Mid November is a lot like Christmas for Ty Cox. Instead of opening gifts, Cox gets to watch his former players living out their dreams. For the founder of the Carolina All Stars travel program, that’s the best gift of all.
“We currently have 50 girls playing college basketball as some level right now, so I’m spending a lot of time watching games on television and on-line,” said Cox. “It’s just great to see these young ladies fulfilling their dream of playing college basketball. We have 16 girls from the Class of 2015 who are playing their first college games, and that’s really, really great to see.”
The program will take a step forward this summer when they joined the ASGR Summer League.
“We like to put our kids in competitive environments, and that’s why we’re going the League,” Cox said. “We know that those folks are going to give us strong competition and maximum exposure with coaches from all levels. That’s exactly what you are looking for in travel ball.”
The All Stars will be paced this summer by an outstanding 2017 class that includes Tierra Wilson (5-5, PG), Chrisalyn Boston (6-1, P), Jaylin Powell (5-11, WF), Kelly Fitzgerald (5-8, PG) and Tamira Knuckles (5-10, WF). Wilson is currently rated as the No. 247 recruit in her class nationally by the All Star Girls Report, while Fitzgerald is at No. 371.
“I really think Tierra is one of the top point guards in the country,” Cox said. “She is a tremendous shooter, so she is more of a scoring point guard, but she doesn’t make a lot of mistakes on the court. She is also a strong academic kid.
“Chrisalyn is a post player who likes being in the post, and you don’t see that a lot these days. She is strong and physical, and she knows how to use her body. She is a great rebounder and inside scorer, and she plays a lot bigger than 6-1.
“Jaylin has size and strength, but she can also put the ball on the floor. She will be a stretch four in college. She can shoot the ball well, and she knows how to create opportunities for her teammates.
“Kelly has very good ball handling skills and she shoots the ball well. She is a very athletic, high energy player who is very strong academically. Tamira is a high IQ player who is a very good shooter. She also has tremendous post moves, so she is a tough inside-outside match up for people.”
The Carolina All Stars also have talent in the younger classes, with 2018’s J’Naya Ephraim (5-10, WF) and Marissa Mackins (5-7, CG) leading the way.
“J’Naya was the youngest participant at the 2015 FIBA America’s Cup when she played for the US Virgin Islands team. She is ultra athletic, and she has great natural instincts. She is a special talent with a tremendous vertical and a high motor.
“Marissa has extreme shooting range. I mean, her range is remarkable. And, she not just a jump shooter. She handles it well enough to play the point.”