If you have ever wondered why Houston-based Cyfair Elite has been so good on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball circuit through the years, two quick pieces of evidence summarize it concisely.
What do Nneka Ogwumike and her sister, Chiney, and Charli Collier have in common? All of them have been the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft …and all of them are Cyfair Elite products.
Collier, Chelsea Dungee and DiDi Richards? They all were selected in the top 16 picks in the 2021 WNBA draft. And, of course, all three of them are …Cyfair alums.
Heck, you also could talk about Ariel Atkins and the dozens of other Cyfair players that came through the program in its 20 years of existence and went on to have stellar college and/or professional careers for hours. But you get the point.
Besides, this isn’t about Cyfair’’s past. It’s all about Cyfair’s future.
Just look at the list of players that will be on Cyfair’s roster for the 2022 season. It’s as impressive as ever and there’s no reason why Cyfair shouldn’t be very competitive on the Nike EYBL circuit again in the spring and summer.
All-Star Girls Report has four Cyfair players ranked in its top 100 individuals for the Class of 2023. And Cyfair Director Earl Allen said his program has another player that might use the spring and summer to climb onto that list.
At No. 26, Rylee Grays is the highest-rated Cyfair player on ASGR’s list. She’s a 6-3 post player.
“She already has the college body,’’ Allen said. “Her motor doesn’t stop. She snatches every rebound. She can rebound with anybody in the country.’’
Not far down the list from Grays, is Chloe Clardy. She’s a 5-10 combo guard and is ranked No. 33.
“She’s very gifted physically,’’ Allen said. “She has a high basketball I.Q. She’s more offensive minded and is a three-level scorer. But, she’s getting better defensively and becoming more of a complete player.’’
“Chloe was a Blue Star 30 selection,’’ That means she was recognized at a young age as one of the best players in the country in her age group. And she’s done nothing to disappoint.’’
Giesella Maul, a 5-11, shooting guard is No. 52.
“She’s a lefty and she can really stroke the three-point shot or the mid-range shot,’’ Allen said. “Really, she can score from anywhere. I’m looking for a dynamite summer from her. I think she could move into the top 15.’’
DAsia Thomas has as much potential as anyone on the Cyfair roster, according to Allen. She’s a 6-3 forward and is ranked No. 79.
“She’s very gifted and she’s being recruited by everyone in the country,’’ Allen said. “She’s 6-3 and she handles the ball and shoots the three. But we’re trying to work on her mindset some. The motor doesn’t always run real high. If the motor starts running at a high level, she could be the best we’ve got.’’
Loghan Johnson didn’t make the top 100, coming in at No. 220, but Allen is optimistic that the 5-10 guard can improve her stock in the spring and summer.
“She’s a very good shooter both with the three and in the mid-range game,’’ Allen said. “Her body is strong and she can defend.’’
Cyfair also has two top-100 players on ASGR’s list for the Class of 2024.
Justice Carlton, ranked No. 22, already is being recruited by some of the top college programs in the country. At 6-2, Carlton can play both wing and power forward.
“She is strong and physical,’’, Allen said. “She can dominate in the post. The skill set is there already. She has no real weaknesses in her game.’’
The other player from the Class of 2024 that made ASGR’s top 100 is 5-8 point guard Kendall Snead, who came in at No. 92. Snead’s father, Omar, will coach Cyfair in the upcoming season. Allen stepped away from being a coach five years ago to focus on being the program’s Director. But he still sits on Cyfair’s bench to provide any wisdom he can for every game.
Kendall Snead also runs track and has turned heads with her speed.
“She’s fast with the ball in her hands,’’ Allen said. “She commands the offense. She is also a lockdown defender. She needs to work on her jumper a little. Once she gets the jumper down, the sky is the limit.’’
Paris Bradley and Micah Cooper didn’t make ASGR’s top 100 for 2024, but they did land in the top 200. for the Class of 2024.
Bradley is No. 193 and Cooper is 156.
“Paris is a tweener,’’ Allen said. “She can play the two or the three and she’s a lefty. She’s a real athlete and she’s already a lockdown defender.’’
Cooper is a 5-10 left-handed point guard.
“Micah is big and physical,’’ Allen said. “She absolutely runs a team from the point. She needs to get her outside shot down, but she’s working on it.’’
If you were impressed by how Cyfair fared in the 2023 and ’24 classes, just wait until you hear what’s coming in 2025.
Cyfair has Aaliyah Chavez, who is rated by ASGR as the No. 1 recruit in the nation for 2025. Chavez is a 5-9 point guard, who will play with Cyfair’s Under-17 team in the spring and summer.
“There is absolutely nothing that she can’t do,’’ Allen said. “I really can’t think of anything more I can say about her that hasn’t already been said.’’
Alya McDowell, who is ranked No. 74 for 2025, also will play on the Under-17 team.
“I call her “Baby Durant’’ (after NBA superstar Kevin Durant) because she plays just like him,’’ Allen said. “She’s already 6-2. She needs to mature into her body more, but that will come with time. She defends well already. We just have to get her to the point where her motor is going at a high rate all the time.’’