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The Louisiana Lady Pumas have traditionally played a strong travel schedule, but the program is stepping up in 2016 when the Lady Pumas will join the elite All Star Girls Report Summer League.
“We’re definitely excited about joining the League,” said Coach Dee Brown. “We’re from a small market down in Louisiana, so finding a lot of exposure, and finding good competition, isn’t always easy. Our program has sort of been flying under the radar.
“When you look at the ASGR League, you see an opportunity to get a lot of great exposure, and the potential for us to compete against some tremendous athletes. It’s going to be good for our organization, and good for our girls.
“I guess I’m going to feel sort of like Cinderella at the ball — I think that’s how a lot of people look at teams from Louisiana — but I think we’ll match up well against those teams. We have a lot of good talent in our program this year.”
That talent base will be led by a trio of outstanding prospects, led by 6-3 forward Natalie Kelly, who is currently listed as the No. 82 recruit nationally in the Class of 2018 by ASGR. Kelly is joined in the Lady Puma lineup by 2017 standouts Breonna Thompson (6-3, P) and Kelsey Pinera (5-6, SG).
“Natalie is a long, lanky athlete with an all-around game,” Brown said. “She has a good perimeter shot and the ability to create her own shot, but she can also get big inside and rebound and block shots.
“Breonna is a raw athlete with a big future. She has some good moves in the post, she runs the floor very, very well, and she is good on the glass. Kelsey is a pure shooter who loves to come off screens, but she does a lot of positive things for us.”
In addition to those veterans, the Lady Pumas will also rely on Arianna Cook (2018, 5-8, SG) and Jamilyn Robinson (2018, 5-7, WF).
“Arianna is a pure shooter, but she has an all-around game and great athleticism. I think she will have a very good summer,” Brown said. “Jamilyn can just jump out of the gym. She is a special, special talent because she is very athletic, and she loves to battle inside.”