It’s a long way from Minnesota to North Carolina, but the Minnesota Fury has made the trip each summer to the Deep South Classic, and the journey has been worth the mileage. In 2014, the Fury won the top age group division at the Classic. They repeated that feat in 2015, and last year they reached the Elite Eight before they suffered a two-point loss.
“The Deep South Classic has been a tremendous experience for us,” said program director Nick Storm. “We built our program on getting into the gym and working hard. The Deep South Classic gives us a chance to compete against more athletic teams that have more size and length. It’s a great challenge to match our skill set and discipline against those teams.
“Plus, we’ve made a lot of important contacts at the Deep South Classic. We get to meet and talk with coaches, and that’s very important to our program. We’ve had a number of players who got scholarships because we played in that event.”
The 2017 Deep South Classic will be held in Raleigh, NC from April 20-23. The event, which will feature some of the finest travel teams in the nation, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center. There will be 20 courts in the building, keeping the entire event under one roof in downtown Raleigh.
The Fury will be bringing a number of talented athletes to North Carolina this year. The 2019 squad, which is coached by Storm, will feature McKenna Hofschild (5-2, PG, 2019) and Taylor McAulay (5-11, G, 2019). The 2018 unit, which will be guided by Tim Peper, will be paced by Monika Czinano (6-3, P, 2018) and Summer Blakemore (5-7, CG, 2018).
“McKenna is a dynamic, left-handed point guard. She is as athletic and quick as any player you are going to find,” Storm said. “McKenna is also a very good shooter. Taylor can hit the deep three, and she is very aggressive going to the basket. She is a good athlete with very good skills, and she is a very good defender. Taylor has long arms, and she gets a lot of deflections.
“Monika is a true post player who really likes to play down on the block. She has very good hands and feet, and she knows her role. Summer is a very good three-point shooter, and she can attack the basket. I really think Summer could play for a Power 5 team if she found the right fit.”
The All Star Girls Report currently has Czinano rated as the No. 419 prospect in her class nationally, while Hofschild is at No. 455 and McAulay is at 480.