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Team Ohio enjoyed a wonderful travel campaign in 2014, and when the season ended all eight players from their top class were moving on to the next level. Now Team Ohio is in re-building mode, but the plan for the organization remains the same.
“Our biggest thing is that we are going to teach you to understand,” explained Coach Tuck Connor. “We are going to play a limited number of events, and we are going to teach the game at the highest level. We tell kids that we are going to learn more basketball then they ever have. Some of the things we’ve been able to do for kids is astounding.”
One of Team Ohio’s first tests this spring will come at the 2015 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
Team Ohio’s top team will be paced this summer by Ali Poole (2016, 6-0, SG), Emma Stille (2016, 6-1, F), Kaylah Ivey (2016, 6-2, F) and Lauryn Lipscomb (2016, 5-9, PG).
“Ali has committed to her dream school — Kent State — which is great,” Connor said. “She really understands the game, and she is a player who expects big things from herself. Emma is a sleeper. She is quick and strong, and she runs very well. She is a player who can get a rebound, make the outlet, and then beat the ball down the court. She is going to develop into a very, very good recruit for someone. Kaylah is a rebidding machine with excellent technique inside. She is agile, athletic and skilled. Lauryn is a very strong player who can throw a pass the length of the court on a rope. She sees the floor very well, and she can score.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick provided his perspective on the Team Ohio standouts.
“Poole is a quick, versatile guard with excellent fundamentals. She is the type of player who could fill any of the three guard spots,” McCormick said. “Stille is a good athlete who can score inside and on the outside. Ivey has good footwork, and she scores and rebounds inside. She is one of those kids who just gets it done. Lipscomb is a strong athlete who plays hard and has a good feel for the game. She can play on the perimeter, and she can post up too.”
Connor also expects to have a strong U-15 squad this year, with Mikayla Poole (2018, 5-8, SG), Rebekah Green (2018, 5-7, G) and Olivia Fox (2017, 6-1, F) forming the unit’s foundation.
“Mikayla is Ali’s sister, and she is a gutty, fearless young player with quickness and an understanding of the game,” Connor said. “Rebekah is a natural leader who loves the game. She is basketball, 24-7. Olivia runs the floor very well, rebounds and scores inside.”