Nor-Cal 40/40 Academy
By Coach Buck
The Nor-Cal 40/40 Academy was a huge success in the Bay Area (Hayward,CA) this past weekend put on by Omar Stewart of Elite IQ Hoops and Coach Buck of Battle Zone Basketball Events LLC.
The purpose of the Nor-Cal 40/40 Academy was to assist in the personal and player development of some of the top middle and high school players in the region with skills training, 5 on 5 game play, and parent education workshops on: Recruitment, NCAA Eligibility and Mentorship. Legendary Coach Sue Phillips, Former Cal Player Tierra Rogers, and Stacey Harris of Nor-Cal Scouting services were guest speakers.
Trainers and Coaches Omar Stewart, Renee Robinson, Dashawn Freeman, Britnea Moore, Matt Lane and Malik McCord of Bishop O’Dowd High School, led player development stations. Stations consisted of moving without the ball, finishing with contact, footwork and pivoting, and 5 on 5 shell defense.
Below is a list of players that stood out during the Middle school and High School sessions at the Nor-Cal 40/40 Academy, in no particular order. (Check video highlight as well)
Middle School Session
Talana Lepolo 5-5, point guard, 2022 (Wood MS, Cal Stars)
Pure point guard, advances the ball ahead every opportunity, makes players better and competes every possession on both ends of the floor. I have not seen all of the 2022 prospects in the Northern California Region, however Talana is by far at the top of the list. She plays under control with great poise and precision. Looking forward to seeing Lepolo’s development over time.
Geriah Bradley 5-6, point guard, 2023 (Montera MS, Oakland Soldiers)
Geriah is one of the top rising 2023 prospects in the region. She displayed her toughness playing in both the middle school and high school sessions at the 40/40 Academy. She is physical, attacks the basket relentlessly and displayed her outside shooting throughout the day. She competes at a high level and challenges everyone she defends. Her biggest area of improvement is her ability to play under control against bigger and stronger players. Excited to see her progress for years to come.
Talaya Glover 5-6, guard, 2022 (Hillview MS)
Talaya’s skill set has improved since the last time I saw her during the summer. She can handle the ball better and she did an outstanding job being patient at the 40/40 Academy. During station drills, Glover competed and took advantage of each rep.
Malaysia Weaks, 5-5, guard, 2023 (Live Oak, Fresno Heat)
A competitor with a driven attitude. Always has great energy when she steps on the floor, she comes to compete. Has a good skill set for her age, gets back on defense, can step out and shoot the outside shot, handles the ball well. Solid instincts for a 6th grader. Will continue to watch her develop.
Jackie Acosta, 5-7, guard, 2022
Great court vision, knows where her teammates are, made several nice passes. Aggressive, not afraid of contact, able to use her length to get deflections on defense. Smart player, want to see more of her offensive game.
Aniyah Story, 5-3, guard, 2022
Loves the game, took initiative by taking notes during the presentations. Coachable player with a great attitude. Played both ends of the floor, made some nice passes, good fundamentals, hustles, and finishes at the rim. Will continue to monitor her progress.
Jordan Lee, 5-5, guard, 2024
Has great energy, payed attention, assertive, solid fundamental skills already and understands the game. If she did something wrong and we corrected her mistake, she listened. Very coachable player, that wants to get better. Will continue to watch her progress.
Nyah Lowery 5-8 Wing, 2023 (Bridgeway Island, Oakland Soldiers)
Athletic wing that also competed in both sessions at the Norcal 40/40. Her ability to score off the catch and drive under control stood out in the middle school session. Nyah is coachable and did an outstanding job during station work during the 40/40 Academy.
Amana Bonner 5-8, wing, 2022 (Centerville MS, XBA)
Amaya showed glimpses of her talent and ability at the 40/40 Academy. Good length and size for a guard in the 2022 class. Amaya did well during stations. When she is consistently locked in and focused, she will be a big time prospect.
