Video: Tom Brady's niece in action
See images of freshman Maya Brady at Oaks Christian High
Tom Brady has never wavered.
At an early age, he lived in the shadow of his sister Maureen, a softball legend around the San Francisco Bay Area. She later starred at Fresno State and made the U.S. Junior Olympic team.
Though Brady has certainly made his own name, Maureen's softball prowess has come back to light in the form of her offspring. Maya Brady
, Tom's niece, is a star freshman for Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)
and has already accepted a scholarship to UCLA. The 5-foot-7 shortstop and leadoff hitter is batting .391 over 28 games with a .462 on-base percentage. She's second on the team with 36 hits and first in runs (30), stolen bases (13-for-13) and home runs (two).
Oaks Christian is No. 32 nationally and No. 11 in California according to the
MaxPreps Softball Computer Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
. The Lions won a first-round playoff game 10-3 over Carter on Thursday and host Camarillo Tuesday.
Maya Brady is already used to answering questions about her famous uncle. Like most teens, she's trying to carve her own path.
"Given the athletes in the family, it's definitely hard to make your mark," she told the Ventura County Star
. "It's hard to pass up someone who wins the Super Bowl. But hopefully in the future I can make my own mark and say 'Look what I did in my career.'"
In high school, Tom Brady was more known for his ability on the diamond than the gridiron. He was something of a Little League legend, often associated with his sister, a pitching sensation.
According to Cal-Hi Sports, Maureen Brady was California's all-time leader in wins with 111 when she graduated in 1991 from Hillsdale (San Mateo), where she recorded 29 no-hitters and 14 perfect games. She also held the record for career shutouts with 69. Both records have since been broken.
His two other sisters also played sports collegiately, Julie at St. Mary's College (soccer) and Nancy at Cal (softball).
The youngest of four children and the only boy, was proud of his sisters but also driven by them, said Dean Ayoob, the school's athletic director who was a senior at the school when Brady was a freshman.
"From what I recall, a driving force for Tom was to not be known simply as Maureen's little brother," Ayoob said.
Lately, he no doubt loves to be known now as the big uncle of Maya, who grew up in San Mateo, moved to Bakersfield and now resides in the Moorpark Area.
She's attended every Super Bowl Tom has played in and the two are close.
"He doesn't really talk to me specifically about softball, but he always tells me to work hard and gives me some motivation," Maya told the newspaper. "He just says to try your hardest and supports me a lot."