The Southern Starz program out of Huntsville, Ala., has endured some injury issues this spring, but the club still has a long list of collegiate prospects who are focused on the summer schedule.
“We were up at the Deep South Classic, and all of our six teams played very well,” said Coach Doug Bush. “When we got back home, we had a lot of kids who were getting a lot of attention from the college coaches.”
The Starz will take another step in that direction at the Nashville Tournament of Champions, which will be played from July 10-12. The event will include 48 elite travel teams, with games being played at the newly expanded Hooptown facility in Smyrna, TN. Hooptown is conveniently located near popular restaurants and hotels.
Unfortunately, two members of the Starz program will miss the remainder of the travel season with ACL injuries. Forward Chloe Long (who is No. 235 on the All Star Girls Report rankings for 2015) and guard Alyese Givens are talented 2015 players.
“Chloe was hurt right before we went to North Carolina, and Alyese was hurt at the Deep South Classic,” Bush said. “I know that both of these kids are Division I prospects, and I really hope that the coaches don’t forget about them. Chloe is a tall left-handed player who is a lot like Chris Bosh with an inside-out game. Alyese is a very good 5-8 combo guard who is a great athlete.”
While those two players have been relegated to the sidelines, Bush has three players from the 2015 Class who have already verbally committed to Division I schools. Shaquera Wade (who is at No. 72 on the ASGR list) and Trista McGee are both headed to Alabama, while Ta’Naisha Hill (ASGR’s No. 274) has committed to Ohio Valley powerhouse UT-Martin.
The key uncommitted prospects for the Southern Starz are Rayven Pearson (2015, 6-2, P), Aleeha Bridges (2015, 6-2, P), Kaleigh Clemmons (2016, ASGR’s No. 129, 5-7, PG), Jasmine Walker (2016, No. 16, 6-3, F) and Elexis Evans (2017, 6-2, P).
“Rayven and Aleeha are very similar. They are both power post players,” Bush said. “They are big, strong physical players who can face up and step out to about 15 feet. Kaleigh is a gritty left-handed playmaker. She is one of the best passers we’ve ever had, and she started getting offers after the Deep South.
“We also have a lot of very talented younger players. Both Jasmine and Elexis have already gotten multiple major Division I offers. Jasmine can play down on the block, and she can step out to the arc like LeBron. Elexis is another big, strong post player. She is very skilled, she has great hands and a great shooting touch for a player her age.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also added his perspective on the Starz’s uncommitted stars:
Rayven Pearson: “Pearson has good size, strength and athleticism. She is physical down low, and she has good hands.”
Aleeha Bridges: “Bridges is another strong center. She rebounds well, has good footwork, and she works hard.”
Chloe Long: “Long is one to keep on your list. She is an athletic leaper with good footwork on the block, and she can be a face up player too.”
Alyese Givens: “Givens is a quick combo guard who can get to the rim. She has a nice mid-range game, and she can hit the three.”
Kaleigh Clemmons: “I like Clemmons. She is a lefty with good quickness, a great handle, and great floor vision. She is terrific in transition, and she is a very intelligent player, and she can score. This is a player people need to watch.”
Jasmine Walker: “Walker is big time. She has a strong body with good footwork. She is very aggressive, and she is comfortable stepping outside.”
Elexis Evans: “Evans is a beast. That’s the only way to describe her. She is a great athlete, and she has a knack of playing off contact like Shaq. She just owns the low block.”
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