Fieldhouse for the first time, several memories of old Autry Court went through my head. I can go back to old Southwest Conference days watching Ricky Pierce and probably the most talented guard to come out of Houston, Rob Williams go at it through the old Gulf AAU Qualifer days when the Hotshots and Old Marvin were "Kings Of The City". Probably the most memorable game for me was watching my daughter drop 40 on a star studded Houston Elite team, 12 D-1 players, in a semi-final upset win back in 2005, the same year we won the NC at Basketball On The Bayou.
Coach Williams and Amenomope"PAY PAY" McKinney
Head Coach Greg Williams and I go back a few years, great coach and a great guy. I really feel bad for him because he has been hurt by injuries during the past two seasons, even though he has led Rice to a pair of Conference USA Championship games, along with a WNIT appearance since becoming head coach. Williams also played at Rice back in the day and was a three-year letterman for the Owls under coach Don Knodel in 1967-69, earning all-Southwest Conference honors and the league's Co-MVP in 1969.
Zoe Rogers was a four year starter at Bellaire High School and another kid that it seems like I have known forever. Baby Lowblock is another one of my faves, because she always has great comebacks for me, I guess it's hereditary (lol) Zoe put Bellaire on her back and led the Cardinals to the Region 3 Finals in her senior year, along the way adding numerous honors to her resume.In her freshman season at Rice, Zoe also had a breakout game against Tulane , scoring 19 points, going 9-9 from the field which included a trey, all in the second half.
Another great kid I've known for years is "Pay Pay", I know I'm spelling the nickname wrong but it fits because she used to make them PAY on the court. I remember her and Ashleigh Fontenette ,who now plays at UT, putting on one of the most memorable battles going at each other , both dropping over 30, when they were juniors in high school.
D'Frantz Smart is a product of Chicago's Whitney Young High School, consistently ranked nationally year after year. She was one of the top PG's in the country coming out of high school and although she is listed at 5'0, she is a perfect example of what heart, hard work and determination can do for you.
Former Plano West star Candace Ashford taking instructions
The staff and players did a great job teaching and instructing as the campers were very attentive and seemed to be grasping everything they were told
Close to 100 kids were in attendance from as far away as San Antonio and the Metroplex, to Bay City and the Clear Lake area.
Two of the top 2013's in the city, Alex "I'm not gonna let you take a picture"Lapeyrolerie and Jo Ann Lira were doing their thing.
The kids from out of town were enjoying themselves, and I did get a shot of Alex, finally! Jackie Anderson plays for my good friend Ray Caldwell in San Antonio. Also in camp from their team were Briana Jones and Kayla White. Speaking of Caldwell, his daughter is one of the top 2014 guards I've seen, that's in the country folks!
Megan Shafer had already given a verbal to Rice before the camp even started. If you kept up with post season awards, you would have seen her listed as a senior on the All Greater Houston team, however this College Park standout has one more year in high school before joining the Owls.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, these kids were into it. Megan Palmer from Cinco Ranch in left photo, wearing burgundy, my bad, maroon shorts and a kid that played on the North Texas Shcockers for my old pal John in the right photo, Mary Abedula , all were were doing their thing
Lyanne Colon has transformed from a post when she was around 11 or 12 to the PG at Morton Ranch. She is also from that Class of 2012 I keep talking about.
It was great to hang out with Coach Greg and his assistant Coach Kim Nzamba, along with meeting the new ladies on the staff.