Team Elite Hubbard wins Marques Jackson 15u Gold Championship, 2016 Boo Williams Nike Invitational
By Bob Corwin
Team Elite Hubbard 2018, out of Metro Atlanta, won the Gold Bracket (first place teams from pool play) of the prestigious Marques Jackson Division of the Boo Williams Nike Invitational. In its 28th year, the event drew about 325 colleges (mostly NCAA division one) from all over the USA to Hampton, Virginia, for the April 22-24 evaluation period. Other than play in the Nike EYBL (32 teams playing set league games), the rest of the 270 teams were divided into pool/bracket divisions based on age and strength of teams. Winning the Marques Jackson Division, which consisted of 32 primarily Nike club teams of players of rising junior or younger grade in classification, was one of the top accomplishments a club could claim from one of its teams at the event.
A brief look at the semi-finals and finals of the Gold Bracket…
Tennessee Flight Sophomores 49-25 Philadelphia Belles Nike EYBL 15 Flight got up 22-3 in the first half hitting all kinds of shots. The Belles never made a serious run to get back into the game, often taking panicky shots seemingly trying to get it all back at once.
Team Elite Hubbard 2018 49-45 BWSL 15
Elite was up 32-23 at half having been ahead even further earlier in the first stanza. BWSL chipped away at the lead cutting it to a few points in the closing minutes but could never get over the hump. Both teams are highly athletic. Elite having strictly 2018’s and being a bit more physically mature contributed to the slight edge.
Team Elite Hubbard 2018 54-33 Tennessee Flight Sophomores Elite only led 20-17 at half but pulled away early in the second stanza. Matters were all but decided by the halfway point of the period. Flight had played its best game in the semi-final and the mote balanced Team Elite cruised into the winner’s circle.
Players below are listed alphabetically with height, position, graduation year and club team with home town in parenthesis. The criteria for selection was performance at the event in conjunction with success of the team. Congratulations to all selected!
Boo Williams Nike Invitational
Marques Jackson Division
2016 All-Tournament Team
Jorie Allen, 6-2, power forward, 2019, Nike Gold Ladygymrats Elite (Bedford, Indiana)
Allen was a productive worker (regular double digit scorer) in the paint for the Ladygymrats. Her post moves are very advanced for her age. With a sister at Michigan State, expect Jorie to follow her into a Power Five league.
Grace Berg, 6-1, forward, 2018, All Iowa Attack 15U Nike (Carlisle, Iowa)
Berg regularly carried her team on the interior in winning its pool. She has increased her range to step out beyond the arc and should get Power Five offers in time.
Camryn Brown, 5-10, guard, 2019, Cy-Fair Nationals 15U (Lewisville, Texas)
Having seen Brown in high school ball, it is easy to attest to the continuing maturation of her game. She can attack the rim going left or right and hit perimeter shots. Most impressive is her calm on court (both athletic and poised) demeanor. Power Five schools are now targeting her.
Makayla Dickens, 5-11, shooting guard, 2018, BWSL 15 (Suffolk, Virginia)
Dickens is one of those high motor wing players who does a bit of everything to help her team win games. Adding more consistent range should be something to work on in the next few years.
Elizabeth Dixon, 6-4, center, 2018, Tennessee Flight Sophomores (Memphis, Tennessee)
Dixon was clearly the best post player in the division carrying her team to the final. She has sophisticated moves around the basket to complement her superior athleticism. She just needs to add some range to become fully Power Five ready.
Jordan Horston, 6-0, guard, 2019, All Ohio 10th Grade (Columbus, Ohio)
Horston was the "do it all" for her team. For her size, she handles the ball well and attacks the basket with above average athleticism.
Kaila Hubbard, 5-10. shooting guard, 2018, Team Elite Hubbard 2018 (Jonesboro, Georgia) -MVP
Hubbard was a picture of consistency in the event. A perimeter player, she regularly scored double figures but helped out in most other areas as well. For the weekend, she was clearly her team’s best player. Word in the gym is that she already has Power Five offers on the table.
Aziah Hudson, 5-6, shooting guard, 2018, Exodus Nike 15U (Baldwin, New York)
Hudson is a slasher who can hit the three. Her 16-point first half against Michigan Crossover set the tone for her team’s 61-51 victory in the Silver Bracket (second place teams from pool play) final. Word in the gym was that her performance in Hampton helped her get additional Power Five offers.
Jordyn Oliver, 5-11, forward, 2019, Texas United Nike 15U EYBL (Prosper, Texas)
Oliver is very advanced for her age. A consistent double digit scorer in Hampton, she is a baseline to basket player more than willing to mix it up in the paint if need be. A Power Five future awaits down the road.
Victaria Saxton, 6-1, center/forward, 2018, Team Elite Hubbard 2018 (Rome, Georgia)
Saxton helped her team win the title with defense, rebounding and superior shot blocking ability, particularly impressive for a post player of modest height. She needs to add some range to insure success at the next level as currently her offensive game is around the basket.
Celeste Taylor, 5-10, small forward, 2019, Philadelphia Belles Nike EYBL 15 (Valley Stream, New York)
In the 2019 class, Taylor is already a target for the top programs in the USA. Above average athletically, she has a strong mid-range game. Her efforts helped the Bells reach the division semi-final.
A few more just below the All-Tournament cut…
Shaila Beeler, 5-7, point guard, 2019, Nike Gold Ladygymrats Elite (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Beeler runs a team with maturity beyond her years. An athletic lefty, you do not know her strong hand until she shoots the ball. Building shooting range will insure a Power Five future down the road.
Jakia Brown-Turner, 6-1, small forward, 2019, Team Takeover 15U (Temple Hills, Maryland)
Brown-Turner is a small forward who looks to drive. Back off and she can hit the three although not her first choice of offense.
Caitlin Clark, 5-10. point guard, 2020, All Iowa Attack 15U Nike (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Clark was one of the "finds" to most out-of- state programs as she has not yet reached high school. She handled the ball, ran the offense and attacked the basket like a player several years older. The top programs in the country were on her games in the later stages of the event.
Danielle Cosgrove, 6-3, center, 2018, Philadelphia Belles Nike EYBL 15 (Holbrook, New York)
Cosgrove is a mobile center with game around the basket. She can also face-up to beyond the arc. A Power Five future awaits down the road.
Erin Howard, 6-1, forward, 2018, WI Flight Elite 10th Adidas (Madison, Wisconsin)
Howard showed above average athleticism but also a capability for playing within a very structured offense. The mobility in her game gave her scoring opportunities to post up or face up at mid-range.
Dara Mabrey, 5-6, guard, 2018, Exodus Nike 15U (Belmar, New Jersey)
When your two older sister play at Notre Dame, that is a high standard to live up to. This Mabry plays hard and backs down to nobody whether attacking the basket or shooting over the top. With a fierce will to win, do not be surprised to see another Mabry in a Power Five conference.
Lyza Winston, 5-7, shooting guard, 2019, Michigan Crossover 15U Nike EYBL (Muskegon, Michigan)
Above average athletically, Winston combines an ability to attack the rim (primarily going right) with the ability to shoot the three. In helping her team finish second in the Silver Bracket, she regularly posted double figure scoring.