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She Got Game DC and Capital Invitational: Once again a winning pair!

By Bob Corwin, 12/13/23, 3:15PM PST


Maddy McDaniel of Bishop McNamara HS, Sarah Strong of Grace Christian School, and Kiyomi McMiller of Life Center Academy (PC: Bob Corwin)

In its 14th year, The St. James She Got Game Classic DC, presented by Kaiser Permanente, was held during the weekend of December 8-10, 2023, with the primary site being at The St. James (an amazing multi-sport complex) in Springfield, Virginia.  On Thursday, December 7, the Capital Invitational (in its third year), sponsored by Events DC and FedEx, was held at Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC.  

Capital Invitational consisted of eight games (two at a time) on adjoining courts.  Generally speaking, the teams from the Metro DC area played teams from out of the area on a pre-set by invitation (no entry fee) basis. There were numerous close games involving nationally ranked team and here are the results of some.  Long Island Lutheran (NY; USA #1 in most polls) defeated a game St. John’s College (DC) 68-55.  Bishop McNamara (MD) outlasted Duncanville (TX) 66-61. Camas (one of the top teams in Washington State) defeated Maret (DC) 51-47.  Finally in a battle of two of the best in their respective states, Winston Salem Christian (NC) edged Westtown School (PA) 58-56.  About 30 NCAA Division 1 schools attended the event and were rewarded with viewing a host of prospects on both courts.  Although all did, teams from Capital Invitational were not required to play in the St. James She Got Game Classic which started the next day.  

The St. James She Got Game Classic DC saw approximately 195 teams play one to three pre-set games.  150 college coaches (representing 107 NCAA D1 schools and 8 below that level) attended one or more days of the event.  There was talent all over the 10 courts at The St. James with the biggest complaint by college coaches being insufficient seating (College coaches must sit separately from parents.) with the ‘big games’ often packed to overflow.  As a writer following the prep game, I consider NIKE TOC (held in Arizona before Christmas) and this combination of two events to be the two most talent-dense events nationally of the high school season.  If you want to show how good your high school team is, these are places where you can make your mark!

Best teams present

Long Island Lutheran (NY) dominated fellow nationally ranked Duncanville (TX) 74-45 with its high powered, senior-laden offense. To Duncanville’s credit, its players fought to the very end and remember this team recently defeated Etiwanda (CA; top 5 nationally pre-season) in double-overtime back in Texas.

IMG Academy (FL) posted high quality wins over Westtown (PA; 63-46 on Friday) and Bishop McNamara (MD; 60-54 on Saturday). IMG Coach Frank Oliver coached McNamara prior to this season.  

Both Long Island Lutheran and IMG are in the top bracket at NIKE TOC in Arizona prior to Christmas and thus could meet during the event.

Credit to all attending

Whether by choice of individual coach wishing to secure comfortable wins or dictated by the team’s governing body (for most the State Federation), all too many good teams not that far from Metro DC annually avoid this event where a team cam really be tested.  To those willing to risk defeat in a game not fully of the coach’s choosing, I salute both those who won AND lost in these Metro DC events!

Players below are ranked alphabetically within graduation class with listed height, position, and school (location in parenthesis).


Khadee Hession, 5-8, point guard, St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Unsigned, Hession increased her recruiting stock with 19 and 26-point performances in Aquinas’s two wins at The St. James. She initiates the offense, drives, and can read passing lanes to turn the opponent over and score in transition.  

Saniyah King, 5-9, guard, Bishop Ireton High School (Alexandria, Virginia)

Committed to Howard, King does not shy away from contact but can also shoot the three.  Her 17-point outing led her team to a 57-53 comeback win over Canadian power Fort Erie at Capital Invitational.

Maddy McDaniel, 5-9, point guard, Bishop McNamara High School (Forestville, Maryland)

Committed to South Carolina, McDaniel likes the up-tempo attacking style of ball with some flashy handles thrown in at no extra charge. Whether a 66-61 win over Duncanville or 60-54 loss to IMG, the effort was always there.   

Kiyomi McMiller, 5-7, guard, Lile Center Academy (Burlington, New Jersey)

Considered one of the top unsigned guards in this senior class, few have handles as strong as McMiller’s. Primarily a driver, her perimeter shot needs to be respected. In an 80-62 win over Oak City Prep out of North Carolina, she posted 33 points including 14/14 from the charity stripe.     

Tajianna Roberts, 5-10, shooting guard, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)

Signed with Louisville, Roberts gives you defense on an ongoing and in a 63-46 win over Westtown posted 23 points (driving and shooting threes).

