The Tree of Hope travel program in Seattle will enter the summer of 2013 with a strong roster that includes savvy veterans and talented newcomers. Tree of Hope will be facing a major challenge at the 2013 Fila Sixty Four at the end of July.
The Fila Sixty Four will be played from July 27-30 in Las Vegas. The Fila Sixty Four annually showcases the finest travel teams in America.
The leadership for Tree of Hope will be supplied by a quartet of rising seniors who played an important role for the program in 2012. Kellie Kingma is a 5-9 Washington commitment who is listed as the No. 31 prospect in the Class of 2014 according to the All Star Girls Report. Kingma will be supported by classmates Makala Roper (5-7, G), Myzhanique Ladd (5-8, G, No. 534) and Marijke Vanderschaaf (6-3, C, No. 346).
“Kellie is a great leader and a great team player,” said Tree of Hope director Thomas James, who also serves as the elite team head coach. “Both Kellie and Makala are great outside shooters. I really think we have two of the best shooters in the country. Myzhanique is a guard who can do it all, and Marijke is a scorer and rebounder who has really improved her game.”
That veteran core will get a boost from two highly-regarded players from the Class of 2015. Jayde Christopher is a 5-9 guard who is ranked as the No. 53 player in the class by ASGR, and Deja Strother is a 6-5 post player who is listed as the No. 67 prospect.
“Both of those young players have very bright futures,” James said. “Jayde is a great athlete who can do it all, and Deja is a strong post player that you just can’t move off the block. There are a lot of coaches watching those two.”
When you combine the new players with the Tree of Hope veterans, James is optimistic about the months ahead.
“We definitely have a lot of talent and experience,” he said. “If these kids come to play, and we can stay healthy, we should have a successful team.”