The Lady Reign program in Chicago was started four years ago by Lawrence Jackson, and each year the club has opened its spring season with a trip to the Deep South Classic.
“it’s always a very well organized tournament, it’s a great town, and we always have a lot of fun,” Jackson said. “They have great competition at the Deep South, and it’s a mix of teams from all over the country. You get a chance to battle against all different styles of play, and that’s fun.
“We start every year at the Deep South because it’s a great tournament, and we learn where we are and what we need to work on in order to improve.”
The 2017 Deep South Classic will be held in Raleigh, NC from April 20-23. The event, which will feature some of the finest travel teams in the nation, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center. There will be 20 courts in the building, keeping the entire event under one roof in downtown Raleigh.
Each year in Raleigh, the Lady Reign has shown improvement. The 2017 event should mark another step forward for the program.
“I absolutely think this will be our best year,” Jackson said. “We have a very, very tough 2018 class. They have been together since the sixth grade, and they really want to go out with a bang.”
That 2018 crew is paced by 5-0 point guard Cecelia Mosley, 5-8 wing Tionne Colyer, and 5-10 post player Miah Smith.
“Cecelia is a coach’s dream as a floor leader. She is a special kid with a high basketball IQ,” Jackson said. “She is a very good distributor, and she has become more of a scorer. She has worked hard on her outside shot, and she is averaging 14 points per game for her high school team.
“Tionne does everything for us — rebounds, passes and scores. She is one of the best offensive rebounders I have ever coached. She just has a great instinct and an ability to get to the ball. When we need a rebound, Tionne will get it.
“Miah is a hard-nosed, hard-working kid. She runs the floor well, she is an agile kid, and she is an aggressive rebounder. We also depend on Miah to defend post players who are often four or five inches taller. She is an explosive leaper, and she knows how to use her athleticism on the defensive end.
Lady Reign’s future also seems strong, with players like Cashay Dixon (5-8, G, 2020) and Jayda Grady (5-9, G, 2019).
“Cashay and Jayda form a good duo for us,” Jackson said. “Cashay is an aggressive, straight ahead type of player who really pushes the ball down the floor for us. She is also a very good defender. Jayda is a lights out shooter with great range, so she opens up the court. Jayda is a long, lanky player with deep three shooting range.”