Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rankings, Exposure, Etc

I used to keep up with how many girls from the area received scholarships to play basketball. The Chronicle ran a story during the Final Four that over the past years the average was around 16 however my records are bit more accurate. The Class of 2005 produced around 50 kids and 2007's group was up in the forties. In fact since 2005, over 30 young ladies that played for our club program got a chance do their thing at the next level.

2006 was the lowest year for scholarships, somewhere around the low twenties and it appears the Class of 2010 will fall in low thirties.

Expect the Class of 2012 next level players to mirror the one from 2005. There are a lot of solid ballplayers that can play at the next level and by next level, I'm including not only D1, but D2, D3, NAIA and JUCO.

The reason I am writing about this is July is right around the corner and parents need to be aware of certain things.

Two articles by Clay Kallam sum it up in a nutshell. The first talks about exposure and if your kid does well, that's a good thing, however if she doesn't, she will be exposed.

The second is for unrealistic parents who can't seem to see their kids faults, don't seem to be able to compare the skill level of their child to other kids their age that play the same position, so forth and so on. Ironically , what I have seen is some people can see what another kid is doing wrong and not what their own daughters weaknesses are. This truly amazes me.

The third is really to help those hung up their kids rankings when the odds on getting a scholarship is less that 4%.

Let me go back to the Class of 2007

This was a solid class all the way around nationwide. Maya Moore is still #1 and the very first time I saw the kid, I knew she was special. She had S.A.C.S., an acronym I made up on the fly, and this separated her from everyone else.

1.Size-College coaches love big guards with strong bodies, it's rough at the next level and having a kid like this come on board can end 30 year friendships, plus jump start you to consecutive National Championships.

2.Athleticism-Moore could play the 1,2 or 3 and excel at either position for her club team, Georgia Metros. Everything she did was fluid and graceful, a thing of beauty to watch.

3.Confidence-She knew she was the girl, no matter what and kept her cool on the court. She wouldn't get flustered by constant face checking, elbowing, tripping, name calling,etc. Moore made you pay on the court, with or without scoring and sometimes you never saw it coming, just like a silent assassin.

4.Skills-Go back to #2 and add post up moves, mid range shooting and solid ball handling under pressure. Since then she has added the long ball to her arsenal which shows no matter how great you are, you should keep working on your weaknesses.

Tashia Phillips was ranked #1 in the initial rankings by USA Today, I believe back in 2004 or 2005 and our own Stephanie Gilbreath, Cinco Ranch, was ranked #2. Phillips wound up at Xavier teaming up with club ball teammate Amber Harris, both kids played for The Family. Xavier should have gone to the Final Four this season, however two wide open layups were missed along with Stanford driving coast to coast for a buzzer beating layup ended their magical season.

Gilbreath was all everything on a National scale and turned the Cinco Ranch program completely around after coming back from an ACL injury in the 8Th grade. The sad part is she hasn't played one game for the college she chose, USC, since graduating high school due to back to back to back knee injuries.

Her dad, Wardell, and I go back over 30 years. We played against each other in various leagues in the late seventies and early eighties when Sim was slim. I truly sympathize with him because I know how an injury can change or even end a career. On a happier note his younger daughter, Brianna, is excelling under Michael Cooper at USC.

Several of the kids listed in Class of 2007 Top 100 have enjoyed success at the next level, but as I always tell parents, the bottom line is this. Getting a free education is a blessing, not where your child was ranked.

Hopefully this helps.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2012 Players

Here are some of the top players in the nation. They are listed in no particular order and this is not for ranking purposes.

Alexis Prince Edgewater High School Maitland, FL
Courtney Williams North Shore High School Houston, TX
Alexis Jones MacArthur High School Arlington, TX
Jordan Adams Mater Dei High School Irvine, CA
Morgan Tuck Bolingbrook High School Bolingbrook, IL
Moriah Jefferson THESA Glenn Heights, TX
Rachel Hollivay Caledonia High School Caledonia, MS
Breanna McDonald Redan High School Lithonia, GA
Jewell Lloyd Lincolnwood High School Lincolnwood, IL
Malina Howard Twinsburg High School Twinsburg, OH
Bashara Graves Clarksville High School Clarksville, TN
Adraya Carter Buford High School Flowery Branch, GA
Alyson Beebe Saint Joseph High School Santa Maria, CA
Fannisha Price South Shore High School Brooklyn, NY
Breanna Stewart Cicero-North Syracuse High North Syracuse,NY
Lanay Montgomery Watkins Mill High School Montgomery Village, MD
Xylina McDaniel Spring Valley High School Blythewood, SC
Asia Dozier Spring Valley High School Columbia, SC
Imani Martinez North Hunterdon High Annadale, NJ
Jasmine Kemp Stephenson High School Stone Mountain, GA
Destiny Brown Gateway Senior High School Monroeville, PA
Danielle Ballard Memphis Central High School Memphis, TN
Khaleah Cooper Girard College High School Philadelphia, PA
Majorie Butler Webb School Of Knoxville Knoxville, TN
Sidney Cook Southmoore High School Oklahoma City, OK

