The IEXCEL program out of New York began its national travel schedule with a strong performance at the Deep South Classic, and that could serve as a launching pad for a tremendous year in 2015.
“We played well at the Deep South Classic, and I think we’re off to a great start,” said Coach Walter Welsh. “The players are coming together, and the new players are getting comfortable. We’re really looking forward to the Suwanee event.”
IEXCEL’s next big challenge will come when the team travels to Georgia for the Suwanee Tournament of Champions on July 5-8. The event, which will showcase top flight teams from around the country, will be played at the expansive Suwanee Sports Academy outside of Atlanta.
IEXCEL’s success has been powered by a deep, strong Class of 2016. The program’s 17U squad features Lames el Gammal (6-2, C), Tiana England (5-7, PG), Sabrina Friscia (6-0, WF) and Shaquanda Edwards (5-6, PG).
“Lames is a strong athlete who is very good down low,” Welsh said. “Tiana can handle the ball for us, and she has a good mid-range game and three-point range. Sabrina is a versatile player who can post up or step out to the three-point line. Shaquanda is a point guard who passes the ball well, and she can shoot it.”
The 16U IEXCEL roster features Nikki Johnson (2016, 5-7, PG), Emily Crevani (2016, 5-6, PG), Maddie Sims (2016, 6-2, C), Nadia Wooten (2016, 5-8, SG) and Kennedy Whitehead (2016, 5-10, WF).
“Nikki runs the team from the point, and she can shoot the three,” Welsh said. “Emily is a high IQ player who handles the ball and shoots the three. Maddie is a good, left-handed athlete who is very good around the basket. Nadia is a strong guard who just plays hard all the time. Kennedy is coming back from an injury she had last year, and she seems to be coming along well.”
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