Now in its sixth year of operation, the Example Sports program uses basketball as a tool to help young people move in a positive direction.
“We want to teach young people about life through basketball,” explained club president Barry Bradford. “We want to help them achieve their dreams and goals, but on and off the basketball court. The things that they learn and experience on the court are going to help them later in life.”
Example Sports, which is based just south of Chicago in Bourbonnais, IL, will take a major step forward this summer when the program joins the elite All Star Girls Report Summer League.
“We know that the people at All Star Girls Report do an amazing job,” Bradford said. “We are going to be playing against great basketball teams from across the country, and our players will be getting maximum exposure. There are so many college coaches at every ASGR event, and we’re excited about having this opportunity.”
Example Sports will be led this summer by a strong group of players from the Class of 2017. That nucleus includes Errin Hodges (5-11, PG), Vinisha Sherrod (5-10, CG), Nicole Johanson (6-5, C), Raven Hughes (5-11, F) and Kennedy Weigt (5-6, CG). Four of those athletes are currently ranked nationally by ASGR. Hodges is at No. 267 in the class, followed by Sherrod (359), Johanson (361) and Weigt (382).
“That class will be the key for us this summer,” Bradford said. “Errin is a long athlete who can score from all three levels. She can get to the basket, she has a nice mid-range game, and she can shoot the three-pointer. She is also a very good defender who is a high IQ player.
“Vinisha is very explosive, and she has a great handle. She can get to the rim with ease, and she can shoot from distance. Nicole is something of a throwback post player. She is a true five player, but she can stretch the court. She has good hands, and she is good on the ‘pick-and-pop.’ She also made 46 percent of her three-point attempts last summer.
“Raven has one of the best motors in the country. She is a rebounding machine and a defensive dynamo, but she can also score. Kennedy is a tremendous shooter, and she handles the ball well. Kennedy main asset is her incredible shooting range.”