Now in its fifth year, the Mass Huskies program has rapidly grown into the largest organization in New England, and the club expects to have 35 teams this year.
“I think there are a couple of reasons for our success,” said program leader Hank DeSantis, who coached in the collegiate ranks for 10 years. “First, we take the time to really teach the game when we work with the younger kids. We teach them the fundamentals and the IQ part of the game. I think that foundation really benefits them. They gain confidence through the things, and it helps build their passion for the game.
“Once they get older, we work on preparing them for success, both in high school and hopefully at the collegiate level. That’s when we start teaching the game at a high level, working on defensive rotations and those types of details.”
Those lessons will come into play this spring when the Huskies travel to the 2015 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
The Huskies will be led in Raleigh by Anna Kelly (2016, 5-6, G) and Shannon Murphy (2017, 6-1, F).
“Anna is a very dynamic guard and a tremendous athlete,” DeSantis said. “Shannon is a long athlete who can handle it, finish, and shoot the ball. She does a lot of things for us on both ends, and she learned a lot about competing last year when she played up for us.”
“Kelly has good quickness to go with a high basketball IQ,” noted All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick. “Kelly has skills and she likes to compete. Murphy is a versatile athlete with an inside-outside game that extends to the arc.”
DeSantis is also expecting important contributions from Sam Leone (2016, 5-10, G), Tyler Keohn (2016, 5-9, G) and Sarah Smith (2017, 6-0, F).
“Sam could play anywhere from point guard to power forward. She is highly effective at both ends,” the coach said. “Tyler is an extraordinarily cerebral player with a high motor. She can score in multiple ways, she plays defense, and she is a high academic kid. Sarah is new to the program, but she has the potential to be a big time player. She has a ton of skills.”
“Leone is a good athlete who is a multi-positional player,” added McCormick. “She can post up or put the ball on the floor, and she can defend a number of positions. Keohn is athletic and she plays hard. She understands the game, and she can get to the basket.”