Kaylie Edge 5-8, guard, 2022 (Iron Horse MS, XBA)
Play Maker. A physical guard who had the best feel in the middle school session at the 40/40 academy. Kaylie can knock down the mid range, get to the basket and her court vision and awareness was above average. I was thoroughly impressed at her leadership qualities throughout the 40/40. One of the top players at the 40/40 Academy and if she continues to improve and develop, will be one of the top prospects in the region.
Alana Rose Bella, 5-1, guard, 2024
Brings great energy on both ends of the floor. Plays fearless, wasn’t afraid to take the shot or attack the basket against the bigger competition. Shared the ball, hustled, and was aggressive.
Nia Anderson, 5-4 guard, 2023
Can handle the ball, had some nice moves to the basket and to create space to knock down the outside shot. Plays aggressive, physical, passes it when she see’s her open teammate. Good skill set and will continue to watch her progress.
Sharon Nejad 5-11, post, 2022 (Monroe MS, Payes Place)
Sharon made a name for herself at the 40/40 Academy. Her non-stop motor, ability and instincts to rebound outside her area, makes Nejad a prospect to watch in the future. Athletic!
High School Session
Aneesa Alapati 5-5, point guard, 2020 (Sacred Heart Catedral/Oakland Soldiers)
A Strong, physical and skilled play making point guard who attacks the basket and creates for others. Defends very well in the open court and does not back down from anyone. Good size and one of the better 2021’s in Nor-Cal. Anessah should be a key contributor for the Irish this year.
Alexsandra Alvarado 5-5, point guard, 2021 (Salesian College Prep/ Cal Ballaz)
Pass first point guard who facilitates and have good court vision. Alexandra showed good court awareness and was a willing passer at the Nor-Cal 40/40 Academy. She also knocked down a couple shots during 5 on 5 game play.
Adriana Avent 5-10, guard, 2019 (Sacramento High/ Cal Sparks)
Adriana made her presence felt at the 40/40 Academy. During the “ finishing with contact station” she was physical, agile and her ball handling has improved. Her ability to finish at the basket is effortless. Look for Adriana to help lead Sac High Dragons this upcoming season.
Makayla Edwards 5-9 Wing, 2019 (Salesian, Orinda Magic)
Physical guard who was non-stop during the 5 on 5 game play portion at the 40/40 academy. Makayla imposed her will on anyone who attempted to guard her. She can score inside/ out and made some great passes on the fast break. The biggest improvement I seen in Edwards was her motor. She played on both ends of the floor at the 40/40.
Anjel Galbraith 5-4, point guard, 2019 (Salesian)
Lighting quick, skilled and fearless point guard who consistently stays in attack mode on the offensive end. Defensively, she will guard 94 feet and will not back down from anyone. Anjel showed great footwork and leadership at the 40/40 academy during station work. Look for Galbraith to be a key contributor for the Pride this upcoming season.
Mia Griselj 6-2 post, 2019 (St. Francis/ Peninsula Elite)
Stretch 4 who can shoot the 3 and midrange and also score inside, Mia had a solid showing at the 40/40 Academy in Hayward. As she continues to develop, she will be a consistent threat in the post and outside the paint. Mia is primed to have a breakout year in the WCAL at St Francis.
Marley Langi 5-10, wing, 2021 (Eastside College Prep)
Outstanding footwork, great instincts and high IQ. Marley’s mid-range shooting has improved and she is very comfortable guarding smaller players on the perimeter. Langi can score inside and out. Marley is one of the top freshman in Northern California and this will have a huge role with the defending State Champion, Eastside College Prep.
Richelle Turney 5-10, wing, 2018 (McClatchy HS)
Physical wing that can finish at the rim and knock down the 3-point shot. In 5 on 5 gameplay, Turney was un-guardable and scored at will. Her effort and intensity was consistent throughout game play. Going into her senior year, Turney will be the go to player and leader at McClatchy and one of the top 2018’s in the Sacramento area.
