Saturday, June 30, 2012
Faith Cook hasn't even entered high school but I'm expecting big things from not only her, but several other talented young players who will be on some college coaches radar once July is over. Texas has so much talent that two large tournaments open up the action the next week in our fair state, one is the Super 64 and the other is one of the oldest exposure events that has been successful year after year, the Big State Flava Jam. Over the next couple of days, I'll let you know where some of the players will open up, many of those who are on my "Under The Radar" lists like 2013 Kylah Jones who left her Cy Fair team to join the Houston Fastbreakers for the Super 64 and 2014 Jasmine Nash who is still with Cy Fair and will also be at the 64
Across town, 2013 Carol Willie will be showing colleges why she is one of the top posts in the Big State Flava Jam with her fellow Wildcats but energy and action will be at both events, I'll happen to at Big State so you know you'll get the scoop on the action while I'm rolling over the next two weeks. Stay tuned for the preview on why this is the most important month for the 2013 players to seal the deal
Friday, June 29, 2012
Maya and Megan Evans aren't your average basketball players and several things separate them from other players in the 2017 class. First of all they are playing up on the 17U LMBA team and more times than not I've seen flashes of brilliance from these young players who happen to be triplets, brother Max is a standout in club ball also with the Houston Defenders. To top that off, older brother Denzel was a star running back at Bellaire and will be playing for the University of Houston, so the Evans sisters have athletic genes running all through their family. The truly interesting part about all of this is that they should be in the 2018 class which tells you just how amazing it is that they are competing in that age group.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
|Taylor Williams and Kaylan Sanders|
Two of the most athletic and energetic players, not to mention the type of players coaches dream of, those who never take a play off, have decided where they will play at the next level. Elkins stars Taylor Williams and Kaylan Sanders decided Hill College would be the next stop in their journey.
After helping Elkins make a playoff run in one of, if not the toughest districts in Region 3, District 23, these young ladies have continued to battle all club season with LMBA (Larry Micheaux Basketball Academy) under the guidance of Coach Julius Jackson, one of the best young coaches in the area who happens to be married to another one of the best young coaches, former Hightower and Texas A&M star Latoya Micheaux who was their head coach at Elkins.
Although underrated throughout their careers, Williams and Sanders have overcome meaningless obstacles to achieve their dream and they are a prime example of players who never complained and continued to fight.
Their signings push the area 2012 class to over 85 players who are heading to the next level and although I knew this was a monster class, I never dreamed the number would be this high.
One of my 2013 "Under The Radar" players, Kylah Jones, has found a new home with the Houston Fastbreakers-Gray. I did a story on her a couple of weeks ago, link, and she gives the loaded Fastbreakers another threat as they head into July. There was an abundance of talented teams and players going at it today, Katy Rebels-Butler and Houston Insiders 2014 fought down to the wire, in fact this tournament probably has been the most competitive one I've seen in a long time because just about every game today could have gone either way, so hats off to Phyllis Dallas for doing a magnificent job with the scheduling.
The Rohawks from San Antonio brought three scrappy teams with next level players as well as the Houston Hoops. Hoops coach Brian Jolivette told me I needed to see his team, bad part about it is that we were playing at the same time but I saw enough to know he has a lot of talented players including, remember this name, Alexis Morris from the 2017 class. She's playing four (4) years up and is one of the top players I've seen in her class, joining the group I mentioned back in May, link
The Houston Elite program continues to have some of the best talent in the area and their Select team, 2014, brings plenty of energy from various positions. The Summer Jam is the get ready for July tournament in our area and several of the younger teams are showing how much they have grown, like the Texas Warriors and Katy Rebel-Goss. How good was the talent, well we completed our games today but several teams still play on tomorrow so I may just go and take another look.
