FGB & Dayton Lady Hoopstars win Atlanta Summer Slam divisions
By Bob Corwin
In part 1, the 16U Division of Summer Slam was discussed along with mention of several class of 2018 players. In this section, a brief synopsis of the Apache Division (mostly 15U – 10th grade teams or younger) and WBB TeedUp Division (mostly 14U – 9th grade and younger teams) are discussed. “Grades” represent the grades of the prior school year completed this spring. That will be followed by mention of noteworthy class of 2019 and 2020 players.
Looking briefly at both of the divisions as to finals.
Apache Division (named for Apache Paschall, a NYC club basketball leader):
FGB Delicia Washington 43-41 Western PA Bruins – Murray
Both teams won separate brackets (A &B) of this division and this was the unifying game. FGB featured a couple of possible Power 5 prospects versus the Bruins very team oriented offense that had already beaten a couple of more talented teams at the event. FGB led 20-12 at half and managed to hold on win by two. FGB was led in scoring by Maria Alvarez (see below) with 12 points.
WBB TeedUp Division:
Dayton Lady Hoopstars 2021 Black 62-58 SC 76ers Sizzle 14u
The Sizzle certainly have the bigger name talent and were a year older on average. However, when it came to sharing the ball and moving without the ball, it is hard to beat what the Dayton kids show on the court. The Sizzle led 27-26 at half but Dayton managed to edge ahead in the second stanza winning by four. Dayton was led by Ivy Wolf (see write-up in part 3) with 18 points for Dayton with Kendall Folley (5-5, guard, 2021) chipping in 17 points. The Sizzle was led by Loyal McQueen (see below) with 22 points.
Below are performers of note seen at the event. There were many more but these stood out during one or more viewing occasions.
Players below are listed alphabetically by graduation year with listed height, position and club team with home town in parenthesis. Players from graduation years 2019 and 2020 are listed in part 2 (regardless of division) while those from the 2021 and 2022 classes are listed in part 3, again regardless of division.
Kierra Adams, 6-0, small forward, InnerMan Lady Rebels Gauntlet (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
Adams is just coming into her own. She will hit the glass and finish with contact. She runs the court well in transition. Adding consistent shooting range should be a priority.
Maria Alvarez, 5-7, guard, FGB Team Delicia Washington (Bal Harbor, Florida)
Alvarez can bury threes with painful regularity as a wing (which has been her primary position giving her being surrounded by quality lead guards in high school and club ball). This coming year she should get her chance to play lead guard in high school. That will likely help set her value at the next level where she already has a variety of offers from the Power 5 level and down.
Azana Baines, 5-11, forward, Books and Basketball 16u Elite (Clementon, New Jersey)
Baines who is a lefty who plays like she is right-handed in the lower paint. Physical and active in the paint, you only realize she is left-handed in shooting foul shots and on the perimeter where she needs to be more consistent in stroke. Power 5 schools are lining up for this high motor prospect.
Aijha Blackwell, 5-11, small forward, Team St. Louis Red (St. Louis, Missouri)
Blackwell was one of the most talented players at Summer Slam. She can create shots for herself or her teammates. Her variety of attack is impressive. Outside shot needs to become more consistent. At times, she can become passive needing to play harder. She is deciding amongst several Power 5 offers.
Brianna Cooks, 5-7, shooting guard, Team Slink 2019 (Memphis, Tennessee)
Athletic, Cooks has a good motor and wants to attack the basket. She also has a nice mid-range stroke but could become more consistent from behind the arc. D1’s should be pursuing.
Precious Cowan, 5-6, point guard, Harlem USA 15U (Bronx, New York)
To say Cowan has quality handles would be an understatement. Word in the gym is that she is a playground legend in New York City who could be as good as she wants to be. She needs to play harder on defense and develop an outside shot as she is all about going to the basket. A D1 upside is there but may need junior college to achieve it.
Akunna Konkwo, 6-3, center, PSPA Rams 17u (Alexandria, Virginia)
Last seen a year ago, Konkwo remains strong bodied (perhaps needing better conditioning). Her hands are decent but at times she needs to finish better in the lower paint. Power 5 programs should be monitoring progress.
Makenna Marisa, 5-10, shooting guard, Western PA Bruins – Cash (McMurray, Pennsylvania)
Marisa is a complementary player in that she tends to play off those around her. She is a fine passer and finishes well in transition. She needs to get stronger and more consistent on her outside shot to fulfill her Power 5 potential.
Jeanae Terry, 5-9, shooting guard, 1 Nation Elite (Detroit, Michigan)
Terry has presence on the court communicating with teammates. She showed a perimeter stroke but driving/drive and dish appeared to be first option. Likely Power 5 prospect!
Sophia Tougas, 6-0, guard, forward, Rivals Black (Queensbury, New York)
Tougas runs the court well and hit multiple threes off the pass in a couple of outings. She needs to improve her handles and defense but shooters of this height often get Power 5 offers. Word in the gym was “not yet here” but those schools should be monitoring her progress!
Kiya Turner, 5-7, point guard, FGB Team Delicia Washington (St. Augustine, Florida)
Turner is a quality athlete with good handles and basketball IQ, now just coming into her own. Offensively she is more driver than shooter. Power 5 schools should be monitoring.
Jessica Brooks, 5-10, guard/forward, St. Louis Eagles (St. Louis, Missouri)
Brooks is a decent athlete with fairly strong build and ability to catch and shoot the three successfully. She can get out on the break but needs to improve dribble/drive move. Power 5 schools should be monitoring.
Morgan Darnell, 5-6 point guard, Ohio Lady Hoopsters 2020 Elite (Blacklick, Ohio)
Darnell is a small guard with a big motor. With her, defense can produce offense. She can hit the three but that is not her specialty. A definite D1 prospect at least at the mid-major level depending on game maturation!
Sharonica Hartsfield, 5-5, point guard, BTR 15U (Lawton, Oklahoma)
Hartsfield is strongly built with penetration that can punish opponents physically and likely more so as she gets older. Outside shot needs work but Power 5 programs should be monitoring.
Anyssa Jones, 5-10, guard, Ohio Lady Hoopsters 2020 Elite (Westerville, Ohio)
A finesse lefty with Power 5 height and build, Jones shows flashes of brilliance (drive or perimeter shot) but can disappear at times. Power 5 schools are lining up regardless.
Loyal McQueen, 5-7, point guard, SC76ers Sizzle 14u (Darlington, South Carolina)
McQueen had several big outing at Summer Slam. She is on the thin side but will attack the basket and can hit the three. She already has Power 5 offers in hand.
Eniya Russell, 5-11, point guard, Power Move – Black 2020 (Baltimore, Maryland)
Russell is a big point guard able to power to the rim but having a high basketball IQ does not hurt either. At times she is too unselfish passing up good shots. Power 5’s should be monitoring her progress.
Fatima Samb, 6-2, center, FGB Team LaDazhia Williams 14U (Ponte Vedra, Florida)
Samb is unusual in that she is a member of the USA national age group volleyball program but also has Power 5 potential in basketball. Game is strictly in lower paint based on athleticism. Likely she behind her volleyball level but could catch up if she works at hoops more.
Zoesha Smith, 5-11, power forward, FBC Southeast Elite 2019 (Brunswick, Georgia)
Smith had 28 points in one game in Summer Slam. A decent athlete with fairly strong build, she has good hands and finish in lower paint plus some in-key face-up stroke. D1 schools from Power 5 level down should be monitoring.