Congratulations to the Session 1 Champions winning their respective divisions!
8th grade Division -Exodus
7th grade Division -Southern Alabama Starz (not pictured)
6th Grade Division -Fairfax Stars
5th Grade Division -Top Notch
There was an abundance of talent in the gym throughout the four divisions. I was able to identify a number of prospects that stood out above the rest with developed skill sets and tons of potential. As the youth movement continues to grow these young ladies were ready to step in and shine on the big stage. Below are a few standouts and names to know by class from Session One !
Ryan Carter / Exodus
One of the most talented players throughout the weekend. The combination of size and strength at the guard position with her skill set created a gap between the rest of the pack. A three level scorer, that got to her kill spots at will, excel out of the PNR with solid reads either to score or assist. A willing passer as she made a few eye opening off the dribble passes in transition. I was also impressed with how she competed on the boards with text book box outs, an uncanny focus for such a young player.
Ashley Macalla / Exodus
By far the most athletic and explosive 8th grader I’ve seen in a while. A multi sport athlete with a unmatched intensity level. She is a high flyer, slim in stature but very strong as she owns the boards on both ends. Lightning quick, she got out in transition getting rim to rim in a flash finishing in dynamic fashion. She also creates havoc on defense with lateral quickness and anticipation in passing lanes.
Regina Baker / New Heights
An extremely active guard that competes with passion and undeniable confidence. The southpaw has a natural flare to her game with crafty handle and quick first step as she penetrated the lanes. Her strong build allowed her to over power most guards defending her as she played through contact and had multiple plus ones throughout the weekend. Very scrappy on ball defender causing a number of turnovers.
Leayana Dorville / New Heights
A prospect with enormous potential, her mobility and length is impressive as she glided up and down the court. She has made huge strides with improved footwork and ball handling ability since last look. An aggressive rebounder that finished with both hands around the rim. Also showed nice form on her jumper and some touch from range as she knocked a few down, consistency will come with time.
Madison Drayton / Team Thrill
This kid works with a purpose as she showed patience in the high post. Fundamentally sound as she didn’t force too much and let the game come to her. Showed great footwork using her pivots, the face up game with touch from 15 ft and plays well off two feet executing step through and fade away finishes around the rim.
Keira Kilkinney / Elevate Elite
Swiss Army knife as she scored in multiple ways, rebounds and causes havoc defensively gaining multiple steals/deflections. Her passing ability stood out as she showed patience under pressure and used her height to her advantage. Read the defense well on draw and kicks while making pinpoint skip passes to open shooters out of traps.
Ashley Labeach / Gauchos
A pure athlete with a hard hat mentality, with the speed, power and bounce to her game. Solid defender as her size and quickness allows her to defend 1-5. She ran the floor well, showed goods hands and finish ability. Aggressive out of area rebounder as she attacked the glass off misses for put backs or kicks for extra possession.
Annie Gentile / NJ Raptors
This young lady gets a bucket! She was in go mode all weekend and competes on every play. She couldn’t be denied a paint touch using her hesitation, up and under moves around the rim with uncanny ability to use the backboard. Great facilitator as she gets the ball to her teammates on time and in stride.
Zya Small / Nepa
A prospect with enormous potential as she has all the attributes size, strength and agility. Defensively sound, solid interior moves, finished well around the rim and has a high release with soft touch on the perimeter. She displayed great vision out of the post as she was doubled on every touch which she took advantage on finding her shooters or cutters for easy opportunities. I'd like to see her develop more of a mean streak.
Sydney Santora / K-Low
An intriguing prospect as she doesn't pass the eye test but I quickly noticed her IQ and sneaky athleticism. She plays with no fear and did a great job welcoming pressure breaking down presses and maneuvering out of traps well as she attacked the gaps with purpose.
NAMES TO KNOW
-Jacylah Goode /Exodus -Carly Fox / K-Low
-Taylor Stanfield / FBC -Sydney Santori / K-Low
-Keira Sellers / New Heights -Sage Bagot / Castle
-Leilani Abraham / Ream Durant -Simone Harvey / DPS
Morghan Reckley / Southern Alabama Stars
High energy guard with the ball on a string, quickness and showed elite finishing ability in transition. Also can stretch the floor with the long ball, she has a quick release as she knocked shots down with consistency. She created problems defensively with her speed and anticipation rattling opposing guards in the full court press getting tons of steals for easy buckets.
Loriel Murray / Southern Alabama Stars
Skilled post player with great foot work around the rim. Extremely aggressive as she was nearly unstoppable on the boards. Her relentless effort allowed second and third opportunities as she finished through contact. She has a face up game, good up and under moves and nice touch on her drop step, looking forward to seeing more form her.
Sarah Nezaj / Palisades
Flat out baller, first look at her but immediately noticed how much fun she has playing the game. Strong handle with multiple combinations allowing her to get downhill with ab array if finishes at the rim. She has a great feel and plays with her eyes as she seemed to be a step ahead most of the time. Scored at will and as play maker she made her teammates better.
Amoree Anderson / K-Low
A dynamic guard that plays with maturity and great feel as she understands pace and angles. Quick with a lot of shake to her game, tight handle and her stop and go kept defenders on their heels allowing her to get in the lane or pull up, also did a good job finding her shooters spotting up. Defensively her low stance and quick hands allowed her to get multiple on ball steals that translated to easy buckets.
