The team name has changed, but the high level of athleticism is the same for a club out of Lexington, Ky. Kentucky Top Prospect was formerly known as the PAL Jaguars, but only the name has changed for the program.
“We’re excited about this year,” said Coach John Washington. “We have a lot of great coaches with Kentucky Top Prospect, and we have a lot of great, great athletes. When you have both of those things, you should be headed for a successful year.”
Kentucky Top Prospect will take an early step toward a great year when they bring five teams to the 2014 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC, on April 25-27. Now in its 17th year, the Deep South Classic annually hosts many of the nation’s elite travel teams in a field that will eclipse 200 squads, and hundreds of collegiate coaches will be on hand searching for talent. The 2014 event will mark the second year that the Deep South Classic has been held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The venue was a tremendous success in its debut last year, with all games played at one site on 18 courts, and it is in a convenient central location.
Kentucky Top Prospect’s top roster will be filled with players who have already earned Division I offers. The team will be powered by a pair of 2015 prospects, two athletes from 2016, and one exciting player from the Class of 2017. The group includes Dee Givens (2015, 6-1, G), Merissa Marrow (2015, 6-1, PF), T’laya Lyvers (2016, 5-8, G), Malaka Frank (2016, 5-11, G), and Princess Stewart (2017, G, 5-11).
“Dee is a very athletic player who is a tremendous defender, and she has an offer from Western Kentucky,” Washington said. “Merissa (who’s father is an assistant football coach at Kentucky) is athletic, physical and very active. She has also developed a nice mid-range game. T’laya is a great athlete — she was even the MVP of a boys football team — and she is very fast. She is a John Wall type of player. Malaka is a great shooter, but she is also very physical and very aggressive. She is built like a Greek Goddess, and she has an offer from Western Kentucky.
“Princess is a special young player. She is a very gifted player, and she has a high basketball IQ. She is tearing it up right now as a high school freshman.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick gave his perspective on the top prospects for Top Prospect:
T’laya Lyvers: “She has good strength and good quickness. She handles the ball well, she defends and she can get to the rim.”
Dee Givens: “She is Goose Givens’ cousin. She is a long athlete who can go coast-to-coast, and she has deep three-point range.”
Merissa Marrow: “She is a player who can bang down low and score, or she can step outside to about 15 feet.”
Malaka Frank: “Malaka is a strong athlete, and she is a blue collar type of player who gets it done.”
Princess Stewart: “Princess is athletic and aggressive, and she is also skilled and she understands the game. She can score, and she can distribute.”