Mission Clear For DSC Entrant Minnesota Heat



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The Minnesota Heat has been playing basketball for the past 18 years, using the wonderful game to help improve the lives of young women in their home state.

“Our mission is to educate kids through basketball,” explained Coach Paul Hill. “Basketball is the tool we use to get kids where they need to be. We have had many players earn college scholarships, and we also have mentorship programs. We want to help them at the next level, whether that means college basketball, a job, or just being a productive citizen.”

That journey this year will include a stop at the 2015 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic annually features the nation’s top travel programs, and the event will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.

One former member of the Heat who went on to compete collegiately and now plays in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics is Taylor Hill, Paul’s daughter. Taylor clearly remembers her trips to the Deep South Classic.

“I’m pretty sure that I played in the Deep South for three years,” she said. “The main thing I remember rid the level of competition. Every year, that was one of the toughest tournaments we played in.”

In 2015, Taylor’s younger sister, Morgan, will be looking to make a name for herself in Raleigh. Morgan is a 5-9 guard in the Class of 2018.

“Morgan is a very versatile player who is a good shooter, she drives to the basket very well, and she is very solid on the defensive end,” Paul Hill said. “We call her our Energy Efficient player because she will quietly put up 20 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. She is a high IQ player who is also an excellent student in the classroom.”

The Minnesota club will also be expecting big things from three more 2018 prospects — Jada Buford (5-9, CG), Azsha Michael (5-10, F) and Ja’Hyia Gaston (5-3, CG) — as well as 2019 recruit Masengo Mutanda (5-8, CG).

“Jada is a great three-point shooter who handles the ball well and plays sound defense,” Hill said. “Azsha is a great rebounder who has a very nice mid-range game and a good shooting stroke out to 12 feet.
“Ja’Hyia is a good floor leader with tremendous speed. She is a fearless defender, and she has a nice floater in the lane. Masengo is very effective as a slasher who can draw contact. She is also relentless on defense, and she is a good shooter.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also provided his insights on the Heat standouts.
“Hill is a very skilled player who understands the game, and she can shoot the basketball,” McCormick said. “Buford is an athletic combo guard who can get to the rim, she shoots the three, and she is a tough defender. Michael scores inside and rebounds out of her area. She can also face up out to 15 feet. Gaston is a quick floor general with court vision and a nifty floater.  Mutanda is an ultra athlete. She is strong going to the basket, and she is great in the open court.”

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