I've talked about Haley Frias and her ability to knock the three down with the best of them. I've talked about Rachel Purl scoring from anywhere on the court and the solid play of Mary Grace Bilby however the performance from back-up point guard Essence Sauls (Del Valle) from the 2014 class was superb as she helped lead Austin Elite Black to a come from behind victory against DFW-MJ in the Rosewood A pool play. During the last minutes of the game, she simply took over by either scoring or assisting
Let me also say that during the Tyrone Johnson Showcase, 2013 Nneoma Duru (Vista Ridge) status was elevated to beast. At 5'10 she may be considered a tweener however her inside presence against players two or more inches taller has me thinking someone is going to get a steal
Friday, June 22, 2012
|Geneva Monroe and Destiny Williams|
When you talk about a 2017 team with plenty of potential, look no further than Austin Elite-Monroe. Geneva Monroe has had plenty of time to observe after watching her twin sisters, Kaylin and Kayrin play some of the most exciting basketball I've ever seen in the Tyrone Johnson Showcase over the years, not to mention with her dad coaching her, she'll definitely be ready. Williams showed how fierce she could be and the younger team also boasts several young ladies with speed who already know how to attack the basket like Paige Monroe and Megan Kirby. Briona Cannon, Kayleigh Lawrence, Jake Clay, Emerasi Glass and Legaci Young round out this talented young squad that I can't wait to follow throughout their careers.
|Monroe twins taking a break from back in the day|
Although several players were missing from the younger DFW squad at the Tyrone Johnson Showcase, I did have a chance to take a look at who was there and several players caught my eye including Chania Wright. Wright showed poise beyond her years and also had a knack for creating her own shot. I'll take another look or two next month at the team during the Big State Flava Jam
Thursday, June 21, 2012
So many times I've heard parents saying that their daughter needs to be playing up however I've usually responded if you're having trouble at your age then that makes absolutely no sense. Two more players from the 2016 class grew up a lot over the past weekend at the Tyrone Johnson Showcase that I decided to give them both a separate shout-out
Eryka Sidney had to step in and run the most important position on the court, the one, due to one player being at camp and another being injured. Not only did she do an adequate job, she excelled averaging over 15 ppg for the four games and leading her team to a three way tie for first in the Rosewood Division (Pool A) while finishing third for the tournament. She continues to rise and is one of the top five players in her class from the area
Deja Sonnier showed me she could shoot the wide open three for the Houston Lady Phenoms back in the Houston Insiders Basketball Classic but she showed me she could do a lot more than that over the weekend. After dropping five bombs while being heavily guarded in a game against the Insiders, I watched her continue to handle all sorts of pressure against a very talented DFW Marques Jackson squad and drop an assortment of threes, some of them off balance,some with a hand in her face, whatever, the kid stayed in a zone all tournament, while making opponents come out of them
The Texas Storm took home the top trophy in the Longhorn division (8th grade) in the Tyrone Johnson Showcase over a very talented Austin Elite Dream Team-Green which was a true 7th grade squad. Several players on both teams showed off their skills however the big girl for the Storm, Kara Teal, is ready for high school action right now. She and Imani Robinson put together a nice one-two combination to hold off the Dream Team
I saw Jaz Evans playing for Westbury a few months ago and the thing that caught my eye was that she was 6'4 and raw. After watching her perform in the Tyrone Johnson Classic, she seemed a little more under control than she did the first time I saw her while showing that her upside is very high. Long and athletic, though somewhat slender, Evans has a bright future ahead if she keeps progressing. She plays on one of the Houston Elite teams and I'll get a chance to watch this young lady from the 2014 class again at the Big State Flava Jam
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
|Jasmine Glee, Coach Butler , Charisma Matlock and Christina Propes|
Coach Irving Butler was right there with Marques Jackson when the DFW Elite program was started. I remember my first look at the team was when they played Houston Elite back in 2004 for the Adidas National Championship or whatever it was called back then. Some of the top players from the 2005 class played on both teams like JB Samuels, Takia Starks, Latoya Micheaux and Carla Cortigo
Nothing has changed and the talent keeps coming as some of the most talented players from the state have played for DFW and over the weekend Coach Butler brought a mixture of players from different DFW teams to the Tyrone Johnson Showcase and left there with 2nd place in the Rosewood division. Glee, Matlock and Propes were his "Big Three" however Propes was the catalyst as she did just about everything on both ends and what's even more impressive is she is from the 2015 class.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Kianna Ray was away at camp during the Tyrone Johnson Showcase however there was no shortage of difference makers to be. Several young ladies had a chance to play against players that were 2, 3 or maybe even 4 years older and in doing so, held their own and then some.
