The Central PA Elite club has an excellent track record of placing players with college basketball programs. Their formula for success isn’t complicated.
“We keep it very simple. We’re in it for the kids,” said Coach Tina Thomas. “We want to do what’s best for them, and we don’t want to travel all over creation while we help them reach their goals. We don’t want to burn the kids out. Fortunately the parents trust us, and they realize we know how to help their kids.”
One of the trips Central PA Elite will be taking this year will be to the 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 Deep South Classic is one of the events we go to because it’s not too far away, and it is very competitive. I know my daughter (former Maryland All-American Aliesha Thomas) always loved going to the Deep South Classic,” Thomas said.
“There are a lot of things to like about the Deep South Classic. It’s all in one location, the kids love going to the South, and you have all those colleges within easy driving distance. The kids see those schools on TV, but this trip gives them a chance to actually visit the campuses. Plus, probably the biggest thing, is that you have all those college coaches in one location. That’s a key because they have a chance to see all of the teams. You don’t have to worry about certain coaches being at another gym when you are playing.”
The top performer for the Elite this summer will be Kyla Irwin (2016, 6-2, F), a Connecticut commitment who is rated as the No. 121 prospect in her class by the All Star Girls Report.
“Kyla is an intense, hard working player who is always cheering for her teammates,” noted Thomas. “You can tell that her mother is her high school coach, because she knows all the in’s and out’s of the game.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for ASGR, is also a Iwin fan.
“She is a good athlete who understands the game, and she has a real high motor. She can score the basketball, and she is always playing hard,” he said.
Thomas is also expecting big things this summer from Jenay Faulkner (2017, 5-9, CG), Soukaina Tracy (2016, 6-0, F) and Tori Lesko (2016, 5-10, W).
“Jenay is a great passer, she has great court awareness, and she is a great three-point shooter. Plus, she knows the game very well,” Thomas said. “Soukaina is super athletic. She passes the ball well, and she is very hard to stop in the open court. Tori is a great rebounder and an incredible passer. She has great court awareness, and she makes the passes that no one else even sees.”
“Faulkner is a high IQ combo guard. She has a great feel for the game, a good skill set, and the ability to hit the three,” added McCormick. “Tracy is a great athlete who could play the three or the four. Her athleticism is tough to handle in space. Lesko is another high IQ player who really understands the game. She is fundamentally sound, passes well, and shoots the three.”
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