The Maryland Terps program typically logs a lot of miles each summer, but the team’s travel agent will get one break this year when the Terps compete in their backyard at the DC Nationals. The 2015 DC Nationals will be hosted by the All Star Girls Report staff from July 6-8 in District Heights, Md. The event, which will draw an outstanding national level field, will be played at the NEW 24 facility.
“I think there are a few things that really make a big difference for our program,” said Coach Robert Hildreth. “First, we keep our roster at just nine players. Everyone who plays with us gets a ton of minutes, and that’s huge at this level. Second, we recruit good families. We have a good product, and people have noticed what we are doing. That helps us bring in people who really want to be here.
“Another part of it is that we have a great, great relationship with a lot of the college coaches. They know that when they get a Maryland Terp, they are getting a college ready player. We have great coaches in Joe Dunston and Calvin Missouri, and we bring in some great trainers, and they conduct college workouts for our kids.”
Three of the Terps who will be under the microscope at the DC Nationals will be Deja Ford (2016, 5-9, G), Mariah Gray (2016, 5-6, G) and Jaia Alexander (2016, 5-10, G).
“Deja has a college ready body and the ability to score from just about anywhere. She can hit the three, and she is a shut down defender,” Hildreth said. “Mariah, I think, is really a diamond in the rough. She is a special player with a huge upside. Mariah is the best defensive player on our team, and she is a good three-point shooter. She is one of those quiet players who just does it all. Jaia is a five-tool guard with a great basketball IQ and a great motor.”