer will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through the university’s Morehead-Cain merit scholarship to study sports business, possibly pursuing a career as an agent or lawyer.

Mazer has also written about the Yankees for FanSided and college track and field as well as gymnastics for SB Nation. His work has also been featured by Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and Fox Sports.

During high school, Mazer was a 400-meter runner for the Manhasset track team, participating in the cross country season as well as winter and spring track.

Mazer said one of his teachers, Christopher Keen, was a role model for him as well after the two met during Mazer’s freshman year.

After working with the guidance counselors before the beginning of high school, Mazer was convinced taking a full load of honors courses would be too much work, but discovered quickly that his choice to skip the pre-AP social studies course was a mistake.

Keen, who taught the course, saw the drive in Mazer and offered him a new choice — he could skip the pre-AP course and begin the AP class, but he would have to catch up on the work missed in the pre-AP course to be on track with his classmates.

“In one semester, I had to learn the pre-AP curriculum myself,” Mazer said. “I read the textbook three times. I did every homework assignment for the course even though it wasn’t graded, and I would come in during my lunch period to sit in on the class. That was rewarding to me. That built up a lot of confidence in myself that, when tested, I can succeed.”

As well as being the first student to skip the AP social studies requirements, Mazer is also the youngest Mock Trial Club captain in school history, taking the position before the start of his sophomore year. Mazer also serves as vice president of the Feminism Club, president of the National Honor Society and captain of the school’s track and cross country teams.

“I think I’m definitely getting to that point of the year where you start looking back and getting sentimental as you start taking those last drives around town,” Mazer said. “You start seeing those things you’re going to miss. While we are in a bubble here, I think it’s important to appreciate what we have in the sense that we do make a lot of long-lasting connections here.

“I think I’m starting to understand how close-knit this community is and how even though I will have a similar idea in college, it’s nice to have a community where everyone does know each other and everyone is really supportive of each other.”

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