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The Southern Starz program will be returning to the Deep South Classic for the seventh time this spring, with six Starz teams set to descend on the event.
“We just think it is one of the, if not the, top college exposure event in the country during the April viewing period,” said Starz director Doug Bush. “It is a very well organized event — the games are on time, and everyone is where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. The competition is great, and the college exposure is tremendous.
“I think the event got even better last year when they moved everything under one roof at the (Raleigh) Convention Center. It is easier for the teams, and you don’t have the college coaches running around all over town. It really seemed like there were more college coaches at the games, especially head coaches.”
The 2014 Deep South Classic will be played in Raleigh, NC, on April 25-27. Now in its 17th year, the Deep South Classic annually hosts many of the nation’s elite travel teams in a field that will eclipse 200 squads, and hundreds of collegiate coaches will be on hand searching for talent. The 2014 event will mark the second year that the Deep South Classic has been held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The venue was a tremendous success in its debut last year, with all games played at one site on 18 courts, and it is in a convenient central location.
The Southern Starz are traditionally loaded with talented, and this spring will be no exception. Highlighting the Starz’s roster are two 2015 athletes who have already committed to Alabama. Shaquera Wade is a 5-11 combo guard who is listed as the No. 78 prospect in the Class of 2015 by the All Star Girls Report, and Trista Magee is a 6-1 wing out of Mississippi.
“Shaquera is a rangy, very athletic player,” Bush said. “She handles the ball very well, she has a college-ready pull-up jumper, she has three-point shooting range, and she plays excellent defense. Trista is a high IQ player with an all-around game. She is an excellent shooter, both from three-point range and in the mid-range, she rebounds and plays defense, and she just has great awareness on the court.”
“Shaquera is a great athlete, and she really elevates on her jumper,” added ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “Her stock keeps going up even though she has committed to Alabama. Trista is a player who really understands the game, and she can really shoot it.”
In addition to those future members of the Crimson Tide, Bush was also high on two players from the Class of 2016. Tyra Johnson is a 5-8 point guard, and Jasmine Walker is a 6-3 forward who is ranked at No. 16 in her class by ASGR.
“Tyra has tremendous ball skills. She changes direction very well, and she can penetrate. She also has very deep three-point range,” said Bush, who added that Johnson already has BCS level offers. “Jasmine is incredibly talented, and she has a surprising feel for the game. She can go down low with her back to the basket, and then she looks like LeBron when she steps out to the three-point line. She has a great release, and she handles the ball well. The sky is the limit for Jasmine.”
“Jasmine is a big time player,” confirmed McCormick. “I think she is more of a power forward with a strong mid-range game. She is an excellent shooter. Tyra is an ultra-quick point guard with good shooting range.”