In just two short years, the Team Slink program from Tennessee has developed a strong reputation. The club named for former Syracuse star Nicole “Slinky” Michael hit the ground running, and now they are flying high.
“We have made some tremendous strides,” said Coach John McGraw, who directs Team Slink along with Trevor Goodson. “We started out two years ago with about five players, and now we have five teams.” McGraw’s resume includes time as a Division I recruiting coordinator, as well as stints with three successful travel programs.
McGraw and his charges are currently preparing for the Nashville Tournament of Champions, which will be played from July 10-12. The event will include 48 elite travel teams, with games being played at the newly expanded Hooptown facility in Smyrna, TN. Hooptown is conveniently located near popular restaurants and hotels.
When Team Slink hits Nashville, the club will be led by an outstanding group of young players. Three players from the Class of 2016 — 5-10 Emma Young, 5-10 Kaylee Cotton and 6-0 Bairesha Gill — will provide strength on the perimeter. That trio will be complemented by Savannah Slade (2017, 6-4, PF) and Alisha Owens (2017, 6-1, P).
“Emma has an extraordinary motor, and she is a physical playmaker,” McGraw said. “She can create for her teammates, and she can score inside or outside. Kaylee is a pure shooter with good strength. She finishes around the basket, she has great footwork, and deep NBA three-point range. Bairesha could play the two, three or four. She is very strong and very athletic. She is a good finisher, and a very active rebounder.
“Savannah is a very versatile kid who is more of a four than a five. She can shoot it from 12 to 15 feet from the baseline or the foul line. She rebounds and blocks shots, and she also has a great move with a ball fake, one dribble and a pull up jumper. Alisha is more of a back to the basket post player. She is a high energy player who knows how to seal and finish. She is also just a beast on the boards.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick also added his perspective on the Team Slink standouts:
Emma Young: “Young is a blue collar player who is high energy. She has an inside-out game, and she knows how to involves others.”
Kaylee Cotton: “Cotton is versatile. She can put it on the floor, post you up, or step out to the arc for a three.”
Bairesha Gill: “Gill has inside-outside ability. In the paint, she rebounds well and scores against contact.”
Savannah Slade: “Slade is a good athlete who can score inside, but she likes to face up, and she can step out to 15 feet. She is a player with a good upside.”
Alisha Owens: “Owens is another one to watch. She is tough to handle inside. She rebounds, and she finishes.”
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