Future Stars USA 2016: Another rousing success!
By Bob Corwin
In its second year, Future Stars USA, held July 28 at Westside High School in Augusta, Georgia, showed that its quality of year one was no fluke. The event, presented by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and Preferred Athlete Scouting Services, had only 88 (by invitation without charge to players) participants from the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes. However, it is likely that 20 to 30 will be future Power Five level recruits and perhaps another 50 will be recruited at the division one level depending on final physical development of the players.
Two comments summed up the opinion of the majority of the 44 division one schools from all over the USA that were present. A veteran Power 5 head coach commented, “I would be more excited about going out on the road if more events were like this one.”
A mid-major recruiting coordinator was surprised how few of her counterparts were there given the wealth of talent to be seen in such a short period of time.
A parent (also girls’ high school basketball coach) whose daughter participated in the event had this to say. “It was a great event that was full of talent, professionally run and full of college coaches. I was very impressed with the overall event. My daughter learned a lot about what she does well and what she needs to work on. She came away really excited to keep working on her game.”
Each player participated in just two games of one hour running clock. Score was kept but in reality there were no losers here. Most national scouting services had representatives present.
What made the event special was its organization (coach’s packet not lacking any information, things ran on time and the superior level of talent on just two courts).
Given the very limited time commitment any Power 5 or mid-major program wanting to get a jump on upcoming classes should try to have a representative present next year!
Note the names below as they will become better known in the years ahead. There were plenty of others that could have been mentioned as well. Quite frankly, there was too much to come close to fully absorbing all of it in just a few hours!
Players below are listed alphabetically giving height, position and graduation year with home town in parenthesis.
Allison Campbell, 5-6, point guard, 2020 (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
Campbell went left so well and so often that it was hard to believe she was right handed. She also showed a decent perimeter stroke playing with a calm, high IQ demeanor.
Viane Cumber, 5-10, shooting guard, 2021 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
With poise, toughness and stroke, it was hard to believe this player was only going into grade seven. She was active at both ends of the court.
Jeanna Cunningham, 6-3, center, 2020 (Brentwood, New York)
Cunningham was non-stop activity in the paint. With a medium build, she ran the court well.
DeYona Gaston, 6-1, small forward, 2020 (Pearland, Texas)
Gaston was one of the very top prospects at the camp. She is penetration oriented, able to get to the rim almost effortlessly finishing with either hand. She needs to work on building shooting range.
O’Mariah Gordon, 5-3, point guard, 2021 (Sarasota, Florida)
Gordon should be a fan favorite. Currently small, she plays with a great motor and has "ups" showing the ability of blocking shots of much taller players.
Aja Holmes, 6-0, small forward, 2020 (Cibolo, Texas)
Holmes showed versatile offense attacking the basket with either hand. Later she started to pour in multiple threes.
Kayden Lawson, 5-9, point guard, 2020 (Beachwood, Ohio)
Lawson is drive oriented with a dish or score finish. Already having a medium-solid build, she has good handles. Like so many point guards, she appears to need to build range.
Diona Reed, 6-4, center, 2021 (Millington, Tennessee)
Reed has a very strong build (particularly for so young), decent hands and game around the basket. All things considered, she runs adequately.
Sallie Schutz, 6-1, small forward, 2020 (Watkinsville, Georgia)
Schultz is home schooled and does not get a lot of exposure during school time thus this camp got her name out to a lot of college that most likely would never have heard of her. She showed good understanding playing the wing with teammates she just met.
Kyndall Thomas, 5-8, guard, 2020 (Tallahassee, Florida)
Thomas can work her way into the key and create a shot. With a medium-solid athletic build, she plays with a decent motor.
Jada Walker, 5-7, point guard, 2021 (Richmond, Virginia)
A lefty, Walker showed an ability to finish with either hand going at a good clip to the rim. She also appeared able to shoot the three.
Kylee Watson, 6-3, power forward, 2020 (Linwood, New Jersey)
Watson, along with Gaston above, was considered to be one of the top two prospects present. Watson used her height, agility, power and well above average handles (for her size) to repeatedly get to the rim with a very fluid motion. She needs to build shooting range to continue to stay near the top of the 2020 class.