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When the travel season began, the talent-rich Mac Irvin Fire club out of Chicago wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Two key players were sidelined with injuries, but those young ladies are back on the court, and the Fire is ready to finish the summer with a flourish.
“It was a little tough at the beginning of the year, but now we’re healthy and we’re ready,” said Coach Mac Irvin. “We have Ashonti Thomas (meniscus) and Madinah Muhammad (tendinitis) back, and we’re ready to roll.”
The Fire will be rolling into some tough competition at the Suwanee Tournament of Champions and the Summer Basketball Playoff. The Suwanee Tournament of Champions will be played outside Atlanta from July 5-8. The event will include 96 elite travel teams, with game being played at the Suwanee Sports Academy. The Suwanee TOC was previously called the FILA Nationals. The Summer Basketball Playoff will follow in Charlotte, NC, from July 27-29. The Summer Basketball Playoff will feature 72 of the nation’s elite club teams. The Playoff will be held at the same time as the Nike Nationals, which will be played two hours away in North Augusta, SC.
Several Fire players have shown considerable improvement this summer, including a pair of 2015 prospects — Danielle King (5-5, PG) and Taylor Buford (5-11, W) — as well as two talented players from the Class of 2017, Destiny Harden (5-11, W) and Finess Dickson (5-5, PG). The All Star Girls Report has King listed as the No. 292 prospect in the Class of 2015, while Harden is at No. 90 and Dickson is at No. 141 on the 2017 list.
“Destiny is getting a lot of attention from college coaches because she has an incredible motor. That’s what getting her noticed. She is very athletic, and as she matures and gets more experience, she will continue to improve,” Irvin said. “Danielle is also getting a lot of interest. She is very creative off the bounce, she sees the floor really well, and she is a very intelligent player.
“Finess is a quick, intelligent point guard who can handle it and shoot the three. She is very crafty with the ball, and we’re expecting big things from her. Taylor is another very smart player, and she is a great shooter. From 15 feet in, she is pure, and she has three-point range.”
ASGR analyst Bret McCormick added his perspective on the top prospects from Mac Irvin Fire:
Danielle King: “King is very quick and she has a good skill set. She is very intelligent, and she can attack the lane and shoot the three.”
Taylor Buford: “Buford is a strong athlete who can post up, slash or shoot the three.”
Destiny Harden: “She is an explosive athlete who is great in the open court. She can really do it all, including shoot the three.”
Finess Dickson: “Dickson is a very quick lefty point guard who can handle it and get to the rim. She has a nice floater in the lane to go with deep three point range.”