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Insider Exposure 10th Annual Thanksgiving Classic had a lot to offer

By Bob Corwin, 11/27/23, 9:45AM PST


Host Bolles girls basketball team went 3-0 at the event.

Fifty-three colleges (mostly NCAA Division 1) did not show up in Jacksonville, Florida, during the pre-Thanksgiving period of November 20-22, 2023, just to get some late fall Florida sunshine.   Presented by Insider Exposure, its 10th Annual Thanksgiving Classic had 92 high school teams (mostly from Florida) playing one to three pre-set contests with main site (of four) being The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. 

The event featured five teams from MaxPreps pre-season national rankings plus several other highly regarded Federation (members of the National Federation of High Schools) and non-Federation teams including several of Canada’s best.

Florida, America’s most competitive state?

In so many states in the USA, the best teams find reasons NOT to play each other. Many are locked into league schedules with little room to add quality opponents.  A number of states restrict travel further limiting options for the best teams to test themselves.  Finally, all too many coaches of quality teams prefer to use self-scheduled game slots to take on safe opponents (good teams but ones which will be underdogs in a contest with them).  Refreshingly, in Florida, the vast majority of the best teams (Federation and non-Federation) aggressively seek out quality opposition in and as possible, outside The Sunshine State.  Wish this was true all over America!  In the current era of girls’ basketball, the best way to gain recognition is to take on quality opposition as possible rather than opting for safe “W’s” as is still the practice for so many in the sport.      

Best team present

The consensus from college coaches/scouts present was that Montverde Academy was narrowly best in a close decision over IMG Academy and DME National (all ranked by MaxPreps).  What gave Montverde the edge was having one of the top unsigned seniors in the USA in Jaloni Cambridge (see below) in charge of running its offense.  Amongst Federation state series (play for a state title; the above do not) schools, Orlando Dr. Phillips (also ranked by MaxPreps in the pre-season) appeared best thanks to a combination of talent and crisp execution.

Players below are listed alphabetically within class with listed height, position, and school (location in parenthesis). All below have division 1 upside and performed in some noteworthy way during the event.


Ciara Alexander, 5-11, forward, Mount Paran Christian School (Kennesaw, Georgia)

Although in smaller 2A (out of seven classes), Mount Paran is one of the top teams in Georgia and Alexander (Campbell signee) is one reason why.  She plays hard, is physical and scores primarily by attacking the basket.  Her efforts helped her team go 2-0 at the event. 

Jaloni Cambridge, 5-7, point guard, Montverde Academy (Monteverde, Florida)

Unsigned and considered top five USA in the 2024 class, Cambridge’s presence helped make sure several top-level programs were in the gym.  She can dominate the game from the guard position scoring mostly in the midrange and attacking the rim.  In the first of her team’s two wins in Jacksonville she went 18/18 from the foul line (32 points for the game).    

Jada Eads, 5-7, point guard, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, FL)

The Seton Hall signee is just full of energy, plays both ends of the floor. Has really good court vision but her defense is non-stop. Handles the ball well and can penetrate the lanes. Really impressed overall with her performance.

Toby Fournier, 6-3, post, Crestwood Preparatory College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

A Duke signee, Fournier is known as a dunking sensation on the internet.  During games, she is strictly “meat and potatoes” scoring primarily near the rim and rebounding strongly.  She is an above average shot blocker and two late game blocks helped secure the second of Crestwood’s two wins at the event.

Ines Goryanova, 5-9, guard, DME Academy National (Daytona Beach, Florida)

Signed with Baylor and originally from Europe, Goryanova is a bit unorthodox in that she plays somewhat erect and will not frighten you with athleticism. Then she will go by you with a quick step to the rim!  She can also hit the deep three and help with point guard duties.  

Talia Kemp, 5-7, guard, Southeastern Preparatory Academy (Maitland, Florida)

Signed with Robert Morris, Kemp has above average speed in attacking the rim. Although more driver, she can hit the three.

Kayla Nelms, 6-2, forward, Miami Country Day School (Miami, Florida)

Signed with Baylor, Nelms is strongly built and can post the opponent up but also has a nice face-up stroke to beyond the arc.  She posted 20 points in a 48-42 loss to Canadian power Crestwood.

Carmen Richardson, 5-8, guard, Colonial High School (Orlando, Florida)

Signed with East Tennessee State, this coach’s daughter does a little bit of everything at the guard position helping Colonial win both games at the event.

