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Mike Seberger has been running the Illinois Lady Lightning program for 17 years, but he is heading into the summer of 2017 with a special level of excitement.
“We have had a lot of good teams over the years, but we have two of the deepest teams we’ve ever had this year,” Seberger said. “We have 14 kids in our program right now who have at least one Division I offer.
“A lot of these kids have been in our program since the fifth grade. We started the Lady Lightning Skills Academy seven years ago, and that has made a big difference. The kids in the 2018 and 2019 classes really bought into the Academy.”
The kids will get a major early season test when they travel to the Deep South Classic. 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.
Leading the way for the Lady Lightning will be a quartet of talented players from the Class of 2018. Lindsey Jarosinski (6-5, P) and Aaliyah Patty (6-3, P) will give the club power inside, while Margaret Whitley (5-9, G) and Mia Lakstigala (5-11, PG) will be on the perimeter. The All Star Girls Report has Patty listed as the No. 83 recruit in the class, while Jarosinski is at No. 91 and Whitley is at No. 406.
“Lindsey is a true, back-to-the-basket player, which you don’t see a lot anymore,” Seberger said. “Lindsey can go right or left, and she has a variety of post moves. She can also shoot the three-pointer, and she is a very good free throw shooter. Aaliyah is a more athletic player with long arms, but she also plays with her back to the basket. She can put the ball on the floor, and she can shoot it out to 15 feet.
“Margaret is a fiesty, hard-working kid. She is in the gym seven days a week trying to improve. She is a great shooter who is great off the bounce, and she is a lefty with a nice floater. Mia is new to our program. She is great going to the basket, she is a great three-point shooter, and she is great in the screen and roll. She also gives you great size out front.”
In the Class of 2019, the Lightning lost Zoe Zacker (5-10, WF) to an ACL injury, leaving Julia Martinez (5-10, PG) as the unit’s leader. Zacker was ranked at No. 89 by ASGR and Martinez is at No. 301.
“Julia is a facilitator who pushes the ball well, and she is great in the open court because of her vision,” Seberger said. “She is a great defender, and she is working hard on her shooting range.”