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2019 Boo Williams Nike Invitational (part 1)

By Bob Corwin, 05/01/19, 8:45AM PDT


All Iowa Attack 10th Nike EYBL, winners of the Marques Jackson Division (PC: Bob Corwin)

Marques Jackson Division:  Bombs away takes All Iowa to winners’ circle

By Bob Corwin

The Marques Jackson 16U Platinum (top) Bracket of the 2019 Boo Williams Nike Girls Invitational was won by All Iowa Attack 10th Nike EYBL by a score of 83-39 over host Boo Williams 16 EYBL (Hampton, Virginia).   The Gold Bracket (second place teams from pool play) was won by Exodus NYC EYBL 16U (based out of New York, New York) by a score of 70-52 over Cal Stars Nike 16 EYBL (based out of Orinda, California). 

As has been tradition since the mid 1980’s (2019 is year 35), the Boo Williams Nike Invitational (presented by the Boo Williams Summer League) was held in Hampton, Virginia.  The primary sites were again the Boo Williams Sportsplex and Hampton Roads Convention Center with 231 teams participating at these venues during the weekend of April 26-28, 2019. 

The event had sections ranging from middle school up to multiple divisions for rising seniors or younger players.  Concurrent with the tournament, 32 teams participated in the first stage of Nike's Girls EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League), which will conclude in July.  Approximately 200 colleges (mostly NCAA Division 1) from all over the USA attended one or more days of the event.  

Below is a brief look at the action from the Marques Jackson 16U Platinum (top group of rising juniors and younger from the 32 Nike clubs) followed by a listing of the All-tournament team members with comments on the performance of each.  In a separate article (part 2), the Joe Smith Division will be discussed.  

Looking at the action in the Platinum Bracket final...


All Iowa Attack 10th Nike EYBL 83-39 Boo Williams 16 EYBL

This was expected to be a competitive contrast of styles with Iowa shooting a lot of threes.  Boo Williams was expected to dominate in the paint with a fleet of Division 1 athletic post prospects plus enough defensive quickness to contest (it didn’t happen) Iowa’s threes. 

Wrong! This was over by halftime as the Attack hit 12 threes to zero for Boo and led 54-18 at the break.  This included a 22-0 Iowa run in quarter 2. In the second half, Iowa added five more threes to finish with a 17 to 1 edge in the category.  The Iowa posts did enough to keep any Boo Williams interior edge to a minimum. 

All-tournament team member Caroline Waite (see below) led Iowa with 17 points followed by Ava Hawthorne (5-10, guard, 2022) with 16 points.  No player on Boo Williams reached double figures.      

All-Tournament selection procedure

Questions have been asked as to how 11 players are picked out of 32 teams.  

Herein we discuss the process used for Marques Jackson Division (16 and under, primarily younger [mostly rising junior] Nike club teams).   With 32 teams to monitor over about 2 1/2 days, there was barely enough time with very limited staff to gather data on who should make the all-tournament team (of which I headed up a committee of three).  Players were picked based on performance at the event (as opposed to college potential) along with how the team succeeded at the event. 

Going in, the plan was to give the Platinum (first place teams from pool play) Bracket finalists two representatives each out of the eleven picked.  Each Platinum semi-finalist would get one.  The winner of the Gold Bracket (from second place teams from pool play; also winning three post-pool games) also would get one.  The other four slots were to be given to players who played very well regardless of how her team did.  Granted other worthy players could have been picked but given the limitations of time and personnel, hopefully the selections can be judged as credible.

Special thanks to Harry Elifson and Cristy McKinney who served with me on the selections committee.                   

Below are the all-tournament selections for the Marques Jackson 16U Division.  All will likely be recruited at some level of Division 1 if not already the case. Congratulations to all selected!!

Players are listed alphabetically with listed height, position, graduation year, and club team. Home town is in parenthesis.

