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During the off season, the news on the travel circuit revolves around which top players are switching clubs. The Got Game program out of Los Angeles has no interest in that game.
“We don’t spend our time and energy trying to lure players into our organization. We focus on developing the players we already have,” said Coach Sherrise Smith. “We are building some good things here, and we are very optimistic about the future. We have some very good younger players in our program now who started playing with us when they were in the fifth or sixth grade.”
Got Game’s young stars will be competing at the Oregon Trail event, and then they will head to the Lake Las Vegas Classic, which will be played from July 10-12. The Las Vegas tournament will feature elite travel teams from across the country, with the action taking place at the Westin Lake Las Vegas complex.
The veteran leader for Got Game this summer is Kayla Mitchell (2015, 5-7, CG).
“Kayla is super athletic, and she is a defensive stopper who can defend for 90 feet,” Smith said. “She is developing her perimeter game, and her three-point shot is coming along. She is very bright, and her goal is to play in the Ivy League.”
The Got Game program is also loaded with talented young players, including Jaelyn Burks (2017, 5-9, PG), Samantha Spanier (2018, 5-5, SG), Selena McLurkin (2018, 2-9, W) and Rowan Smith (2018, 5-9, W).
“Jaelyn is a long athlete with great court vision. She is a pass-first player who is great at creating opportunities for her teammates, but she can shoot the three and take you off the bounce,” Smith said. “Sammy is a very smart, hard working player. She has a very good mid-range game, and she just understands the game. She is very coachable, and she does all the little things. Selena is an athlete who rebounds and finishes well. She can also hit the three and attack off the dribble. Rowan has a strong body and a great outside jumper. She is a tough, aggressive player who enjoys contact.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for All Star Girls Report, added his perspective on the ISAA standouts:
Kayla Mitchell: “Mitchell is a great athlete who is a slasher and a great defender. Her perimeter seems to be improving this summer, and she is an outstanding student.”
Jaelyn Burks: “Burks is a long, intelligent, athletic point guard who really attacks the hoop, and she has a nice runner in the lane.
Samantha Spanier: “Spanier is a combo guard with quickness and a high basketball IQ. She plays hard on both ends, and she has a good upside.”
Selena McLurkin: “She is a versatile, athletic player. She can score off the bounce, and she can shoot the three.”
Rowan Smith: “Smith is a strong athlete who is really aggressive. She competes well in traffic and she has a nice mid-range game.”
Photo of Coach Bunky Harkleroad provided by Bob Solorio/Sacramento State Athletics.