The Team Penny roster is loaded with collegiate prospects, but two young ladies stand out on that list. Jaida Roper is a backcourt star who is listed as the No. 86 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2016 by the All Star Girls Report. Kayla Williams is a long wing who is at No. 124 on that chart, but she may soon join Roper in the Top 100.
“The Deep South Classic was our first big tournament this year, and I was very happy with the way we improved during the tournament. I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer because I think we will continue to progress,” said Coach Eric Daniels. “The one player for us who really blew up at the Deep South was Kayla. My phone has been ringing constantly since the Deep South, and the first player they are asking about is Kayla.”
All of Team Penny’s prospects will be showcased at the Tournament of Champions events in Suwanee (July 5-8) and Nashville (July 10-12). The Suwanee event will include 96 elite travel teams, with game being played at the Suwanee Sports Academy just outside Atlanta. The Suwanee TOC was previously called the FILA Nationals. The Nashville TOC will be held at the HoopTown facility, with 48 elite teams in the field.
Williams is a 6-1 wing who will be in the spotlight, and the 5-7 Roper will be adding a spark for Team Penny.
“Kayla is a multi-positional player who can defend just about anyone,” Daniels said. “She can face up, or she can shoot the three. Jaida is a hard nosed kid who is going to give you a maximum effort every moment she is on the court. She has a tremendous heart, she can slash to the basket, and she can hit the three.”
“Williams is a three-four type player who is a good athlete. She has a real inside-outside game. She is always around the ball, and her stock is rising,” noted ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “Roper is a quick, strong combo guard with explosive ability. She can get to the rim, and she has three-point range and a good basketball IQ.”
Team Penny’s lead duo will be complemented by Alexyse Thomas (2015, 6-3, P) and Miyah Barnes (2016, 5-5, PG).
“Alexyse is a true low post player who gives us a strong presence in the lane. She has good hands and a nice touch on her jumper,” Daniels said. “Miyah is a true point guard, and she is our spark plug. The ball is an extension of her hand with her skill level. She is a great facilitator, she has great court vision, and she can score.”
“Thomas is a an big, strong athlete who will bang and score on the block,” added McCormick. “Barnes is lightning quick and she has a great handle. She can also score in a lot of different ways.”
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