In the summer of 2016, FGB clearly established itself as one of the elite programs in the United States. The Florida club sent an impressive group into the collegiate ranks in the fall, and there are questions about FGB’s ability to maintain it’s status.
Kenny Kallina, FGB’s director, has no doubt.
“We did graduate a lot of great players, but I feel good about our group. I think a lot of people are sleeping on us because they don’t know a whole lot about our players,” Kallina said. “I really think that we might actually be better this year. We will at least be as good as we were last year.
“It’s going to be an interesting, fun year because we’re going to have a bunch of kids that really jump up the rankings. I’m confident, and I’m excited.”
One of FGB’s first tests will come at the Virginia Beach Classic. The tournament will be played on April 28-30, with the entire event held under one roof at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
The Convention Center is located just minutes away from the beach, and the venue should be loaded with college coaches from all levels. The area will be hosting the Virginia Beach Classic and the Nike Boo Williams will be 30 minutes away that weekend, and expectations are that over 600 coaches will be scouting the events.
“We are trying to play all of our events in convention centers this summer because that gives the college coaches a better opportunity to watch us play,” Kallina said. “We know that there are going to be a lot of coaches in Virginia Beach, and it’s also an important event for the ASGR Summer League.
“This will be our first time in Virginia Beach, and we’re excited about having a new experience. It’s an ASGR event, so we know it will be a well run event.”
FGB will take a loaded roster to Virginia Beach, including rising standouts Caitlin McGee (6-1, F, 2020, ranked at No. 19 in her class by the All Star Girls Report), Re’Yanna Jones (5-6, PG, 2019, No. 93) and Kiya Turner (5-6, PG, 2019, No. 163).
“Caitlin is going to be our next great player,” Kallina said. “She is averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds for her high school team right now, and her father played at Wisconsin. She is just an incredible athlete who works extremely hard. Caitlin can play anywhere on the floor. After this spring, everyone is going to be talking about Caitlin.
“Re’Yanna was our starting point guard last year, and she may be the best passer I’ve ever coached. She is a smart player with a great feel for the game. She is the brains of our team, and she is one of those players who just wins games.
“Kiya is one of several Division I point guards we have. Her cousin was a great player at Middle Tennessee State, and Kiya is having a great high school season. She is a great defender, and she can score in a variety of ways. She is another tremendous player that not a lot of people know about now.”