Circumstances didn’t allow the Philly Freedom Stars to join the new All Star Girls Report Summer League in 2015, but there were no barriers this time around and the Stars are looking forward to a new challenge.
“When we heard about the League last year, we had already made some commitments, so we just couldn’t make the move then,” said Stars coach Ryan Gardner. “This year, we’re very excited about being in the League.
“The All Star Girls Report is known for putting on top notch events. They always have great venues, great competition, and a ton of exposure with the college coaches. We were watching the League last year, and we saw the teams, the atmosphere, and the level of competition. We wanted to be a part of that. There is no question that our players are going to benefit from being a part of the All Star Girls Report Summer League.”
The most visible player for the Stars this summer will be Brittany Garner, a solid 6-4 post player with an impressive future. Garner is currently listed as the No. 33 prospect in her class nationally by the All Star Girls Report.
“Brittany is a powerful post player who can run like a deer. She has a scary mix of power and speed,” Gardner said. “If they try to defend her with a smaller player, or even sometimes against a double team, she just uses her size and power inside. If they have someone who can match her size, she will right by them with her speed and quickness.
“Brittany has great hands and great feet, and she has an arsenal of post moves. She has a high basketball IQ — she knows when to make the pass — and she plays angry, she plays with an edge. She also has the mobility to defend on the perimeter. She can even stay in front of most guards.”
The Stars should also receive a big boost this summer from Sydney Wagner (2017, 5-7, PG), Aliyah Stephens (2017, 5-8, G) and Ayanna Mazyck (2017, 5-8, G).
“Sydney is a point guard who can score. She is a good facilitator and a pass first guard, but she can light it up if the defense gives her room,” Gardner said. “Sydney is very crafty with the ball, and that allows her to navigate traffic and keep the defense off balance. She is a very good three-point shooter, and she can take people off the bounce and score with her mid-range game.
“Aliyah is a Grant Hill type — just an incredible long, lean athlete with a strong body. She slashes really hard, and her athleticism makes her very tough to stop in the lane. Defensively, her long arms make her effective. She can shoot the three, but her forte is getting to the rim and finishing.
“Ayanna is a left-handed slasher who is very quick and very aggressive. Is very, very athletic, and she can break people down and take them off the dribble. She has very good body control in the air, and she can finish with either hand. Ayanna is also very accurate with the deep three ball.”