2019 Boo William Nike Invitational

Marques Jackson 16U Division

All-Tournament Team

Ashanti Barnes, 6-0, power forward, 2021, Boo Williams 16 EYBL (Norfolk, Virginia)

Barnes was the most consistent of a strong group of post players for Boo Williams.  She displayed some face-up game besides play around the rim.  Power 5 schools should be monitoring her maturation.

Paris Clark, 5-10, shooting guard, 2022, Exodus NYC EYBL 16U (Mount Vernon, New York)

A good athlete with Power 5 upside, Clark can score by attacking the basket and has a nice mid-range stroke.  With decent handles and court vision, she filled in some at point although not her natural position.  Clark helped lead her team to the Gold Bracket title.  

Kennedy Fauntleroy, 5-8, guard, 2022, Boo Williams 16 EYBL (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)

Although only a freshman, Fauntleroy was one of the most skilled guards in the division.  She just needs maturation as to what is a good shot (can score at all three levels).  Power 5 programs should be lining up.

Trinity Gooden, 5-10, shooting guard, 2021, Nike Proskills 16U EYBL (Midwest City, Oklahoma)

Gooden is a good athlete who likes to attack but can also hit the pull-up.  She is a skilled finisher in transition.  Power 5 schools should be courting this prospect.    

Acacia Hayes, 5-6, guard, 2022, TN Flight EYBL 16U (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)

Hayes, the youngest of four quality Division One sisters, was the Flight’s most consistent two-way player in Hampton.  She attacks the basket well but also is a good three-point shooter.  She plays hard and has a good basketball IQ.

Kylie Horstmeyer, 5-11, forward, 2021, Cal Stars Nike 16 EYBL (Greenbrae, California)

Horstmeyer, the daughter of a former CAL head coach, plays hard and is very physical in attacking the basket in the quarter-court and on the fast break.   She also has a nice mid-range stroke and showed well in multiple viewing in Hampton as her team finished second in the Gold Bracket.   

Amiya Joyner, 6-2, power forward, 2022, Carolina Flames 16U – EYBL Richard (Farmville, North Carolina)

A lefty, Joyner (incorrectly listed in college guide as a 2023) is a good athlete with production primarily in the key.  A Power 5 prospect, she finishes well against contact.

Maya Nnaji, 6-4, center, 2022, North Tartan 16/U EYBL (Hopkins, Minnesota)

A Power 5 prospect, Nnaji held the middle together on defense for North Tartan.  She had a couple of good scoring (around basket) at the event for a talented North Tartan.

Paris Clark of Exodus NYC EYBL 16U (PC: Cristy McKinney)

Kennedy Fauntleroy (left) and Ashanti Barnes of Boo Williams 16 EYBL (PC: Bob Corwin)

Hannah Stuelke, 6-1, power forward, 2022, All Iowa Attack 10th Nike EYBL (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)  MVP

Orally committed to Iowa, Stuelke may have been Iowa’s key player as she controlled the middle (rebounding, some interior scoring, defending) allowing its fine three-point shooters (at least four) to do their thing.  Although playing (hard) mostly in the lower paint, she did show some face-up stroke in the upper key.  

Caroline Waite, 5-6, point guard, 2021, All Iowa Attack 10th Nike EYBL (Ames, Iowa)

Waite plays with both fearlessness (penetrating the key, usually dishing) and energy (hitting the floor for loose balls).  Her play (11 points including a couple of threes and high energy) in the first half set the tone for her team’s blowout victory in the final.

Ruby Whitehorn, 6-1, small forward, 2022, Michigan Crossover 16U GEYBL (Harper Woods, Michigan)

Whitehorn was written up in covering the Western PA Bruins event earlier in April.   In Hampton, she was a crowd favorite finishing off several mid-air catches for layups (alley-oops).  One of the best athletes in the division, Whitehorn currently scores primarily by getting to the rim.  Although she has a nice mid-range stroke, building consistency should be on the to-do list for this Power 5 prospect.  

Ruby Whitehorn of Michigan Crossover 16U GEYBL (PC: Cristy McKinney)