The top teams from the West and the top teams from the East often meet at the Deep South Classic. This year’s event will undoubtedly feature many of those epic clashes, with a phenomenal field that will feature teams such as the Colorado Basketball Club and the Boston Showstoppers.
The Deep South Classic, which will include 200 teams, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center from April 19-21. This is the fourth in a series of reviews about the Classic, and we’ll highlight other outstanding programs in the coming weeks.
The Colorado Basketball Club will be appearing in the Deep South Classic for the second straight year.
“We had a great experience last year,” said CBC director Tammy Neuhaus. “The competition was good, it was a very well-run event, and our kids got some great exposure.”
Neuhaus had eight rising seniors on her team at the 2012 Deep South, and all eight have basketball scholarships. This year’s CBC team should also draw a lot of interest from the college recruiters.
“We believe in putting the team ahead of the individual, and we teach and preach defense first. I think those are things that college coaches like,” Neuhaus said. “We think that if the players focus on making the team better, the team will make the players better.”
CBC’s best players this year will be 2014 prospects Tatum Neubert (6-2, PF) and Katie Cunningham (5-11, WF). “They were both significant contributors for us last year,” Neuhaus said. “They both already have offers, and I’m sure more will come this summer.”
The two veterans will be supported by a strong trio from the Class of 2015 — 5-6 shooting guard Jesse Zweifel, 5-10 wing Morgan Ducklow and 6-0 power forward Monica Mack. The future of the program also looks strong, with a talent-filled 2016 group that includes guard Symone Starks, Leah Davis, wing Maya Love, wing Jonni Smith and forward Blaire Braxton.
The Boston Showstoppers are equally excited about their young players. Program founder Clinton Lassiter is particularly proud of his two nieces — eighth grade guards Sayawni and Ednaija Lassiter. Sayawni was offered by Rutgers when she was in the seventh grade, and Adnaija has been offered by Massachusetts.
The Showstoppers also feature a trio of talented players from the Class of 2015. Araion Bradshaw is a 5-7 point guard (the 210th-ranked player nationally in her class according to the All Star Girls Report), Alexander Maund is a 5-9 forward, and Raven Brathwaite is a 6-4 center.
The Showstoppers have built a strong reputation in recent years by running the court.
“We always have an up-tempo, run-and-gun, pressing style,” noted Coach Lassiter. “The girls love the way we play. We have a lot of athletic kids, and they fit well in our style.”
Here is a quick look at some of the other top-flight programs that will be competing in the National Division at the Deep South Classic:
Jacksonville Lady Rams
Key Prospects: 2015, No. 159, 5-7, PG, Denisha Swain. 2017, 5-5, CG, Jasmine Baines. 2015, 5-5, SG, Ra’Jean Martin.
McCormick On Why To Watch The Lady Rams: “Swain is has good ball skills and quickness. She has a feel for the game and she can hit the three. Baines is very quick, she is explosive on the perimeter, and she has three-point range. Martin is another quick athlete with a strong body. She can attack the basket, and she has a nice pull-up jumper.”
Key Prospects: 2014, 5-10, G/F, Marshae Bradbury. 2014, 5-5, PG, Kyia Hough. 2015, 5-10, G/F, Raven Dean. 2015, No. 125, 5-8, SG, Jordan Muhammad. 2017, 6-2, C, Jenelle Bailey.
McCormick On Why To Watch The Spartans: “Hough is small, but she is quick, she handles the ball, and she can attack the basket. Dean is a long athlete who can get the rim, and she has a nice pull-up jumper. Muhammad is the daughter of Muhsin Muhammad, the NFL receiver. She is a great athlete who knows how to score. Bailey already has a college-type body and excellent athleticism. She rebounds and can score with contact. Her older sister, Gigi, is playing at Harvard.”
Key Prospects: 2016, 6-1, PF, Monet Jones. 2016, 5-4, PG, Tianna Clark. 2014, No. 404, 5-9, WF, K’Vonna Johnson.
McCormick On Why To Watch The Houstonians: “Jones is a great athlete with explosive leaping ability. She can score inside, and she can step out and face up. Clark is lightning quick, she can handle it and pass it, and she is a strong defender. Johnson is very athletic, she can get to the hoop, and she is an intelligent player.”
Key Prospects: 2014, 6-2, PF, Casey Davis. 2014, 5-9, PG, Camden Musgrave. 2014, 5-6, PG, Brooke Fields. 2014, 6-0, PF, Shetara Parson.
McCormick On Why To Watch Love Elite: “Davis is a good athlete with an inside-out game. Musgrave is a strong athlete with three-point range and a smooth pull-up move. Fields is a quick ballhandler who knows the game. Parson is another good athlete who can finish inside and step out to 16 feet.”