While star power is a big drawing card at summer events, the Norfolk Xpress club has found success on the court with a balanced approach.
“We have nine players on our roster. They are all Division I level kids. They all have great character, and they are all strong academically,” said head coach Morris Smith. “Most of these kids have been together since the seventh or eighth grade. They are very skilled, and they defend very well. We have kids who can put the ball on the floor, they can all knock down jumpers, and they can all defend.”
This unit will be showcased in July at the FILA Nationals. The event, which will include over 100 national teams, will be played at the Suwanee Sports Academy outside of Atlanta from July 6-8. This is one part of a series of previews for the FILA Nationals where we will highlight the outstanding programs who will be competing.
Two members of the Xpress from the Class of 2014 have already committed to the UNC Greensboro program. Jayda Luckie, a 5-9 guard, and Keli Foster, a 5-8 guard who is rated as the No. 523 prospect in the class by the All Star Girls Report, will both play for the Spartans.
“Jayda is a player who can shoot the lights out, and she can attack the basket. She also handles the ball well, and she defends the perimeter,” Smith said. “Keli is an athletic point guard who does a great job running the team. She is very quick, she is a great decision maker, and she is a tenacious defender.”
While Luckie and Foster have verbally committed, the remainder of the Xpress roster is currently being pursued by college coaches. Perhaps the biggest target is Braysia Hicks, a 5-11 wing who is ranked as the No. 223 prospect in the Class of 2014 by ASGR.
“Braysia has a college ready body, she is a very good scorer, and she defends. Plus, she is just a super kid,” Smith said. “She already has several offers, and she will probably commit at the end of July.”
The list of D-I recruits on the Xpress roster also includes Endia McKinney (5-10, F), Jackie Jordan (6-0, F), Mikayla Sayle (6-0, F) and Teyona Moore-Carver (5-7, G).
“Endia played for the state championship team at Lake Taylor this winter, and she can score and rebound for us,” Smith said. “Jackie is a tremendous student, and she can play in the post and knock down the three-pointer. Mikayla is a bruising post player who is tough and strong. Teyona is very good with the ball. She can score, and she can defend.”