The iEXCEL program out of New Jersey has only been around for two years and they managed to WIN this past summer at several big tournaments including Battle In The Boro, Mike T. White’s National Championship, and Battle On The Bayou. Their players are being recruited by BCS conference schools such as: ACC – Big East – Big 10- and Ivy League schools. They are not a shoe sponsored program and they are not looking to be sponsored by anyone. They just want credit where its due, and we agree that its definitely past due!
iExcel has beaten some of the best AAU teams around. They focus on training and development with their players during the non viewing period, instead of playing 100 games where they don’t learn the game of basketball.
Their practices are filled with teaching the little things that players need to know on the court. It’s all about basketball concepts within our practice. Teaching the girls what should be in their head on and off the ball, what is good spacing, what do you do when you are on the ball and there is a screen, we do more than just going over plays because we want them to be fundamentally sound and mentally ready, says Coach Welsh.
Players like Jocelyn Willoughby, Samantha Kramer, Nikki Johnson, Jordan Wilmoth, Kennedy Whitehead, and Nadia Wooten have been under our guidance since middle school. Jocelyn Willoughby is now one of the best players in the country, but as a 7th grader she would pass to someone behind her on a fast break, that would drive me crazy! The other players wouldn’t shoot when they were open and they would dribble all over the court just to get a shot.
Then you have Desiree Elmore, Shaquana Edwards, and Abby Laszewski who traveled two and a half hours back and forth each day to make practice from Hartford Connecticut. The Boston sisters Aliyah and Alexis who travel from Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut to meet those kids then drive another two and half hours to practice every Saturday and Sunday.
The Ramil sisters of Annie and Olivia come from Binghamton, New York, a three hour drive to and from practice. Taylor Spark Faulkner from Delaware who rides with Maddie Sims from South Jersey, another two hours with traffic on the NJ turnpike.
It’s no easy task to keep this group together but everyone knows when we get together we are conducting business, no games once practice starts.
Coach Welsh tells his players if they sacrifice and do this right, they can join the ranks of the other players such as: Jade Walker and Aaliyah Lewis – St Johns, Isis Young -University of Florida, Aliyah Huland El and Jodi Ramil – Georgetown University, Kyi English- Bucknell University, and Alexis Sears- Delaware University. Those players made the same sacrifice and received an opportunity to get a scholarship to the college of their choice. iExcel is all about grooming their players so that they can get scholarships. Coach Welsh does a great job in putting his players in the best possible position for them to succeed.