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2013 SHOWCASE RECAP
McDonogh head coach Brad Rees welcomed Player's Choice 1 to their campus for their first individual showcase in Maryland. For almost 20 years Wayne Brunck has run some of the most organized and professional recruiting events in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Al Schell is the Player's Choice 1 regional director for DC, Maryland and Virginia and after years of looking for the right date and location he found it in McDonogh. 80 players participated in the inaugural event that started at 8am and ended at 4pm. The Player's Choice staff rounded up some of the best coaches in the area to coach the teams during the day. Coaches like Detoiya Mcaliley of Milford Mill, Ardell Jackson of Westlake high, Alexis Washington of Pikesville High school, Saladin Reese of Team Sol, Savannah Webb of Pax River Silver Stars, Ron Isaacs of Randallstown high school, Walt Hagins and Tameka Addison to name a few.
Player's Choice 1 has a strong focus on academic achievement so players with above average academics are highlighted during the event in a unique way. With the proper credentials they are issued a pair of gold shorts so that college coaches in attendance can easily identify them. This went over well with the college coaches. After a coaches meeting to go over rules and and informative discussion between Wayne Brunck and the players we were ready for some action.
The first pool of players took the court as the college coaches started to flow in around 10am. Coaches from upstate New York to Virginia made the trip to see an exceptional pool of talent take the court. Each team played three games with a one game break in between. The sideline coaches were enthusiastic and involved throughout the day, pushing the players to pay attention to details and make themselves recruitable. Based on feedback both during and after the event it seemed to work, as several players have received scholarship offers from this event. Below is a quick summary of the players who helped themselves based on the feedback from college coaches, Player's Choice 1 evaluators and the sideline coaches.
The showcase is geared primarily towards high school players but Player's Choice does allow 7th and 8th graders to participate if they are referred by a trusted source. Six members of the class of 2018 were approved to play and they all acquitted themselves well. Hannah Franklin, Mackenzie Dewees, Savannah Simmons, Taysha Bender, Kiana Williams and Taleah Dixon all looked very comfortable competing with the older players and made their share of plays.
Class of 2017 (9th grade)
Kolbi- Monet Green, McDonogh, 5'5" point guard: The most impressive freshman at the event. She played with poise and confidence and had no problem taking it to anyone on the court. She has talent and she has heart which is usually a good combination.
Class of 2016: (10th grade)
Adrienne Jones, Maths, 5'7" two guard: She is a natural born scorer. She has good form on her 3 point shot and her outside shot in general. She is deadly in the open court because she is just as fast with the ball as without it. Fast break situations with her usually end up in a bucket or with her at the foul line. With her speed and long arms I would like to see her work on becoming a defensive stopper so she can transition to a major contributor at the next level.
Francesca Vanegas, Atholton, 5'8" point guard: I watched a half of her first game and she displayed a good basketball IQ by anticipating what defenders would do in game situations and making the right plays. She has good speed and looks like a good shooter. She was very active and has a nose for the ball. I'll follow up during the winter and watch her with her Atholton high team.
Summer Fields, Seton Keough, 5'5" point guard: One of those players that likes to play defense more than offense. I already knew that coming in. What I didn't know was how good she was at defending and how disruptive she can be. She makes all the hustle plays a coach likes to see. She scored some points as well, and in the sequence I watched she finished in traffic with both hands. She could get solid minutes with a young Gators squad this winter.
McDonogh head coach with freshman Kolbi-Monet Green. Milford Mill guard Kelli Smoot.
Class of 2015 (11th graders)
Sydney Hines, New Town, 5'7" guard: As an academic all-american she was sporting the gold shorts and some game to go with them. She has a impressive vertical leap and a quick first step. She really shoots a "jumper" and it is a thing of beauty with plenty of arc on it. She made a buzzer beater to end one of the games and there was plenty of chatter about her in the stands among the college coaches.
Alexis Jackson, Meade, 5'9" two guard: Arguably the best player in the showcase. She has some offensive moves that will work in college right now. She has a good handle and a nice pull up move off the dribble. She should score big in Anne Arundel county this season.
Keyaira Wilson, New Town, 5'1" point guard: She was a late addition to the showcase it worked out well for her. She is a scrappy but small guard who plays with passion. She told me she is a gym rat and I believe it. She sparked her team all day by making hustle plays and showing leadership skills. She scored a few buckets in transition as well. I like how she defends on the perimeter.
Oladukon Ekundayo, John Carroll, 5'8" guard: Ola has a lethal first step that allows her to explode past defenders and her vertical leap allows her to get to the rim and finish or draw fouls. She is a decent defender but needs to improve her outside shooting. I like how she attacks the offensive glass. She could make some noise in the IAAM this season.
Casey Johnson, Old Fields, 6'1" wing: I only caught a bit of her last game but I liked what I saw. She has some skills on offense and was a presence in the lane on defense. I will check for her during IAAM play this winter.
Keyaira Wilson, New Town Casey Johnson, Old Fields
Class of 2014 (Seniors)
Haley Oliver, 5'10" wing, North Point: I saw her during the fall live period and I was looking forward to seeing her at this event. She uses her size to shoot over smaller guards and I like what she does off the dribble. She has a nice touch in the lane made a couple of nice passes. She drew a lot of interest from the scouts on hand.
Makeda Wright, Kennedy, 5'8" shooting guard: Makeda is an academic all-american who did not get her credentials in on time so she did not get the gold shorts. She got attention anyway based on her play. Her jumper is wet and she made quite a few threes during the day. Her all around hustle plays could not go overlooked. She has a very good basketball IQ and a great personality as well. There were a few colleges waiting to talk to her after the event.
Morgen Caution, Insitute of Notre Dame, 5'11", wing: Morgen is a National honor society student and she just received a couple of offers from the Player's Choice 1 event in New Jersey in September. She came back for more and received two more offers from this event. An athletic wing who likes to chase down guards on the fast break and block shots is usually going to raise some eyebrows. She showed a nice mid range shot and she runs the floor like a gazelle. She should be annoucing her college choice shortly.
Makeda Wright of Kennedy Morgen Caution of IND
Kelli Smoot, Milford Mill, 5'6" guard: Kelli was also a late addition to the event who made a favorable impression. She has a nice handle and set her teammates up for easy baskets. She showed that she can knock down 3 point shots and her speed was above average. Based on feedback she should have options now.
Teira Pendleton, Poly, 5'7" wing: Teira is a tough, physical player who gets in the lane at will. She puts pressure on defenses by penetrating and is strong enough to finish with contact. She drew quite a few fouls during the showcase.
Adrienne Jones Lea Green listening to a college coach.
Makeda Wright receiving some love. Nyack, Cheyney and Washington College coaches
Meade guard Alexis Jackson and Old Mill wing Alesha Moses
Alexis Washington, Saladin Reese and Tameka Addison helped out with coaching.
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