The Michigan’s Finest travel team doesn’t have that “get off the bus” look, but that doesn’t stop them for being a first rate opponent. The squad will be ready to show just how effective it can be at the FILA Sixty Four event in Las Vegas from July 27-30.
“We aren’t going to intimidate anyone, but this is a good team,” said Coach Darren Neil. “We are not a big team, but we’re going to run and press and trap. ‘Helter Skelter’ is the only way we can play. We struggle on the boards against the top teams, but we are fun to watch because we just keep running and competing.”
Ashley Campbell is the player who sets the pace for Michigan’s Finest. A 5-6 point guard from the Class of 2014, Campbell actually hails from Walkerton, Ind.
“Ashley is the definition of an old-school, Indiana point guard,” Neil said. “Her basketball IQ is a 10, and she is a tough competitor who is going to draw two or three charges a game. Ashley is usually a pass-first player, but she knows how to get to the basket. All she really cares about is winning basketball games.”
Neil said that his top player this summer will be MaKenna Ott, a 5-11 wing from the Class of 2015. Ott is a native of Haslett, Mich., and she is listed as the No. 247 recruit in her class by the All Star Girls Report.
“MaKenna is a player who really can do it all. The best thing about her is that she really wants to improve, and it seems like she gets better every week,” Neil said. “A few years ago, she was your standard back to the basket player. Now she has a great three-point shot, and she can attack the basket.”
While Campbell and Ott will be the key players for Michigan’s Finest, the most watched player will be rising ninth grader Crystal Ott. The 5-7 guard is the niece of former Michigan Wolverine and NBA star Glen Rice.
“Crystal is going to be a star,” Neil said flatly. “She has a very high basketball IQ and a beautiful jump shot. She already has great form, and she can really elevate. Crystal is sometimes over-matched physically because she is playing up so high, but you can see that she is something special.”