Charlotte Bound Mass Rivals Has Rising Stars

The Massachusetts Rivals program has developed a series of outstanding players in recent years, but the New England club may reach a new level in the coming years. Rivals has a number of very talented young players, and they are on the right track.

“We’re very excited about the young kids we have in the program because they are buying into the Rivals way,” said Coach Scott Hazelton. “They are going out and playing hard every day, and they are sharing the basketball.

“They have a lot of talent, but they have also shown a wonderful work ethic. That’s an exciting combination.”

Those rising young Rivals stars will close out the summer in Charlotte, NC for the 2015 ASGR Summer Basketball Playoff on July 27-30. The event, which will feature many of America’s top club programs, will be held at the Carolina Courts facility.

Rivals is loaded with youthful talent, but the prospect getting most of the attention is Janai Crooms (2018, 5-11, G). Crooms entered the 2015 summer listed as the No. 31 prospect in her class nationally by the All Star Girls Report.

“Janai is a rugged kid with a lot of game. She could end up playing the one, two or three,” Hazelton said. “She has already opened a lot of eyes with all the different things she can do.

“At this level, she is a real matchup for everyone. She is big enough that she can simply overpower the small kids. Against bigger kids, she just blows by them. The sky is the limit for Janai.”

While Crooms is the headliner, classmate Taylor Soule (2018, 6-0, F) is also on the recruiting radar.

“Taylor played at this level for the first time at the Deep South Classic, and she was immediately in the spotlight. Her team went 5-0 and won the championship, and Taylor turned a lot of heads,” Hazelton said. “She is the best pure athlete in the program in terms of her running and jumping ability. Her upside is through the roof.”