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The Florida Girls Basketball program has been surging forward in recent years, and it looks like 2016 will be another step in that direction. FGB’s membership in the All Star Girls Report Summer League has played an important role in the program’s ascension.
“Being a part of the League just seems to be getting better,” FGB director Kenny Kalina said. “The level of competition in the League is getting better and better, and rivalries are being formed. Those things are really helping to push our players forward in the off-season.”
The FGB players clearly have plenty of talent to go along with that extra effort. Leading the way is Ladazhia Williams, a 6-2 power forward who is listed as the No. 6 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2017 by the All Star Girls Report.
“I feel like Ladazhia has proven that she is one of the top players in the country at her position,” Kalina said. “She was outstanding last year, and we’re excited to see what she can do this year. She isn’t one of the younger kids now, she is going to be a leader.
“Ladazhia has always been good around the basket. This summer, for the first time, she is going to be totally comfortable on the perimeter. She has been working hard, so it will be fun to watch her in action.”
FGB will also be expecting big summers from Tameria Johnson (2017, 5-7, G, No. 50) and Jalaysha Thomas (2017, 6-2, F, No. 27). Johnson and Thomas have both verbally committed to Florida.
“Those are two very, very talented players,” Kalina said. “They have been working hard to improve, and it’s going to be exciting to see what they can do this summer.”
Those marquee players should get plenty of support from 2017 classmates Maria Kulman (5-10, G), Jhane Wheeler (5-7, SG) and Dekeriya Patterson (5-8 G, No. 76).
“Maria is probably the best shooter we’ve ever had in our program,” Kalina said. “Last year was her first experience with major travel ball, so there was an adjustment period, but she was our leading scorer the second half of July. She has five brothers and sisters who play collegiate athletics, and I think Maria is going to have a big summer.
“Jhane is a very good athlete who could play either guard spot. She is a great shooter and a good ball handler, and her understanding of the game is getting better and better.
“Dekeriya is one of those players who can do it all. She didn’t have a great summer last year because she was battling health problems, but I think she is going to open a lot of eyes this year. She is a special, special player.”