Bri Rivera, 5-7, shooting guard, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Florida)

Signed with Austin Peay, Rivera is not the most heralded of her team’s four seniors.  However, hitting 11 3’s over her team’s two wins in Jacksonville got her noticed.

Xamiya Walton, 5-7, point guard, Butler College Prep (Chicago, Illinois)

Signed with Northwestern and one of the top seniors in Illinois, Walton carries a big load for her team.  She handles the ball, initiates the offense and is the team’s leading offensive weapon both driving and shooting the three.   


Kali Barrett, 6-2, forward, Cardinal Mooney High School (Sarasota, Florida)

Power 5 schools are always looking for tall players with size and ability to shoot from the perimeter.  Barrett is one who is working to fill that niche.  She appears to be improving her perimeter stroke just needing more consistency in shooting perimeter three.  In one game she had none being held under ten points and the next day hit five threes totaling 22 points against a better opponent no less! 

Lena Girardi, 6-0, forward, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)

Giradi transferred from a strong state series Florida high school (where she would have starred as #1 scoring threat) to IMG where she complements four other Power 5 signees/prospects with more rep in scouting circles. What she lacks in athleticism, she makes up for with a high work rate and physical play which sets a good example for her teammates (as her team won all three games in Jacksonville).  Power 5 schools have already taken note.  

Joselyn Grier, 5-8, guard, Winston Salem Christian School (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Grier typifies this year’s Winston Salen Christian team (no superstars; lot of constant effort). She scores both via attack and perimeter stroke.

J’Niya Weaver, 5-8, guard, Mt. Zion Prep (Lanham, Maryland)

Weaver keeps proving her division 1 worthiness yet very few such schools have sent a scholarship offer in her direction.  In Jacksonville, she competed versus guards being recruited at or near the Power 5 level.  Weaver is athletic, plays with the proverbial good motor and can score via attacking or shooting from the perimeter. One might ask for more consistency but that could be said of a lot of D1 prospects.

Roxy White, 5-11, forward, Example Academy National (Frankfort, Illinois)

White is strongly built and likes to operate from the baseline area.  She has a smooth perimeter stroke inside and beyond the arc.  Power 5 schools are lining up.


Jasleen Green, 5-9, guard, American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)

Coming off an injury but you would not know it as Green plays hard!  Although more driver, she showed a midrange stroke that should be respected.

Shania James, 5-6, guard, Example Academy National (Frankfort, Illinois)

James is athletic, has above average handles, appears to have good basketball IQ as young players go and can knock down the three-ball.  Power 5 programs are already offering.

Terrell McCoy, 6-4, center, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Florida)

Strongly built, McCoy has good hands and is learning to finish in close in traffic.  With continued improvement, look for her to move up the Division 1 recruiting ranks.

Kendall Perry, 5-8, guard, Dr. Phillips High School (Orlando, Florida)

Athletic, Perry shows a good mix of driving ability and mid-range stroke. Power 5 programs are now showing interest in this young player.   

Taryn Thompson, 5-8, point guard, The Galloway School (Atlanta, Georgia)

When an older sister is a Power 5 commit, fans may wonder if the next sister will be of a similar level.  In this case the answer is most likely ‘yes’. Taryn is more point to older sister Tianna wing (Georgia Tech signee).  Taryn handles the ball well, has solid presence as lead guard and can shoot the three to complement her sister who is often the lead scoring option on the team.    


Jalynn Belton, 5-9, small forward, Miami Country Day School (Miami, Florida)

Strongly built particularly as very young players go, Belton likes to come at the basket from the baseline but can hit the three. She is considered one of the top prospects in Florida’s 2027 class.

Rebecca Joshua, 6-4, center, Mt. Zion Prep (Lanham, Maryland)

Joshua is still in the learning phase but her agility and ability to run the court at her height should put her on to the radar of Power 5 programs.

Yinuo Wang, 5-5, point guard, American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)

What Wang may lack in height and athleticism, she compensates with high basketball IQ, a quick and accurate three-ball and an ability to find open driving lanes to the rim.

Jaloni Cambridge of Montverde Academy

Toby Fournier of Crestwood Prep

Carmen Richardson of Colonial HS

Xamiya Walton of Butler College Prep (PC: Bob Corwin)