2011 Players

Here are 50 of the top 2011 players you may want to take a glimpse at. Again, I am not ranking anyone on here, just letting you know who some of the top players in the country are, nothing more, nothing less.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Mater Dei High School Anaheim, Ca
Elizabeth Williams Princess Anne High School Virginia Beach, Va
Cierra Burdick Butler High School Charlotte, NC
Ariel Massengale Bolingbrook High School Bolingbrook, Il
Amber Henson Sickles High School Tampa, Fl
Bria Smith Christ the King High School Massapequa, NY
Alexia Standish Colleyville Heritage Colleyville , TX
Justine Hartman Breaa Olinda High School Brea, CA
Kayla Brewer Jean Ribault Jacksonville, FL
Rachel Mitchell Atoscicita HS Houston, TX
Briyona Carty Trenton Catholic Academy Willingboro, NJ
Kiah Stokes Linn Mar High School Marion, IA
Alexyz Vaioletama Mater Dei High School Fountain Valley, CA
Krystal Fortham Jefferson High School Portland, OR
Morgan Jones Lake Mary High School Altamonte Spring, FL

Kalia Johnson Thomas Dale High School Chester, VA
Bonnie Samuelson Edison High School Huntington Beach, CA
Cassie Peoples Cy Fair High School Houston, TX
Crystal Bradford Community High School Detroit, MI
Betnijah Laney Smyrna High School Clayton, DE
Whitney Knight Bishop McGuinness Winston-Salem, NC
Quaneisha Mc Curty Northwest Whitfield High School Tunnel Hill, Ga
Ariya Cook-Williams Long Beach Polytechnic High School Long Beach, CA
Elem Ibiem Spalding High School Griffin, Ga
Brittant Roundtree Potters House Christian Jacksonville, FL
Allyson Malott Madison High School Middleton, OH
Taylor Greenfield Ballard High School Huxey, IA
Kacy Swain Chaparral High School Temecula, CA
Chairese Culberson Berkeley High School Berkely,CA
Asia Boyd Renaissance High School Detroit, MI
Brianna Banks Northgate High School Newnan, GA
Raven Ferguson Columbus Africentric High School Columbus, OH
Tori Scott John Ehret High School Marrero, LA
Jasmine Camp Chamblee High School Ellenwood, GA
Loliya Briggs Potter's House Christian Gainesville, FL
Megan Buckland Bishop McGuinness High Point, NC
Kalpana Beach Westlake High School Westlake, OH
De Shawn Harden Lansing High School Olathe, KS
Amber Orrange Westbury Christian High School Houston, TX
Whitney Holloway Montini High School Plainfield, IL
Isabel Harrison Hillsboro High School Nashville, TN
Erika Johnson Holy Names Academy Seattle, WA
Alexy Rhode Pinnacle High School Cave Creek, AZ
Ronnisha Major Huntsville High School Huntsville, TX
Syessence Davis Neptune High School Neptune, NJ
Brittany Roundtree Potters House Christian Jacksonville, FL
Britney Hardy Frisco High School McKinney, TX
Erica Payne Carondelet High School Concord, CA
Temi Fagbenle Blair Academy London, ENG
Liza Clemons Elmhurst High School Fort Wayne, IN

Thursday, May 20, 2010


As Father's Day approaches, I wanted to give a shout out to all of the dad's who volunteer their time and energy, be it coaching or just being there period. I caught up with some former athletes that are still giving back.

Kelvin Hampton was a standout high school ballplayer from KG and went on to play college basketball

His daughter, Kelsey, will be entering her sophomore year at Dekaney. I've been watching her for almost a year and here is a kid that is "working on her game" The improvement shows everytime I see her. She comes from an athletic family, not only did her dad play at the next level, uncle Rodney played in the NFL and a couple of Pro Bowls.

Eric Gray was a star athlete at Aldine High School back in the late 80's and early 90's and also played at the next level.

He is now focusing his attention on the Houston Fastbreakers, one of the top younger teams in the city.

As dad focuses on his team, college scouts across the country will be focusing on his daughter, Ekiya, who although is only an 8th grader, the kid has "CAN'T MISS" stamped all over her. I guess it doesn't hurt if your grandfather, Thomas Henderson, was a star NBA player that just happened to play in the Olympics.

Gray will team up with Ebony Parker next year in high school, Parker has the poise and instinc to make a name for herself and put their high school on the map. Folks watch out for these kids because with these numbers, 23 and 24, you are dealing with Michael Jordan and Jack Bauer.

Emanuel Davis is a former Houston Rocket, played in league six years and I have had the pleasure of knowing him since his daughter, Tiffany, was in middle school.

Tiffany is among the top guards in Houston's loaded Class of 2012. She attends Westside High School and led them to one game away from the Region 3 Final Four.

Davis has added something to her game each year and if you blink, you might miss something.

Alexis Durley and Davis are high on many college coaches lists and both are outstanding players that "know and understand the game". Durley is a star on a loaded Dekaney squad that has a chance to make a run. Durley's dad is also a coach with the Cy Fair Shock