New York Clubs Ready To Shine

Coach John Thurston of St. Francis is one of the New York coaches who is watching the region’s top talent.

A trio of powerful New York travel programs are preparing for a challenging summer in 2013. The Riverside Hawks, Team Prince Brooklyn and Basketball Results are slated to appear at the 2013 Deep South Classic, where they will compete with the nation’s best.

The Deep South Classic, which will include 200 teams, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center from April 19-21. This is the fifth in a series of reviews about the Classic, and we’ll highlight other outstanding programs in the coming weeks.

The Riverside Hawks are one of the nation’s legendary travel programs. The girls division of the Hawks is now flying high under the direction of Ken Parham, who once played for Riverside with stars such as Kenny Anderson and Malik Sealy.

“When I got the chance to come back and work with the girls program, it meant something special to me. It was like going back to your old high school,” Parham said. “We have things going in the right direction now.”

This summer the Hawks will be paced by a trio of players from the Class of 2014. Makeda Nicholas is a talented 6-2 wing forward who already has a series of Division I scholarship offers. Chastity Taylor is a 5-10 slasher who knows how to handle contact, and Kiersten West is a very athletic 5-9 guard.

All three players are ranked among the top prospects for 2014 by the All Star Girls Report. Nicholas is listed at No. 216, while Taylor is at 227 and West is No. 539.

Team Prince Brooklyn will attack opponents with a balanced approach this summer.

“We always want to pressure the basketball, and we have a number of very quick perimeter athletes who can do that well,” said Anwar Gladden, who serves as the program director and as the head coach for their top travel squad. “This year, we also have two strong post players, so we will be able to have success in half court situations as well.”

Those two post players are Brianna Fraser (2015, No. 52, 6-3) and Teanna Henderson (2014, No. 250, 6-3). That duo will be supported by a trio of talented perimeter players. Malika Chisolm is a 2014 point guard, Amanda Cruz is a 2015 shooting guard, and Emmeri Archer is a 2014 wing player.

The Basketball Results summer club is built around the St. John The Baptist High School team from West Islip, N.Y., and Ted Oberg is the leader of both programs. Oberg is used to having success in the winter and the summer.

“Historically, we have always done very well in the summers, and we have produced some very good players,” Oberg said. “I think we have a number of Division I prospects on the team again this year.”

Basketball Results’ roster is highlighted by a quartet of younger players. Alex Parlato is a 6-4 center who is listed as the No. 103 recruit in the Class of 2015 by ASGR. The team also has two Top 100 backcourt prospects from the Class of 2016 — point guard Sydney Zambrotta (5-8, No. 62) and shooting guard Italee Brown-Smikle (5-10, No. 77). Big things are also expected from 2016 wing forward Meghan Oberg. The coach’s daughter, Meghan is on course to become the third Oberg to play Division I basketball.