The Maine Firecrackers, one of the truly elite programs in the Northeast, will be returning to the Deep South Classic for the fourth time in 2016.
One of the nation’s finest travel events, the Deep South Classic will be played for the 19th time in 2016. The Classic will run from April 21-24 in Raleigh, N.C., and it will once again be held at the magnificent Raleigh Convention Center. The entire event will be played under one roof, with action flowing on 20 courts.
“They just do a great job with that event,” said Coach Don Briggs. “They have great competition, so it’s a very good early season measuring stick for teams. You can see where you stand, and it really helps you prepare for July.
“The other great thing about the Deep South Classic is the facility. Having everything in one location makes it easier for the college coaches, as well as the players and their parents.”
The Firecrackers have a plethora of talent throughout their organization, including a quartet of highly regarding athletes from the Class of 2017. That group includes Katie Butler (6-2, F), Brie Wajer (5-6, PG), Emily Esposito (5-9, G) and Danasia Fennie (5-11, WF). Butler is currently rated as the No. 252 recruit in her class by the All Star Girls Report.
“Katie is a long athlete who could play multiple positions, and it’s that versatility that has really gotten the attention of college coaches,” Briggs said. “Katie is an Ivy League type recruit with off the chart academics.
“Brie is a very athletic, very competitive leader, and she has been a big part of our success in recent years. She is a coach on the floor, and she handles everything well. Brie is also strong academically.
“Emily is a scorer in every sense of the word, and she has been heavily recruited the last few years. She can shoot the three, get to the rim, and score in transition. Emily has a great basketball IQ and a great motor, and she is extremely competitive.
“Danasia came to us a little late, in the eighth grade, and it was her first serious basketball experience. She is just a ridiculous athlete who can jump out of the gym, and she already has a couple of D-I offers. She has a great motor, and she is adding skills. She is still going through a learning process with the game. Her best basketball is ahead of her.”