Rachel Harvey, 5-6, guard, 2020 (St. Ignatius)
She’s going to be a top player in Nor-Cal soon, has great guard skills with court vision. Good assist game, can handle the ball, would like to see more shooting from her. Smart player with a high I.Q. Should hopefully be a standout this year at S.I.
Brooke Aberle, 5-11, forward, 2019 (Lodi)
Has really good size, and had a great shooting percentage during camp. Every shot we seen her take it went it. She is a good shooter that can score. Good size and length but needs to tighten up the defense. Will be watching her this season.
Chloe Boron-Trotter, 5-4, point guard, 2021 (Tokay)
A physical and aggressive player, not afraid to get on the floor for a loose ball. Has great energy and hustles, can shoot from outside. Understands the game, good skill set, with good court vision. Will be a player to keep an eye on.
Sydney Politzer, 5-10, guard, 2019 (Marin Catholic)
Has great energy on both ends of the floor, gets back on defense, hustles, good attitude, very coachable player. Not afraid of contact, attacks the basket and finishes at the rim. Also, has a nice shot from outside. Should be a standout this season for Marin Catholic.
Denise Stine 5’4, point guard, 2020 (Sacred Heart Prep, Peninsula Elite)
Pass first point guard who is starting to attack the rim and finish more consistently. Stine’s blew by defenders and either finished at the rim or distributed at the 40/40 during game play. Stine should play a larger role at SHP this upcoming year.
Heaven Samayoa-Mathis, 5-3, point guard, 2021 (Sacramento)
She’s crafty, handles the ball well, still needs to get stronger. Should be a nice incoming freshmen that we’ll be checking for in a season or two. Has a solid skill set, made some nice passes, grabbed some steals, she played both ends fairly well. Will be monitoring her progress.
Zapriel Wade, 5-2, point guard, 2020 (Mission)
Killer instincts, had great energy, aggressive and physical player, especially on defense. Handles the ball well, has good court vision, and hustles. Would like to see more of her shooting game. A definite hooper.
Nia Lowery 5-11, wing, 2019 (McClatchy, Oakland Soldiers)
Smooth, effortless and can get to any spot she wants. Lowery has improved every time I have seen her. Her mid-range game was on full display at the 40/40 and one of the top players at the event. Lowery is a quiet assassin on the court and is only getting better. Nia is one of the top 2019’s in the region.
RyAnne Walters 5-6, point guard, 2019 (Sacramento HS, Cal Sparks)
One of the top guards in the region, Walters is quick but plays under control and is decisive. She sees the play before it happens and gets to the basket at will. Walters is an impact player and will have a major impact this year for the Sac High Dragons.
Nailah Dillard 5-10, guard, 2019 (Inderkum HS, West Coast Premiere)
Really impressed with the progress of Dillard at the 40/40 Academy. In the past, she settled for 3 pointers but the entire day, she attacked the rim gracefully, under control and with a purpose. Great size and her ball handling is much more compact and controlled. Dillard is also one of the top 2019 prospects in the region and is expected to have another great season as the leader at Inderkum.
Aniyah Augmon 5-7, guard, 2021 (Silver Creek HS, Peninsula Elite)
One of the top 2021 prospects in the region, Aniyah is a tireless worker who continues to improve her game. Aniyah defends 94 feet and embraces all challenges. Offensively, at this stage of her development she is a slasher with a knack at getting to the basket. Aniyah Augmon will play alongside her sister Leilani Augmon at Silver Creek High School.
Leilani Augmon 5’11, wing, 2019 (Silver Creek HS, Peninsula Elite)
Augmon performed during station work at the 40/ 40 Academy and showed off her much improved mid range game. Augmon is fluid, athletic and plays with more force and confidence on the offensive end. Defensively, she has long legs, and does a great job reading passing lanes. Augmon is another top 2019 prospect in the region.