Deep South Bound NEX Elite Features Depth, Balance

The NEX Elite program from Massachusetts will have three teams in the All Star Girls Report Summer League, and all three will have deep, talented rosters.

“I think all of our teams are going to be very good this summer,” said Coach Pat Russell. “We have a lot of good players, and we have different types of players who seem to really complement each other.”

Those NEX athletes will be competing at the 2017 Deep South Classic, which 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.

“There are a lot of things to like about the Deep South Classic,” noted Russell, who will be returning for the fourth time. “We have always enjoyed the experience. It’s all in one building, it’s a well run event, and we stay at the hotel next to the gym. You also know the place will be filled with college coaches, and you get to play a lot of different teams from around the country.”

A number of athletes on NEX Elite are receiving strong recruiting attention, including three 2018 players who are currently ranked by the All Star Girls Reports. Tess Sussman (5-11, WF) is listed at No. 471, Kayla Raymond (6-0, W) is at No. 479, and Haley Blasetti (5-10, PG) is at No. 535.

“Tess is a very solid player who already has about 20 Division I offers,” Russell said. “She can do anything her team needs her to do. She can attack the basket or knock down the three, and she also defends and rebounds. Tess is a very, very good passer who sees the floor well.

“Kayla is a great athlete who can grab the rim. She is another all-around player who can score it, shoot it, and handle the ball. Kayla is a strong kid, and she might grow into being a power forward.

“Haley has a college ready body, and she does a great job running our offense. She is the one who makes everything happen for us. She is an unselfish, pass-first, player, but her offensive game is improving. Haley is also a very good rebounder who is a double-double machine.”

Russell was also high on many of his younger players, including Adrianna  Timberlake (5-8, CG, 2019).

“Adrianna is a very explosive athlete who can shoot the three, and she has a motor that just doesn’t stop,” the coach said. “Adrianna can score the ball and defend, and I think she has a very bright future.”

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