Veteran Oregon Elite coach Gary Lavender will be bringing his club east in July, and Lavender is looking forward to the challenge.
“Things are a little different with the clubs on the East Coast,” he said. “I think the clubs have a little more significance on the East Coast. On the West Coast, the traditional view is that your high school team comes first, and the club program is second. But, I think that is starting to change. I think the players out here are figuring out that they need to be seen if they want to open up opportunities at the next level. We are starting to catch up to the East Coast mentality.”
Oregon Elite will be competing against top-flight competition in July at the Summer Basketball Playoff in Charlotte. The Summer Basketball Playoff will follow in Charlotte, NC, from July 27-29. The Summer Basketball Playoff will feature 72 of the nation’s elite club teams. The Playoff will be held at the same time as the Nike Nationals, which will be played two hours away in North Augusta, SC.
The Elite club is powered by Kate McWilliams (2015, 6-2, G), who is rated as the No. 73 recruit in her class by the All Star Girls Report.
“Kate is a great athlete, a tremendous leaper, and she has a great understanding of the game. She is the daughter of a coach, and she has been around the game since she was an infant,” Lavender said. “She is a coach on the floor for us, and she is outstanding on both ends of the court.”
“McWilliams is a versatile athlete who could play a lot of different positions,” added ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “She can post up, put it on the floor, and shoot the three. Plus, she has a high basketball IQ.”
Lavender also expects to get huge contributions from three 6-2 post players — Dagny McConnell (2015, a San Francisco verbal), Emma Gibb (2016) and Peyton Carroll (2016).
“Dagny is a four-five player who has very long arms. She is effective facing the basket, and she is very competitive,” the coach said. “Emma comes from a very small high school, but she is a big time talent. She is a very physical player who has a great touch inside. Peyton is also a rugged player, and she has very soft hands. She catches everything in the post, and she has a great post-up game. Both Emma and Peyton are working hard to expand their perimeter skills.”
“McConnell is a skilled player who likes to face the basket, and she has a nice touch out to about 16 feet,” added McCormick. “Gibb is athletic and active. She runs the court, and she can step out to 15 feet. Carroll is a strong athlete with very good footwork. She will bang inside and score down low.”
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