Sarah Strong, 6-2, forward, Grace Christian School (Sanford, North Carolina)

One of the very top unsigned seniors, Strong can dominate a game with her play in the key, rebounding and passing.  For her size, she handles the ball well. Her 32 points helped get her team past (51-35) a stubborn Georgetown (DC) Visitation team.  

Syla Swords, 6-0, wing, Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, New York)

Signed with Michigan, Syla Swords can get overlooked on a team that has a topflight post and point guard.  This knock-down three-point shooter often is in the middle of LuHi (as the school is known locally) runs turning smaller leads into larger ones. At Capital Invitational, she led her team in scoring (18 points) in a 68-55 win over St. John’s (DC) which is nationally ranked in some polls.  

Kyndal Walker, 5-10, point guard, St. John’s College High School (Washington, DC)

Committed to nearby Maryland, Walker did what she could in the above-mentioned loss to LuHi.  She shot the three, drove some and initiated the offense in scoring 26 points.


Justine Henry, 5-11, guard, The Mary Louis Academy (Jamaica Estates, New York)

Most impressive was that Henry plays hard and makes good decisions.  She can attack and hit the three (four in this game; 19 points total) as her team won 67-59 over Regis Jesuit of Colorado.

Emily Knouse, 6-0, wing, Archbishop Wood High School (Warminster, Pennsylvania)

Orally committed to Saint Joseph’s, Knouse has good size, sturdy frame and can stroke the three posting 19 points in a win over North Carolina power Panther Creek.

Cearah Parchment, 6-3, forward, Fort Erie International Academy (Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada)

Considered one of Canada’s top 2025 prospects, Parchment (more finesse than power) can shoot the three or attack the rim.  At times appearing average athletically, she has a deceivingly quick first step to the basket and for her height moves well enough attract interest from most Power 5 schools.  

Deniya Prawl, 6-2, forward, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, and considered one of best juniors coming out of there, Prawl is a quality athlete who is a powerful attacker. At The St. James, she showed that her outside shot must be respected as well.  Her performance in a 60-54 win over Bishop McNamara earned her player of the game honors.

Shayla Smith, 5-10, shooting guard, Audenried Charter (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

With offers from the Power 5 down, Smith was like a tornado on the move attacking the basket and hitting three triples scoring 31 points in helping her team to a 58-57 win over Osbourne Park (perennially strong team from northern Virginia).  


Oliviyah Edwards, 6-3, forward, Elite Prep (Issaquah, Washington)

When it comes to athletic upside, Edwards is near the top of the chart and is being recruited as such.  She finishes well with either hand near the rim. Away from the basket, her perimeter stroke looks ok but needs to not be settled for as often as she appears to as she is currently more dangerous attacking in the paint.    

Madison Howard, 5-9, guard, Monsignor Scanlan High School (Bronx, New York)

Howard came up big with 27 points in a 69-65 overtime win over Riverdale Baptist of Maryland. More of a driver, her perimeter stroke still must be respected.


Jezelle Banks, 5-9, guard, Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Delaware)

Considered on of the top guard prospects in the freshman class, Banks can best be described as ‘smooth’.  She is athletic but under control, has good basketball IQ and can finish at the rim with either hand. Still as a very young player, she is not consistently dominant on the court.  Some things just need time!

Chance Berry, 5-11, guard, Royal Crown School (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Considered one of the top prospects in Canada’s 2027 class, Berry has the basis needed to play in the Power 5 with size, stroke from behind the arc, good basketball IQ and passing skills. As might be expected for a very young player, she is still a work in progress.

Gabby Domercant, 5-9, shooting guard, Whitney Young High School (Chicago, Illinois)

Coming off the bench, Domercant hit six three’s (23 points) in helping her team to a 65-55 win over Camas High School.  Like so many freshmen, showing the ability to score consistently is not yet there (was quiet with just a few points in her team’s next game).

Jordyn Palmer, 6-1, forward, Westtown School (West Chester, Pennsylvania)

One of the top freshmen in the USA, Palmer goes to the basket with authority and is not afraid of physical contact. Although the team went 1-2 over the weekend, its core is young and cannot be discounted to finish as one of the top 25 teams in the USA as it recently posted a win over consensus top 10 Sidwell Friends of DC.

Amelia Sow, 6-0, shooting guard, Seminaire Saint-Francois (St-Augustin, Quebec, Canada)

With Power 5 upside, Sow is a work in progress just putting it all together. She runs very well, moves without the ball, has perimeter stroke and good basketball IQ. 

Deniya Prawl of IMG Academy (PC: Bob Corwin)

Shayla Smith of Audenried Charter (PC: Bob Corwin)