When it comes to success in offseason play in girls’ basketball, few teams have had better showings than the CyFair Premier Program.
Things shouldn’t be much different in 2022.
As usual, the Houston-based team will feature a roster that is loaded with talent. CyFair Premier, which has produced the likes of former University of Texas star Brooke McCarty, Baylor senior Queen Egbo and Texas freshman Rori Harmon, and the talent pool is still developing in classes 2023-2025.
The program will be competing in the Deep South Classic in Raleigh, N.C. April 22-24, the Austin Classic May 7-8 and the ASGR Summer League in Bloomington, IN in July 9-12, 2022.
“We’re looking forward to another great season,” CyFair Program coach Chris Johnson said. “We’re pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”
Johnson should be proud. He helped start the program in 2008, but left for stints as an assistant coach at TCU and Arkansas before returning to CyFair in 2014.
“Chris has been on both sides of it,” All-Star Girls Report Director of Scouting Bret McCormick said. “He’s an excellent trainer who prepares his girls very well to play in college.”
Johnson and McCormick said CyFair Premier has several players on its roster in the Class of 2023 that should get looks from colleges.
That list is headed by Jade Clack, a 6-foot-1 forward. She is ranked No. 165 on ASGR’s list of prospects for 2023 and has grown up in a basketball environment. Her father, Kris, played at the University of Texas and her mother, Emerald Garcia is Clack’s coach at Austin High School.
“Jade is a multi-position player,” McCormick said. “She has a high basketball IQ and she has a very high ceiling.”
Clack won’t be asked to do it all as she’ll have experienced help up front and in the backcourt. Center Jorynn Ross is ranked No. 138 on ASGR’s list of 2023 prospects and guard Kierra Merchant is ranked No. 192.
“(Ross) has a strong inside/outside game,” McCormick said. “She can do everything you would expect in the post. But the nice thing about her is that she can handle the ball and step outside and shoot the three.”
Merchant is a 5-10 guard, who Johnson said is being recruited by multiple Division-I programs, Johnson said. Her game is all about speed.
“(Merchant) is a long and very athletic guard,” McCormick said. “Her athleticism is what makes her special because she has the athletic ability to do a lot of things on both sides of the ball. She defends very well and she also attacks the basket and can score.”
Clack, Ross and Merchant will have plenty of help from members of the Class of 2024. Six-foot guard Aniah Alexis comes with outstanding basketball pedigree. Her mother Mykala Alewine, played at Louisiana-Monroe and is an assistant at Cypress Lakes High, which Alexis attends.
Six-three forward Zachara Perkins, ranked No. 107 by ASGR, also comes from a basketball household. Her mother, DeMya Walker, played in the WNBA. Walker also coaches Perkins at Houston’s St. Pious High.
“(Perkins) is capable of playing any position on the floor,” Johnson said. “I have no problem playing her at one through five. But I think in college she’ll be best as a three.
Six-four post player Holly Horton is a sleeper in the Class of 2024. She also comes from a parent with a basketball background. Horton’s mother, Heidi Burge-Horton, played in the WNBA.
“Holly really only started playing in the last few years,” Johnson said. “But she had a growth spurt recently and has really improved her game.”
CyFair Premier also has two players from the Class of 2025 that already are drawing attention from college recruiters.
Point guard Andrea Sturdivant, an outstanding three-point shooter, is ranked No. 66 in her class by ASGR and the 6-3 Nataliyah Gray can play small forward, power forward and center.