After enjoying a phenomenal first year in 2014, the Elevate New Orleans program will be looking to spread its wings this year. Success on the court, however, is only part of the story for this organization.
“We have a fantastic group of girls, and they are really coming together,” said Coach Ben Aronin. “We really feel like we’re ready to build on the momentum we created last year. We have year-round tutoring available for the girls, and we have SAT and ACT prep courses. For the girls who have a 3.0 grade point average, we have year round skills training where we focus on whatever the girls need to improve.
“Our program is designed to be just like a Division I college program that moves the girls forward in every area, both in the gym and the classroom.”
Elevate New Orleans will have an early encounter with national level competition at the 2015 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic annually features the nation’s top travel programs, and the event will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
A number of younger prospects will be the headliners for Elevate New Orleans, including Kourtney Weber (2018, 5-11, G), Brooklyn Mitchell (2018, 5-7, PG), Chelsea Smith (2017, 5-7, PG) and Jasmine Agular (2017, 5-10, WF). Mitchell will enter the travel season rated as the No. 60 recruit in her class nationally according to the All Star Girls Report.
“Kourtney has an inside-outside game, and she can score at will,” Aronin said. “She always seems to find a way to get a good shot off. She is a very focused player, and she is a pleasure to coach. Brooklyn is one of the fastest and quickest players that I’ve ever seen. She is lightning. One offense, she can get wherever she wants to get, and on the other end she loves to disrupt the opposing offense.
“Chelsea is a player who can do whatever her team needs. She can go to the rim and create a shot for herself, or she can set up her teammates. She can read the game and control the tempo. Jasmine is a high motor player who is a great rebounder, and she has the ability to take it coast to coast. She can attack the basket or shoot the three, and she just has a knack for making big plays on both ends of the court.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for ASGR, also added his perspective on the Elevate New Orleans standouts.
“Weber is a great athlete who can slash and finish. She has a scorer’s mentality, she shoots the three, and she handles the ball well in transition,” McCormick said. “Mitchell is very quick, and she can make an acrobatic move to finish in traffic. She understands the game, has three-point range, and a solid mid-range game. Smith is a quick point guard who has a good feel for the game. She can set the table for her team, and she also has a nice mid-range game. Agular is an athletic wing who attacks the basket and rebounds. She plays hard, and she can hit the three.”