LaMycia "Meicy" Hamilton was one of those players on that talented Lady Houston Phenoms roster. I saw a glimpse of the young lady in the Houston Insiders Basketball Classic and new she had some special tools to work with however she seemed to go along with the flow. Two weeks later, I saw her again and I could see a little smoke had been added to her game. This past weekend, the fire was finally lit as she showed out against the big girls and this tournament may have been just what the doctor ordered. I'll have three more for you, maybe four later this week and remember no one does it like the Siminator!
|Troi Swain and Alyssa Jones|
The Austin Elite program is one of the most respected programs in the state and things that usually happen when you have good people running it. They also have and keep producing some of the top players in the state who are fortunate enough to play at the next level. Troi Swain really impressed me after watching her play over the weekend while Alyssa Jones caught my eye years ago. Swain, Jones and company won the top prize in the Tyrone Johnson Showcase as another star shined bright, read more
I mentioned the guys running the program, Fonzell Martin and Tommy Gregg, well not only are they class individuals, they also have daughters that played or still playing at the next level. Here's a picture from the past and I'm amazed no one has aged but me
Monday, June 18, 2012
Jasmine Ortiz and many more Austin Elite players put on quite a show for me this weekend. From 7th grader Geneva Monroe who plays for her dad on Austin Elite-Monroe to Austin Elite Black coaches Amber Gregg and Cierra Martin who played for their dads, Tommy Gregg and Fonzell Martin, it's a family environment once you enter the building. Next Father's Day weekend, you really need to look into playing in this event, not only because it's well run but because you get to see players from another area. I will also head back to Austin for the Texas Summer Showcase on July 27th-29th for their NCAA Certified Event but before I get too far ahead of myself, I'll bring you some players you probably haven't heard a lot about starting tomorrow with Miranda Simpson. Once you watch her highlight tape, well you'll see. Who was Tyrone Johnson? read more
Friday, June 15, 2012
|Coach Floyd giving instructions during timeout|
I've been involved in this stuff for quite a number of years and I've had a chance to meet all types of people. Some really good and some not so but at the end of the day, I doubt seriously if I would change anything I've said or done. One of those folks at the top of the list would have to be David Floyd and I recall the first time I met him his older daughter, Kayla, was around 8 or 9. I remember this larger than life figure with a commanding voice help one of her teammates off the court after she was hurt really bad in a game. David gently lifted the hysterical player off the ground and proceeded to calm her down in such a gentle manner that really caught my eye. On the sideline, well that's a different story because he gets into the game and he really knows his stuff. Kayla is about to enter her junior year and most dads would be about ready o give it up, not Dave as he also coaches his younger daughter Katie who is still in middle school. Both young ladies continue to improve under dads watchful eye which is what this is supposed to be about and I'm glad to know "Heavy D" will continue to be around a few more years.
Two touches into the game is all I needed to see from Kiana Ray in the Houston Insiders Basketball Classic to know this kid was legit., 6'0 tall and only in the 8th grade but you would never know it from her game, that's great news right? Well the flip side is that I'm being told she will be attending camp this weekend and yours truly won't get to see her so I'll guess I'll use that famous political slogan, "three more years", wait that was four, never mind
|Mary Grace Bilby|
I do know this, when Fonzell Martin and Tommy Gregg tell me I need to see a player, all I ask is "what's her number bro" because I know that they know wth they are talking about. Texas is a big state full of talented players and although a few of the kids that caught my eye won't be playing in the the Tyrone Johnson Showcase, the Austin Elite program still have quite a few that I will get to take another look at including Mary Grace Bilby. Here is the schedule and I'll have a wrap up when I return
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The 2013 class probably won't produce over 80 players that go on to play in college, aka next level players, however that was a very special class, in fact the best as far as numbers ever for the Houston area. I called 2013 "The Blue Collar Class" and although some may not have got what I meant, most people know that hard work can take you a long way in girls basketball. Lexi Fatheree is one of those type players and she joins Brentney Branch as another of Girlz Prep Report's Top 10 players who have committed to Stephen F. Austin. Four of the top uncommitted 2013 players have been listed on my website, read more
Jasmine Nash (2014) and Kylah Jones (2013) have a lot in common. Both are guards that used to be the back-court at Westfield High School, both play for Cy Fair and both are probably among the top players you haven't heard about. Last week I wrote about Jones as she heads the list of 2013 UTR players, today is the day for Nash. Transferring from Westfield to Klein Collins, I expected Nash to add another dimension to the team to go along with Veja Hamilton and Dominique Dillingham and with Hamilton graduating, she will have to step it up offensively this season to help keep them among the top teams in the district. On the front page of my GPR website, there are seven players listed and this will change throughout the season. Here's a clip of Nash.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Jeliah Preston has been putting in the work this summer with the Houston Insiders as she get's ready to head into her junior year. When I was thinking about who would be on my list of "Under The Radar" players for the 2014 class, Preston was definitely one of the players that I felt who could play but people just didn't know about.Over the past two months, she has sometimes played every position and if she plays anything like she has over the last few weeks in July, the right people will definitely know who she is, so her consideration for UTR has been removed. Known for her ability to knock the three down was, well what she was KNOWN for however she can score on a variety of ways from all over the floor and loves to pick the toughest defensive assignment. This is all good news for Klein Forest as their fantastic 2014 class of Preston, Ebony Parker, Ekiah Gray and Regina Scott along with 2013 Desiree Davis have all had impressive summers so far this season and with the teams finishing ahead of them in district last season, Dekaney and Klein Collins, losing key players, the changing of the guard might come before you blink.
