Post player Erin DeGrate is the big draw for the United Elite Black team, but the Texas program is loaded with talent.
“We have a very experienced team that has been together since the seventh grade, and we have a number of highly recruited players,” said Coach Jamarious Byrd. “This team will be very athletic, up-tempo and defensive minded.”
The United Elite Black prospects will be on display at the 2014 Deep South Classic, which will be played in on April 25-27 in Raleigh, NC. 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.
DeGrate is a 6-4 post player who is rated as the No. 62 recruit in the Class of 2015 according to the All Star Girls Report.
“Erin is just a dominant player in the paint,” Byrd said. “She is very, very hard to guard, so she sees a lot of double teams and some triple teams. She has a good shooting touch, and she is a better passer than most people think.”
DeGrate will be supported in Raleigh by three classmates: Da’Ja Thomas (6-3, F), Alarie Mayze (5-11, G) and Laurynn McGowen (5-8, PG).
“Da’Ja and Alarie are both very versatile players,” Byrd said. “Da’Ja has a great jump shot, she has a quick first step, and she is very athletic around the basket. She can also defend just about anyone, from the one spot to the five. Alarie is a prolific scorer and a great defender. She can hit the three, and she can play the point. Laurynn was a two guard last year, but she has adjusted to the point guard position very quickly. She is an uptempo point guard who can get to the basket, and she can shoot the three.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, gave his perspective on the United Elite Black key prospects: