A closer look at the elite Fresh 50 Invitational talent

Staff Writer
October 3, 2013 - 2:16pm
2018 Mimi Collins was impressive despite being one of the youngest players in the Regional Game. (Photo by Andrew Snook)

2018 Mimi Collins was impressive despite being one of the youngest players in the Regional Game. (Photo by Andrew Snook)

ATLANTA -- Sierra Calhoun and Aliyah Mazyck were selected MVPs respectively of the Full Court Fresh 50 Invitational National and Regional games held on Sept. 29 at Westlake High School in the Atlanta area. However, many other players turned in noteworthy performances as well.  Let's take a look at some of them starting with our game MVPs.

(* indicates participation in the national game)

*Sierra Calhoun, 6-0, small forward, 2014, Christ the King High School (NY)/Verbal to Duke

In leading the National White team with 22 points, Calhoun showed a versatile offensive arsenal.  She repeatedly attacked the basket getting to the foul line 12 times making 11. On top of that, she tallied three triples. It was as if she came into the game in full attack mode as opposed to being too passive as she appeared in a number of viewings at Nike Nationals in late July. In this game, it was likely a plus that she did not have to play point guard (and thus was more able to concentrate on scoring) something which she has had to do in a number of previous viewings.   

Aliyah Mazyck, 5-9, point guard, 2015, Myers Park High School (NC)

Mazyck was not a name on our Full Court Fresh 50 radar prior to this weekend. While her Myers Park High School team had been ranked nationally by a number of publications, the word in gyms seemed to be 'good team' more than special talents. Hmm!? In scoring 23 points while also handing out five assists and creating six steals for the Regional White team, Mazyck made a strong case that she should have been in the National game rather than 'settling' for being Regional Game MVP. What was most impressive about her was her ability to finish at the rim with contact. She combines a nice midrange stroke with above average point guard size and athleticism topped off by a good basketball IQ.  She still needs to add more range as she did not show a successful three-ball but major division one schools in the South are already lining up for her.     

(Players below are listed alphabetically, 2014 class unless otherwise stated.)

Camille Anderson, 5-9, shooting guard, 2015, Buford High School (GA)

Last year Anderson was one of the younger players on a talent-loaded Buford team and as such was not the focus of media attention. This season should be different as she showed here, and previously on the summer club circuit, that she is a significantly talented player as well thanks in large part to a solid perimeter stroke with range to beyond the arc. Division I coaches who see her like her medium-solid athletic build. She needs to improve her handles but do not be surprised to see her get BCS offers like so many before her out of the Buford program. 

Amiray Collins, 6-4, center, 2018, Milton Somers Middle School (MD)

Figuring in her 2018 class graduation year, Amiray Collins has to be considered one of the top underclass prospects in these games. Fairly strong in build, she ran the court well for her size and finished well using either hand near the basket while scoring 12 points in the game against much older players. Her face-up shot appears to need the most work. Word in the gym has her likely headed to play at D.C. prep basketball power  St. John's next year. BCS coaches at the game were marking her name down as a high major prospect.

Tyler Collins, 5-5, point guard, 2018, Woodward Academy (GA)

Tyler showed nice handles to complement good speed and quickness. While she only scored three points, her poise on the court impressed college coaches present in the gym eying her as a likely Division I prospect down the road.

*Te'a Cooper, 5-8, point guard, 2015, McEachern High School (GA)

Cooper is one of those players who got big-time rep at an early age but has had up and down performances in her first two high school seasons. Lately she has been showing more consistency both in scoring (15 points here mostly via drives) and sharing the ball. Te'a is back on the market but North Carolina (present in the gym) still hopes she will re-commit to them in the future.   

*Erykah Davenport, 6-2, power forward, Tucker High School (GA)/Verbal to Miami of Florida

Davenport, who announced her commitment to Miami at the event, played hard defense and repeatedly attacked from the high post in the National game. An above-average athlete, sometimes she goes too hard to the basket without proper balance thus missing the mark. As the saying goes, slow down a bit to smell the roses.

*Courtney Ekmark, 6-0, shooting guard, Home School (AZ)/Verbal to Connecticut

Ekmark will not play high school basketball this season, having withdrawn from St. Mary's of Phoenix after having again won an Arizona state titles last three years. She is working to get stronger and her body shows it. While she is also trying to improve her dribble-drive, nine of her 14 points came via her three-ball which she is known for.  

