The Cy Fair Premier program from the Houston-Dallas area has announced that it will return to the All Star Girls Report Summer League in 2016. According to Cy Fair Premier director Chris Johnson, it was not a difficult decision.
“We really liked the competition level in the League. We were able to play against strong teams from across the country at each event,” Johnson said. “We faced different styles of play, and that was good for the kids to see.
“The other aspect was the level of exposure for the kids. Every event had a lot of coaches, and those tournaments helped put some of our kids on the map.”
Johnson also does his part to put “kids on the map” through his business, Skilled Up Elite training in Houston. Johnson started the Cy Fair program and then departed to join the collegiate coaching ranks. After four years as an assistant at TCU and Arkansas, Johnson returned home a year and a half ago, re-connected with Cy Fair and opened Skilled Up Elite.
“I learned that there were a lot of athletic kids out there who really needed to improve their basketball skills,” he explained. “Athleticism is only going to take you so far. At the next level, these kids need athleticism and skills. The best college teams have players with both assets.
“We work with kids on all aspects of basketball skills. We also work with them on understanding basketball situations. That’s especially important for the younger players.”
Cy Fair Premier has several outstanding young players, including 2017 standouts Emer Nichols (6-4, P, ranked at No. 285 in her class by the All Star Girls Report) and Sierra Cheatham (6-0, WF, No. 158), along with 2018 rising stars Queen Egbo (6-3, P, No. 155) and Cydney Rivera (5-8, PG, No. 169).
“Emer is a skilled, back-to-the-basket post player. She is a left-handed post with a soft touch, she rebounds and blocks shots,” Johnson said. “Emer is working on extending her shooting range, which now extends to the three-point line.
“Sierra is one of the best shooters in the country, and she is developing the ability to put the ball on the floor. That’s something that we really want to add to her game, and she is really improving.
“Queen is one of the best rebounders in the country in her class. She had a high school game this year where she had 27 rebounds. Queen is super athletic, and she has a strong inside offensive game with her back to the basket.
“Cydney is a great athlete and a great all-around player. She is a true point guard with an excellent handle, and she is making about 45 percent of her three-point attempts for her high school team this year.”