The Georgia Metros have always traveled across the nation to face superior competition. In July, top-flight competition will be coming to the Metros’ backyard at the Suwanee Tournament of Champions.
Now in their 31st year, the Metros have sent almost 400 young ladies on to collegiate playing careers, including numerous stars such at Maya Moore. The Atlanta-based club has been a part of the Nike grass roots program since 2001. The Metros will have a total of four teams in the the Suwanee TOC, led by their elite 16 Nike EYBL unit.
“We have a lot of talent, but we are young this year,” noted Coach Charles Huddleston. “If fact, I think this is probably the youngest team we’ve ever had at the top level.”
The youngest player on the young team may be the program’s top prospect. Huddleston estimated that the Metros had played about 15 freshmen on their elite team since the Nike transition, but they had never played an eighth-grader at that level until this spring. Jenna Brown is a 5-9 guard who is listed by the All Star Girls Report as the No. 43 recruit in the nation for the Class of 2018.
“Jenna is an outstanding athlete, and she grew about three inches in the past year. That added size put her in a position to compete with the older players,” Huddleston said. “She is a very, very talented young player.”
“Even though she is young, she is quick and she has a really strong skill set,” added ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “She understands the game, and she can score off the dribble or shoot the three.”
While Brown may be in the spotlight, the Metros program is filled with top-flight talent. Two players have already committed to colleges, with Amber Skidgel (2015, 5-11, W, ASGR No. 215) heading to Georgia and Nikki McDonald (2015, 6-0, SG, ASGR No. 171) committed to Elon.
The Metros have several other collegiate prospects in the Class 0f 2015, including Tatyana Calhoun (6-3, P), Keondria “Kiki” Calloway (5-9, SG), Briunna Freeman (5-11, W) and Anriel Howard (6-0, F).
“Tatyana has long arms, and she is competitive, active and physical for us inside,” Huddleston said. “Kiki has made five three’s in a game several times, and she can score in a lot of different ways. Bri is a superb athlete and a great competitor. She is still learning how to use her speed, but her game is coming. Anriel tried the triple jump for the first time this spring, and she won the state championship. That says a lot about her athleticism, and she is a great finisher, even against contact.”
“Calhoun gives you an athletic low block presence,” McCormick added. “Calloway can really explode into the lane and she has a great mid-range game. Freeman is a strong athlete who is very aggressive, and she has a nice shot. Howard is a big strong power forward who can score inside or face up out to 15 feet.”
Some of the younger Metros who are also on the collegiate radar include Ra’Shika White (2016, 6-3, P, ASGR No. 111) and Kennya Simms (2016, 5-8, PG).
“Ra’Shika is a very mobile shot blocker with long arms,” Huddleston said. “She can get up and down the floor, and her skills have really improved over the last year. Kennya is a track athlete who is very quick, and she has a good pull-up jumper. As she has matured, Kennya’s vision and decision making have improved.”
“White is a great athlete. She is a long leaper and she is strong. She can score inside right now, and her game is progressing,” McCormick noted. “Simms is a talented athlete who can get into the lane, and she is developing her overall game.”
The Suwanee Tournament of Champions will be played from July 5-8. The event will include 96 elite travel teams, with game being played at the Suwanee Sports Academy just outside Atlanta. The Suwanee TOC was previously called the FILA Nationals.