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The FGB Elite program will be looking to complete a perfect run at the 2015 Deep South Classic. The Florida club has one team that has gone undefeated at the Deep South event the past two years, and that squad will be going for the ultimate prize this summer.
“The top team we will be sending to the Deep South won the tournament as ninth graders and again as 10th graders, so we’re very excited,” said Coach Kenny Kalina. “We think this is our best chance to win the big one. We have a group that hasn’t lost in two years at the Deep South Classic, and I doubt that has ever happened before.”
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.
While the FGB veterans will be in the spotlight in Raleigh, the club is loaded with outstanding players.
“Our goal is to help as many kids as possible,” noted Kalina. “We had 11 players sign scholarships in last year’s class, and 10 of those were Division I scholarships — and I’m still hoping that we might get an opportunity for a couple more kids in that class. Overall, the teams in our program last year won 90 to 95 percent of their games, so we have a lot of talent up and down the program.”
FGB is particularly loaded in the Class of 2017, with a roster that includes Ladaziah Williams (6-4, C, rated as the No. 7 recruit in the class by the All Star Girls Report), Dekeriya Patterson (5-9, SG, No. 30), Jalaysha Thomas (6-3, PF, No. 31), Tameria Johnson (5-6, PG, No. 79).
“That 10th grade team should have a great shot to win at the Deep South,” Kalina said. “There are a lot of talented players on that team, and the Deep South will be the first time they have really played together, so we’re excited. I think they have the potential to be the best team we’ve ever had.”
“Williams is a long athlete who is very active on the court. She blocks shots and runs the floor, and she reminds me of Anthony Davis,” added ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “Patterson is a lightning quick combo guard who can attack the basket and shoot the deep three.
“Thomas is an athletic, aggressive player who scores down low and steps out to the arc. Johnson is another extremely quick guard. She is good in the open floor, great passing skills and a feel for the game.”
There are, of course, talented FGB prospects in other classes. Most notably, college coaches will be watching Kasha Austin (2016, 5-11, SG, No. 98) and Malainnia White (2018, 5-10, WF).
“Kasha is a player who has come a long way,” Kalina said. “She can score, and she always plays hard. She has three cousins who are playing Division I basketball, and I think Kasha will end up playing for a BCS team.
“Malainnia might be our best athlete. She can run and jump, and her skills are coming. She was an eighth grader playing up on our ninth grade team last year, and she was a dominant player on the wing for us.”