Dorian Williams has been enjoyed success on the travel circuit for 20 years, but the Hoop Dreams Athletics coach from North Carolina has never had a team like the one he will lead this spring.
“We are loaded. That’s the easiest way to say it,” Williams said. “I am really, really excited about this group. We will probably be the biggest team in the nation, we are very athletic, we can shoot it, and we can run. I am very confident about what this team is about to do.”
Hoop Dreams Athletics will look to make an early statement this spring at the 2015 Deep South Classic, which 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.
The Hoop Dreams Athletics roster is impressive, with towering talent Arielle Wilson leading the way. The 6-6 forward is currently rated as the No. 191 prospect in the Class of 2017 by the All Star Girls Report.
“Arielle is a true stretch four. We work hard to put players into their true positions, and when I saw what Arielle could do, I knew she should be doing more than standing by the basket,” Williams said. “She can put the ball on the floor, and she can shoot with just about anyone in the country.”
Hoop Dreams Athletics also has a number of talented players in the Class of 2016, including Ona Udoh (6-4, P), Chyna Cotton (6-1, WF), A’Terria Quick (5-8, G) and Mariah Locklear (5-11, CG).
“Ona runs the floor like a deer, she is strong as an ox, and she can jump out of the gym,” Williams said. “Chyna played in the post all her life, but we’ve moved her to the wing where she will play at the next level. She is a great shot blocker and a great athlete. A’Terria is a player who can always get us a basket. In my opinion, nobody in the country can stop her. She can flat out shoot, and she goes hard to the basket. Mariah is another lights out shooter. If you leave her open, you are going to pay for it.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, has scouted many of the key players for Hoop Dreams Athletics.
“Wilson is a long, wiry athlete who reminds me of (Duke freshman) Azura Stevens,” McCormick said. “She can score inside, but she really likes to face up, and she can shoot the three. Udoh is a great athlete with a strong body. She is an explosive leaper who is aggressive in the paint. Quick is a strong athlete who looks to score. She can attack the basket, and she shoots the three. Cotton is an athletic post who is developing a perimeter game.”
Hoop Dreams Athletics will also rely on Asia Henderson (2017, 6-3, P), ShayQaylia Stanton (2017, 5-7, PG), Mahogany Matthews (2018, 6-3, P) and Lola Lovitt (2018, 5-11, G).
“Asia has a big, strong body and great hands,” Williams said. “ShayQaylia is our floor general. She could score 10 points a game, but that not what she wants to do. Mahogany runs the floor very well, and she can score with her right or left hand. Lola can already shoot it like a college player when she has a defender in her face.”
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