Madison Wallace / Castle
Madison is a tough guard that showed ability to stay composed under pressure as she split double teams and avoided traps with her strong ball handling. She did a good job of creating space to get her pull up off the bounce. As the main ball handler she impressed me with her toughness and the way she facilitated things for her team all weekend..
Dianny Armora / New Heights
A score first guard that looked to make plays off of every catch, she has a tight handle with a number of combos that gave defenders fits as she has a nice jump shot as well. Great form with also showed range on her jumper as made a few teams pay for going under screens or sagging off.
Janiya Hargrove / FBC
High IQ guard with a smooth game, great court vision and very effective on both sides of the ball. She showed takeover ability as she has a nice pull up, utilizes in/out to get in lanes and finish at the rim or utulize her floater. Never forced things, a great facilitator getting the ball to teammates where they can be effective.
Cidney Stanfield / Exodus
High motor player with great energy on and off the court. Solid framed guard that is very competitive and welcomes physicality as she is willing to mix it up inside. Searches for her jumper which has nice form and follow through. still honing her skills but not afraid of the moment as she hit big shots for her team over the weekend.
Kennedy Broughton / New Heights
Glue type, compact guard that uses her speed and quickness to her advantage as she blew by defenders with her quick first step, breaking down the defense and making the right play. Didn’t force things offensively and was a steady factor for her team on the defensive end.
Breya LaTennier / Team Sharp
Breya had a breakout weekend as she helped her team reach the championship, knocking down big shot after big shot. She has improved in many aspects of her game, none more than the deep ball which she hit with consistency. Also did a great job picking her spots and attacking the lanes to get to her floater or pull up.
Makayla “KK” Townsend /Castle
KK did all the things a post player is supposed to do, She is very mobile for her size and boxed out well. Fundamentally sound as kept the ball high and started the break with pin point outlet passes. She was a pressure release for her guards, reversed the ball and relocated to space well. Great hands catching and finishing screen and rolls or absorbing contact getting herself to the foul line.
NAMES TO KNOW
-Alyssa Hildago / Exodus -Harmoni Burgess / New Heights
-Dahlia Debourou / NJ Raptors -Ariel Medina / Riverside
-Leah Dewitt / Southern Stars -Nala Laocca / Castle
With the trend over the past few years the more talented players in their perspective class play up a grade sometimes even two. It was exciting to watch the babies get after it with a few players showing skill sets beyond their years. I inked a few that have the potential to be special as they continue in the development stages of their basketball journey.
29' Jayden Mclain / FBC Young Guns
My first take away wasn't her 6'3 frame which is jaw dropping to say the least but her mobility is what stood out. She is only 11 years old and obviously still developing the aerobic movements but she displayed a great understanding of the game. She posted up strong, showed her hands, relocated to space off her guards drives. Defensively she crowded the lanes, shifted to help well and block or adjusted numerous shots. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
29’ Mika Doy / Team Durant
A prototypical guard with a great feel to be so young, it was refreshing to watch her play the PG position. A floor general that kept her eyes up surveying the floor off the catch. She could get to her shot at at will but showed patience getting her teammates involved as her quickness and ball control allowed her to let things develop. She had her floater and pull up going and step into a few from 3 point range as well.
29’ Mackayla Smith /Team Durant
Mackayla has a athletic frame and is an explosive wing with strength and balance. She looked to attacked the lanes with her quick crossover or in and out moves, her bounce along with body control at her age was eye opening. I'm look forward to keeping track of her development.
29' Sky Slater / Fairfax Stars
Set up guard that plays with an endless motor, she was very effective on both ends of the floor, making it tough for opposing guards to get their teams going. While on the other hand she controlled the game methodically picking the defenses apart with her quickness getting in the lanes and making the right pass. Eventually guiding her team to a Championship.
29’ Katherine Ross / Team Durant
The glue to her team as she does all the little things. A hardhat player with high IQ and great passing ability. She was undersized down low but used her body well to rebound and was the first on the floor for lose balls winning majority off the 50/50 balls. Very impressed with her accepting and excelling in that role at such a young age.
29' Leah Dukes / Exodus
Playing up, Leah showed no fear as she simply competed all weekend. I remember her attending our Next 100 event (NJ) as a 4th grader and focus has increased. She has grown a bit and stronger, she showed improved handle as she attacked in transition. Displayed her shot making ability as she let it go from deep with confidence over the weekend. I could see her really being a menace defensively with her length on the perimeter.
30’ Brooklyn McCormick / Riverside
Brooklyn is a tough little guard that plays with tons of passion with attitude to match. She has a nice hesitation dribble, uses her body well to ward off defenders when under pressure. She has good footwork into her jumper off the dribble. This kid will be in the conversation when its all said and done.
30' Namiah Bittle / Princess Warriors
Plays with no fear, goes hard on every possession and determined as a little guard. She created a number of jump balls, not afraid to dig in to help post players and picked a few pockets with a number of on ball steals. She has a natural bounce to her game with quick change of direction getting downhill as she continues develops she gonna be a problem