The Alabama Southern Starz program currently has 55 former Starz who are playing collegiate basketball on scholarship, which says a lot about the strength of the program over the past five years. Looking ahead, the future is just as bright for the Starz.
“We feel really good about the upcoming summer. We have a strong, strong group of teams all the way through the program,” said Starz director Doug Bush. “When you look at our 2018 group, then 2019 or 2020, they are all very strong, and it just keeps going. We have very good prospects on every team.”
Those prospects will be showcased at the 2017 Deep South Classic, which will be held in Raleigh, NC from April 20-23. The event, which will feature some of the finest travel teams in the nation, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center. There will be 20 courts in the building, keeping the entire event under one roof in downtown Raleigh.
“I think this is going to be our 10th year at the Deep South Classic. It’s just an outstanding event,” Bush said. “It’s a combination of a lot of things that make it great. It’s going to be very well organized, it’s all under one roof, and then there is the competition. It’s not just the quality of the competition, it’s the diversity. You get to play against teams from California or New York or Chicago, or even Canada. It’s a lot of fun to test yourself against those teams.”
The Starz will be bringing a strong cast of players to Raleigh, with the 2018 veterans leading the way. That group is highlighted by Zippy Broughton (5-8, CG, ranked at No. 38 in her class by the All Star Girls Report), Ajah Wayne (5-9, WF, No. 336), Hannah Barber (5-6, PG, No. 173) and Allie Craig Cruce (6-1, WF). Barber and Cruze are both Alabama commitments.
“I know how this sounds, but Zippy plays a lot like Steph Curry at our level,” Bush said. “She has deep range, great ball skills, and she gets into the paint when she wants to. Zippy can be very creative with her shots, and she is a great passer. If I wanted to describe her in one word, it would be ‘smooth.’
“Ajah was out last summer with an injury. She is playing great for her high school team now, and we’re excited to see what she can do this summer. Ajah is a slasher and a scorer, and she is a great defender.
“Hannah is a very heady, tough, crafty creator. She is a high IQ player who is a deadly shooter from the three-point line. Allie is long and tough, and she is an all-around player. She can play with her back to the basket, she handles the ball well, and she can shoot the three.”