The 2014 travel season for the Arizona Sting has had a few bumps, but the program is back on track and preparing for a strong finish. The Sting’s top team is getting healthy, and the younger kids are showing more and more potential each week.
“Our top team has had some setbacks, but they are playing well now,” program director Lawrence Alonzo said. “Right now, the team is our center. She has had some back issues, but when she is playing we are pretty strong.
“We also have a team that has a roster of all freshmen (Class of 2017). All of them are phenomenal athletes, and they all either started or played significant minutes for their high school teams over the winter. We are playing them in the U17 level, and they have won three tournaments already this year.”
The next major challenge for the Sting will come at the Lake Las Vegas Classic, which will be played from July 10-12. The event, which will feature elite travel teams from across the country, will be played at the Westin Lake Las Vegas complex.
The Sting’s Black team is powered by a trio of players from the Class of 2015 — guards Darian Slaga (5-9) and Kydaysha Turner (5-4) and center Sara Nichols (6-2).
“Darian is a great athlete. You just don’t see girls shoot jump shots like Darian, the way she elevates and then releases the ball at the top,” Alonzo said. “She is just an all-around freak of nature athlete, and that is what the coaches see immediately when they watch us play. Kydaysha isn’t very big, but she is a lock down defender. She can keep anyone away from the rim. I tell people that she is a Division I defender, and maybe a Division II offensive player.
“When she is healthy, Sara is a beast. She has a strong body, and she plays down low with an attitude. Her back started bothering her during the high school season, and now she has finally started working with the right doctor and therapists. I think she will be back playing consistently for us soon.”
The Sting roster loaded with players from the Class of 2017 has several big-time prospects, but Courtney Colleary (5-10, G) stands out.
“Courtney is a do everything player because she is just athletic as hell,” Alonzo said. “She is a little deceptive, so you don’t see it at first glance, but she can do it all. She gets a double-double in points and rebounds every game, and you can count on her for about five assists a game. She can also guard anyone from a one to a five. She just understands the game and how to position her body. She already has it figured out.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also added his perspective on the Arizona Sting prospects:
Darian Slaga: “Slaga has good quickness and she understands the game. She has good skills, she is aggressive, and she plays with a high motor.”
Kydaysha Turner: “Turner is a quick little guard who is a great on-ball defender. She does a lot of little things to help her team.”
Sara Nichols: “She is a strong, active center. She is a blue collar type player who can score around the basket.”
Courtney Colleary: “Colleary is athletic and she has a good understanding of the game. She has an inside-outside game on both ends of the court.”
Jaime White photo courtesy of Fresno State athletics. Photo by Cary Edmondson.