|Briana Rosario, Paige Sebesta, Ashley Hymel and Brianna Flores|
If ever I had a chance to be around players who overcame so much adversity, this group of young ladies would have to be right there at the top of the list. So many times people get confused at what this stuff is supposed to be about and what I have noticed over the years is that player development has taken a back seat to the all important final score. Although these young ladies have had some success as far as wins, the main thing that the ones who remain understand is that they have to get better in order to play at the level that comes next. All of these young ladies have had bright moments during the season while most have had some type of injury. From ankles to knees, arms to shoulders, black eyes and concussions, these seven young ladies have managed to fight through everything and compete which not only shows that heart is something you can't teach, it also shows there is more than one way to win
|Abbie Klassing, Madeline Baker and Brittany Baerg|
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
|Houston Insiders 2016|
Since the addition of Eryka Sidney, the Houston Insiders 2016 squad have won 1st or 2nd place in their last five events.
Sidney has dual duties with the club playing on the 2014 team as well however she is one of those point guards that has the ability to take a game over and also make those around her better. This will enable her to be recognized as one of the top prospects in her class, wait let me save you some time, she already is
|Tasia Hayes and Kirsten Brown|
Tasia Hayes has benefited tremendously by moving to the two where she is showing signs that she can get to the basket at will on anyone.
Kiara McElroy has been hot during the run and was completely on fire championship Sunday as she missed only one shot while Kirsten Brown came out of her slump to put up a double double and give the team another offensive weapon. To say the young ladies on the 2016 team have improved since the start of the season would be an understatement, but that's what it SHOULD be about, improvement and progression so I'll be able to write "I told you so" when that particular chapter closes
|Micah Rundell, Kiara McElroy|
One player that's adding a little something each game is Carrie Bradford who is mastering the crossover and once the shyness wears off.of her and Alyssa Echelle, watch out because there is a tremendous amount of upside locked inside of these two young ladies. Micah Rundell has hit some game winning shots over the stretch and even though she's the smallest player on the team, she has the mindset that she's the tallest as she brings energy every play.
Faith Pawlawski has provided solid play throughout the season on both ends of the court while Taylor Ellison is learning to tone her aggressiveness down and at times has become a beast on the boards.
Injuries have slowed down Krystal Battle and Erin Hebert throughout the season so I can't wait to see both of them healthy again as each one has shown me there is a lot of potential waiting to come out.
Battle by the way is almost 6'0 and still growing and once she actually learns the game................
|Krystal Battle and Taylor Ellison|
|Keydreana “Deeda” Howard|
With North Shore losing over 70% of it's offense, this includes MDAA Courtney Williams and the solid Mo Bedford, it would be easy to dismiss the Mustangs for this upcoming season. Sure they have 2015 Adriiana Jackson back who started where the game starts, the one, off the top as a freshman and she had a solid season but I assured you that would happen before it did.
Sure they have to wait a year before "The Future" Chastity Patterson arrives, giving them another legitimate threat however what I saw at the Houston Insiders Basketball Classic is they have other weapons in place that are waiting for a chance and I had a second look this weekend to validate what I saw the first time
|Kenechi “Ci Ci” Udichime|