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The Milwaukee Spartans enjoyed tremendous success on the court in 2015, but that was only part of the story for the program. The Spartans are a part of the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center social service agency. That connection impacts the program’s focus, and it means that Spartan players must be successful academically in order to earn the right to compete on the court.
The Spartans are led by Essie Washington and Jasper Johnikin, and the two mentors have done a great job developing basketball players, and successful young women. In 2016, the Spartans will take another step forward when they join the All Star Girls Report Summer League.
“There’s no question that being a part of the Summer League is going to be beneficial to our players,” Washington said. “We have gotten a lot of exposure in this area, but with the help of the All Star Girls Report, we will be getting exposure in different areas of the country. We know we are going to be facing strong competition, and we know there are going to be a lot of college coaches watching.”
The Spartans will be powered this summer by a quartet of outstanding players from the Class of 2019. That group includes Sydnee Roby (6-3, P), Kaye Clark (5-9, PG), Alea Perez (5-6, SG) and SyAnn Holmes (6-1, WF).
“Sydnee is a dominant post player. She is one of the best post players I’ve ever seen,” said Johnikin. “She has it all — the size, the moves, the feet, the hands … Sydnee is just a very, very special player.
“Kaye is a hell of a slasher and defender. She is a great athlete with very good skills. Alea is one of the best shooters in the Midwest. She is the type of shooter who is in her range when she walks into the gym. SyAnn is very tenacious and very aggressive. She is an outstanding athlete who is getting better and better.”