*Jordan Hosey, 6-2, small forward, 2015, Manvel High School (TX)/Verbal to Texas

Hosey is another player with size and skill/desire to play on the perimeter but erratic results outside the key. Here in scoring her 13 points, she took what was given, hitting a couple of threes along the way.  

Anriel Howard, 6-0, forward, 2015, Westlake High School (GA)

Anriel represented the host school, but was more than a token in scoring 13 points mostly via drives and from offensive rebounding (led Regional Blue Team with 13 boards (seven offensive)). Sometimes she over-penetrated and showed a need for a jump stop -- still she likely raised her stock with Division I coaches present. 

Westlake's #3 Anriel Howard drives up the sideline under pressure from #13 Dejoria Howard (Photo by Andrew Snook)

Dejoria Howard, 5-11, small forward, 2015, Orangeburg-Wilkerson High School (SC)

Dejoria showed range to beyond the arc in scoring her 13 points. Using a strong build, she also was able to penetrate to the basket. Her combination of offensive skills should be attracting BCS interest.  

*Tynice Martin, 5-10, small forward, 2015, Southwest DeKalb High School (GA)

BCS coaches love Martin's fairly strong build combined with her stroke and mobility. Her favorite move seems to be two dribbles and a jumper. Hopefully, she will build her consistency of range to beyond the arc.  

*Gabby Ortiz, 5-7, point guard, Racine Prairie School (WI)/Verbal to Oklahoma

Ortiz could best be described as a feisty field general (four assists in the game versus one turnover) who can shoot the three. Given the opening, she will use her medium-solid build to drive to the basket.

Shakyna Payne, 6-4, center, 2015, Etowah High School (GA)

Of medium build, Payne runs the court well with her game around the basket. With decent hands and light feet, she has a definite BCS upside but her skills (only five points but did have six boards) were not yet ready to play up to potential here. Basketball-wise, it may be best to describe her as a work in progress.  

*Caliya Robinson, 6-2, forward, 2015, McEachern High School (GA)

In spite of a relatively thin build, she led the National Blue team with eight rebounds often going against more strongly built players. She also blocked three shots. On offense, she likes to face up in the key but the ball was not falling (six points). Still, her active play on defense probably helped her stock with BCS programs.  

Meredith Schulte, 6-0, small forward, 2015, Mill Creek High School (GA) 

Schulte is a player who may get recruited higher than many might expect as she is not always the factor you might want to see for a major Division I school. With a medium-solid build and nice baseline stroke from behind the arc, a number of BCS schools are eying her as a utility player due to her size and stroke. She needs to improve her ball handling to raise her stock further.  

*Victoria Vivians, 6-1, forward, Scott Central High School (MS)/Verbal to Mississippi State

Vivians scored 11 points via drive and perimeter shots in the National game leading her Blue team in scoring.  However, at times she seemed a bit unsure of herself as she probably had not been on such a big stage (playing with and against high level talent). In the final analysis, she held her own against the competition.

*Destinee Walker, 6-0, small forward, 2015, Lake Highland Prep (FL)

This Destinee Walker has at times settled too often for a perimeter shot. Even though she scored only five points, she showed a willingness to attack some and she defended pretty physically on the perimeter. A likely BCS future awaits.

Destinee Walker, 6-0, forward, 2015, West Florence High School (SC)

Same name but different player and style in the Regional game -- of medium build, this Destinee Walker has a way of sort of gliding into the key and take a short jumper or get fouled (eight of 11 from the line on the way to 20 points). Her perimeter stroke looked like a bit a pushy and might need some work but she is still a BCS prospect regardless.  

Dejah Williford-Kelley, 6-1, forward, 2016, Lower Richland High School (SC)

Dejah was the second leadin scorer for the Regional Blue team with 15 points. She hit three three's but also attacked the basket. Still a young player, she does not yet appear to be fully developed physically. Her combination of size and versatile scoring skills should make it hard for BCS coaches to look away.  

*A'ja Wilson, 6-5, power forward, Heathwood Hall (SC)

Wilson may not have been named National game MVP but was a strong candidate with nine points and 18 rebounds. As to talent/upside, she was the best in the game and is possibly best prospect in the 2014 class given her size, skill and athleticism. A lefty of medium build and long strides, Wilson runs the court well but also showed good vision in transition. She can attack the basket from the high post but also step out for the perimeter shot, sometimes too much so as she is more of a finesse player than banger. Word in the gym was that she may not commit until the spring but impact players such as A'ja are worth waiting for.