The Minnesota Fury program is still developing its national reputation, and in 2013 their stature rose dramatically when 10 of their players from the Class of 2014 moved on to Division I programs.
“We are on a roll right now,” said Coach Nick Storm. “I think we turned a corner when we started playing in the Deep South Classic. That really helped put us on the map, and our kids have gotten a lot of exposure from the event. We’re excited about taking four teams down there this year.”
The 2014 Deep South Classic will be in Raleigh, NC, on April 25-27. Now in its 17th year, the Deep South Classic annually hosts many of the nation’s elite travel teams in a field that will eclipse 200 squads, and hundreds of collegiate coaches will be on hand searching for talent. The 2014 event will mark the second year that the Deep South Classic has been held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The venue was a tremendous success in its debut last year, with all games played at one site on 18 courts, and it is in a convenient central location.
The Fury will bring a two of teams to Raleigh that will compete in the top division. One roster will be filled with players from the 2015 class, and the other will have 2016 prospects (plus one special athlete from the 2017 class).
The 2015 unit will be led by point guard Danielle Gitzen, center Taylor Hagen, forward Martha Kuderer, and post player Olivia Hass. Unfortunately, the team will be without standout power forward Alli Greene, who recently tore her ACL.
“Not having Alli is going to hurt quite a bit. She has been a big part of our program the past few years,” Storm said. “Danielle is a quick, long athlete who has committed to Missouri State. She can attack the basket, and she is a lock down defender. Taylor, who is committed to Northern Iowa, gives us a strong low block presence. Martha just has a knack for scoring, and she is versatile enough to play the 2, 3 or 4 spots. I think she is ready for a big spring. Olivia is a back to the basket post player with good size and athleticism.”
The 2016 team will also have its share of stars, including Taylor Koenen (2016, 6-1, G, rated at No. 97 in her class by the All Star Girls Report) and Rae Johnson (2017, 5-6, PG, No. 37).
“Taylor can shoot it, and she really knows how to score,” Storm said. “Rae is a special player who is already getting offers from Division I majors.”
ASGR analyst Bret McCormick offered his perspective on the Fury program, and it’s stars. “That is a program that is on the rise. Nick and those folks have done a great job building the entire program, and they have a lot of talent at all levels now. A lot of people are taking notice of the Minnesota Fury.”
Alexis Greene: “She is a long, athletic kid who can score inside, and she is a blue-collar type kid who plays hard.”
Danielle Gitzen: “Danielle has good quickness and she knows the game. She can also hit the three for you.”
Taylor Hagen: “Taylor is a strong, aggressive post who can score inside with either hand, and she is effective facing the basket.”
Martha Kuderer: “She understands how to play the game, and she has a nice three-point shot.”
Olivia Hass: “Olivia has a strong body, and she knows how to use it. She can seal people to score inside, and she plays hard.”
Taylor Koenen: “She is a good athlete who is very skilled. She can post people up and she can shoot the three, so she could play a number of positions.”
Rae Johnson: “Raye is quick and strong, and she has a high basketball IQ. She is a good passer, and she can knock down the deep three.”