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The Southern Starzz program in Alabama has been building a strong foundation with talented young athletes and a calculated approach to summer scheduling.
“The biggest thing is that we have a good number of talented players in our geographical area,” noted Coach Doug Bush. “We also have players and families that are really committed to playing a high level of girls basketball.
“When we look at scheduling, we go to two types of tournaments. We have our national, or exposure, events, and then we have the tournaments that will prepare us for those national events. When we are choosing national events, we look at the caliber of the competition, the type of facilities, the volume of Division I coaches who will be at the event, and the organization behind the event.
“The Deep South Classic absolutely has all those things. We typically take four to six teams to the national events, and having everything under one roof is a huge advantage. It’s great for our families, and for the college coaches.”
Southern Starzz will be participating in the Deep South Classic for the eighth time this summer. The 2015 Deep South Classic will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
Bush noted that the talent-laden Starzz have “a boatload of Division I players in the 2016, ’17 and ’18 classes.” That group is highlighted by a quartet of highly rated prospects, including Tyra Johnson (2016, 5-8, PG, rated at No. 45 in her class by the All Star Girls Report), Elexis Evans (2017, 6-3, P, No. 28), Myah Taylor (2017, 5-8, PG, No. 55) and Kaleigh Clemmons (2016, 5-7, PG, No. 234).
“Tyra is a very skilled all-around player. She is a playmaker who handles the ball well, has deep shooting range, and the ability to attack the basket with either hand,” Bush said. “Elexis is your pro to-type, power post. She has great hands and a very soft touch around the rim. However, she can face up and shoot it out to 15 or 17 feet. Elexis is committed to Alabama.
“Myah is a true point guard who already has numerous major Division I offers. She has a great skill set overall, but it is her passing that makes her special. She sees the floor, and she knows how to make plays. Kaleigh is a left-handed pure point guard who is crafty with the ball, and she is a tough nosed competitor. Kaleigh was just named Miss Basketball for her high school division in Tennessee.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also weighed in with his perspective on the Starzz’s stars.
“Johnson is a good one. She has great quickness and she really explodes to the basket,” McCormick said. “She is very skilled, and she has a scorer’s mentality. Evans is an athlete with a strong body. She just owns the low block when she is in there. Taylor has a very good skill set, and she can score in a lot of different ways. She’s also a gym rat who just loves the game. Clemmons is a quick lefty who is a great passer. She has a high basketball IQ and deep three-point range, and she plays with a high motor.”