Norman's starting five: Aaliyah Henderson (#3), Kelbie Washington, Mikayla Parks, Myka Perry and Chantae Embry (#33) (PC: Bob Corwin)
By Bob Corwin
Held at The Bolles School on November 26 and 27 in Jacksonville, Florida, twenty teams (mostly from Florida) took to the court to play a series of pre-set games. Seventeen colleges (mostly NCAA D1) attended at least one day of this Thanksgiving Classic presented by Insider Exposure. Below is a sampling of some of the NCAA Division 1 talent present with many young prospects profiled for the first time on this site.
Oklahoma team shines while visiting Florida
While most of the teams were from Florida (a few out of Alabama and Georgia), it was Norman (Oklahoma) High School which stole the show with its talented team playing so well together. These were Norman’s first games, but in its intelligence and effort presented, looked in mid-season form. They defeated (66-50) Braden River High School with star O’Mariah Gordon (see below) held to 20 hard-earned points and a Bishop Kenny team (68-40) that made a deep post-season run last year. Norman should be receiving attention from national high school pollsters starting five underclass Division 1 prospects (at least a couple of whom already have Power 5 offers).
Looking at some of the talent (all D1 at some level) present with height, position and school within graduation year. Players were primarily from Florida.
Ahliah Brown, 5-7, shooting guard, Raines High School (FL)
Brown is a good athlete who looks to score. While her game is still maturing, she has a nice pull-up jumper and can hit the three be it not option one.
Chantae Embry, 6-0, power forward, Norman High School (OK)
Embry would be our pick for unofficial player of the entire event. She dominated the key in both of her team’s wins thanks to her good hands, mobility and strong build. She has nice touch around the basket but can also face-up at mid-range. Coming back from a knee injury about a year ago, Embry (has Power 5 offers) looked in mid-season form.
O’Mariah Gordon, 5-5, point guard, Braden River High School (FL)
Gordon has been discussed on our site a number of times. In this event what may have been most impressive was her multiple blocks against taller opponents. The Gatorade Florida Player-of-the-year in 2018-2019, Gordon continues to impress with her ability to attack off the bounce (two outings of 20 points or better) at the event while looking to involve teammates.
Jasmyne Roberts, 5-10, small forward, Bishop Kenny High School (FL)
A cousin of the WNBA’s Courtney Williams, Roberts impressed observers with her powerful penetrations finishing herself or dishing off in the key. While drive-oriented, her perimeter stroke appears more of a weapon than a year ago. Power 5 offers are now coming her way.
O'Mariah Gordon of Braden River High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Aleah Sorrentino, 6-3, power forward, Florida Prep (FL)
Orally committed to Mississippi, Sorrentino has been battling knee issues for a number of years. Now back in the line-up, she plays hard and uses her body well in the lower key scoring mostly near the rim.
Samara Spencer, 5-8, shooting guard, St. Thomas Aquinas High School (FL)
Orally committed to Arkansas, Spencer’s game seems to be maturing. She is a good athlete with strong dribble penetration. Outside shooting appears to need to be more consistent as to production but is coming along.
Erin Torral, 5-4, shooting guard, Lincoln High School (FL)
Turral posted 42 points in one outing during this event. She can hit the three but loves to shooter floaters and makes this difficult shot more often than one might expect. Smaller height will very possibly keep her out of the Power 5 but mid-majors are already lined up.
Erin Turral of Lincoln High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Kelbie Washington, 5-7, point guard, Norman High School (OK)
Washington appears to be the primary lead guard on a team with a lot of quality guard play. She runs offense first and looks to score by penetration. Playing hard, Washington is also an above average on ball defender.
Saniya Jones, 6-4, center, Duluth High School (GA)
Jones is raw but runs the court very well. On defense, she has shot blocking ability.
Mikayla Parks, 5-8, guard, Norman High School (OK)
A decent athlete, Parks looks to score by getting to the rim or shooting from the perimeter (inside and behind the arc). Whether helping with ball handling or playing on the wing, she plays within the context of the offense.
Myka Perry, 5-10, guard, Norman High School (OK)
Perry appears more shooting guard but can play the point. She uses her long stride to get to the rim from the perimeter. Second option appears to be shooting the three. She has Power 5 offers.
Karina Gordon, 5-8, shooting guard, St. Thomas Aquinas High School (FL)
Gordon is still learning but got quality time at the event. Decent athletically, she can shoot the three.
Aaliyah Henderson, 5-8, shooting guard, Norman High School (OK)
A good athlete, Henderson likes to work the baseline area looking to attack. She needs to build shooting range.
Jada Jones, 6-3, center, Sandalwood High School (FL)
Jones has good hands and the ability to make post moves in the lower paint. Her game is still developing.
Emma Risch, 6-1, shooting guard, Florida Prep (FL)
Risch already has multiple Power 5 offers due to her big time three-point stroke off the catch. She rebounds and passes well. She needs to improve her ball handling and ability to score off the bounce.
Taliah Scott, 5-8, shooting guard, The Bolles School (FL)
Scott has quality “ups,” nice stroke from the perimeter and is a good passer. Power 5 schools are already targeting her.
Emma Risch (#2) and Aleah Sorrentino of Florida Prep (PC: Bob Corwin)
Taliah Scott of The Bolles School (PC: Bob Corwin)