PATERSON, New Jersey -- Eastside High School and John F. Kennedy High School played host to the New Jersey Sparks 3rd Annual New Years Resolution. Teams from New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C. Massachusetts and Florida came to compete in front of a nice mix of college coaches and evaluators.
Here are some of the standouts from the event:
Emia Willingham-Hurst – 5-7 Guard, Albany High School Albany, NY
Emia came out on fire against Monctlair, getting to the basket any way she wanted. Her length and aggressiveness on the defensive end allowed her to force turnovers and get her team going. Emia suffered an ankle injury in the second half which opened the door for Ayanna Hunter (5-4 point guard, 2016) and Myah Chandler (5-10 wing 2015) to step up and keep the momentum going for the Lady Falcons. Ayanna is a speedy little point that doesn’t have a problem taking the action to you. Myah is a long athletic wing with a tremendous upside. Her length gave problems to opponents in both games this weekend.
Sadie Edwards - 5-10 Guard, Blair Academy Blairstown, NJ
Edwards is one of my favorites because she has a good grasp on what she has to do get to the next level from both an academic and athletic perspective. She played all three guard positions this weekend and looked comfortable doing it -- but looked best playing off the ball where she can really hurt defenses. Her shot selection has gotten better and she is getting nice extension on her jumper now.
Theresa Gilmore - 6-1 Post, H.D. Woodson Washington, DC
Theresa had a good weekend mixing it up well now on both ends of the floor. Whether its banging down low for position or stepping out to take a 5-8 foot jumper, Theresa is beginning to look more comfortable and assertive. On the defensive end she is staying out of foul trouble any playing more minutes.
Myisha Hines-Allen – 6-1 Wing, Montclair High School Montclair, NJ
Hines-Allen dropped thirty points in a loss to Albany High School, the weekend’s surprise team. Myisha continues to show that she will be a program changer at the next level and being able to play four positions doesnt hurt. Myisha hit multiple jumpers off the pullup, got to the basket and finished with contact. She defended the teams best player and forced turnovers as the point on the press.
Isis Young – 5-7 Point Guard, Trenton Catholic Trenton, NJ
Trenton Catholic can be a scary team if they all get on the same page. They have good point guard play in Isis Young and two dominant post players in Erin Garner (6-3 Post 2014) and Tyler Raysor (6-1 Post 2014). Not only can they play inside out but they also showed a high-low game that can be dominant. I have seen all three of these players multiple times throughout the summer and they all played well individually and all have some type of fan fare but if they can bring it together as a team -- watch out.
Zaire O'Neil – 6-1 Post, Malcom X Shabazz High School Newark, NJ
Since seeing her at the Tina Thompson She Got Game Classic it now looks like she is ready to dominate like she did against Bishop Ford of Brooklyn, NY. Her size and strength created matchup nightmares for Bishop Ford. Her assertiveness on the boards led to Shabazz having multiple posessions throughout the night. Shabazz will need Zaire to continue this type of play as they have Riverdale Baptist (MD) on Saturday.
Zuliet Adenji – 6-3 Post, Curtis High School Staten Island, NY
This was my first time seeing Adenji and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of schools giving her a look. Zuliet is a quality post that has a soft touch around the basket and can extend out to the foul line and stick the jumper. She’s a good post defender that can help multiple programs.
Kayla Gibbs – 6-2 Post, Teaneck High School Teaneck, NJ
I had the chance to watch Kayla a couple of times this summer and it's obvious she has continued to work on her game and it showed versus St. Anthony's of Melville, NY. She is a little quicker on the drive, still loves to bang but now with a purpose. Gibbs is starting to stretch her game out to about eight feet which would make her that much tougher an opponent. She doesn’t do anything fancy but fills up the stat sheet and the majority of her points don't come from offense being run for her.
Chastity Taylor – 5-10 Guard, St. Anthony's High School Melville, NY
This silky smooth guard does a little bit of everything for her Lady Friar teammates. She didn't have a great offensive game she is playing well on defense and continues to fine-tune her game. But, with teammates like Tyla Parham (5-2 Point Guard, 2014), who if she was taller would be one of the most talked about point guards in the country because of the way she controls her teams tempo and Jayla Jones-Pack (6-3 Post, 2016), who has gotten a lot better from when I saw her at the Insider All American Camp this summer. She did a great job making life tough for Kayla Gibbs and did it with out fouling which young post players are known for.
Batouly Camara – 6-2 Post, Blair Academy Blairstown, NJ
Camara has done a complete 360 with her game and will be a top post player in the country from the 2015 class. She is doing more than just scoring baskets, she also communicates with her teammates on every possession, which was the buzz amongst college coaches about her. It doesn't hurt that she is grabbing boards and leading the break, which really put pressure on the opponents’ defense.
Alana Gilmer – 6-0 Guard, Archbishop Williams High School Braintree, MA
The versatile Gilmer is active on both ends, a good on the ball defender who should become more consistent from 12-15 feet. Teammate Ednaija Lassiter (5-7 Point Guard, 2016) has a motor that won't stop but has slowed down just a tad and is making better decisions. She has a good first step and is strong enough to finish with contact. This duo can become a nice backcourt once they get familiar with each others game.
Sydney Zambrotta – 5-8 Point Guard, St. John The Baptist W. Islip, NY
Zambrotta leads a St. John The Baptist team with three freshmen who are getting quality minutes to start their high school careers. Zambrotta, who has already made a name for herself in middle school and playing for the New Heights 16U team, is a lefty with unlimited range who is starting to settle into her role as a varsity player. Italece Brown-Smikle (5-9 Guard, 2016) and Meghan Oberg (6-0 Forward, 2016), should become more consistent for the Lady Cougars by the time they play in The Mecca in February.
Chelsie Hall - 5-4 Point Guard, Coral Springs Charter Coral Springs, FL
As I stated in my recap of the AAU Super Showcase 2012, Chelsie Hall is a problem! The eighth grader looked like a mature sophomore this past Saturday versus Trenton Catholic. She consistently knocked down the open 15 footer, she can stick the three and does a good job of changing the teams tempo. Chelsie has gotten a little stronger to play on the varsity level and is definitely one to watch.
About Derek McKeiver: Derek is the owner of the Tri State Report, a regional recruiting service covering the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia), New York and New Jersey. Derek has been actively involved in the women's game since 2004 when he started coaching with the Maryland Mystics and The Academy of The Holy Cross. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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