Coach Terry Bamford uses her program at La Jolla Country Day School as the foundation of the Wiggins Waves summer teams, and Bamford has been successfully adding quality pieces to the puzzle for the last 15 years.
“We have 10 players on our team this year, and five of them play at La Jolla Country Day. Each year is a little bit different in terms of the makeup, but this year’s team was a pretty easy fit for us,” Bamford explained. “We’re running the same system we run in high school, we just don’t use as many different sets in the summer. We do our best to create situations where all five players have opportunities to make plays.
“I feel great about how the year has gone so far. We had a good showing at the Deep South Classic, and we’re excited about the rest of the summer.”
Wiggins Waves will face an important challenge when they travel across the country to Charlotte, NC for the 2015 ASGR Summer Basketball Playoff on July 27-30. The event, which will feature many of America’s top club programs, will be held at the Carolina Courts facility.
The key performer for the Waves will be Mai-Loni Henson (2016, 6-0, CG), who has verbally committed to Washington. Henson is currently listed as the No. 84 recruit in her class nationally by the All Star Girls Report.
“Mai-Loni is a very versatile athlete,” Bamford said. “She has great range on her three-point shot and she is a great rebounder. She is the type of player who can get you a triple-double in points, rebounds and assists. Mai’Loni is a really hard worker, and she is getting better and better.
“She will probably be a two in college, but she plays the one spot for us. For us, she is a tremendous matchup problem for everyone because she can post people up, and she can hit the three and play on the perimeter.”
Henson’s classmate, Taylor Donahue (6-3, P), is giving the Waves a strong presence in the paint in her first year with the program.
“Taylor runs the floor very well, she has great hands, and she is very good on the block. She plays with a great energy level, and she has a high IQ,” said Bamford
“Taylor was a very good softball pitcher when she was growing up. My understanding is that she was getting college offers when she was only in the eighth grade. But then she wanted to give basketball a try, and now she has dropped softball. She has only been playing travel basketball for a couple of years, but she is coming on very quickly. She is really improving her turn and face game, as well as her mid-range game.”
The future of the Waves programs appears to be on solid ground, with upcoming prospects like Alaysia Styles (2017, 6-2, WF, Ranked at No. 32) and Te-Hina Paopao (2020, 5-9, PG).
“Alaysia really can do it all. She is long, quick and very versatile,” Bamford said. “She can battle for you down low and she is a great shot blocker, but she can also step out and shoot the three. She is the type of player who can grab a rebound and take it coast to coast for you.
“Alaysia is a great athlete who can already dunk a tennis ball. She is going to be a high, high major recruit.
“Te-Hina is another special young player. When you look at what she can do in the seventh grade, I really think Te-Hina is the type of player who can be a program changer. She is a strong athlete who can shoot the three, and she is a very intelligent player. She is also an intense competitor.
“Te-Hina can score, and she has a wonderful ability to get her team into offensive sets. When you watch someone control a team the way Te-Hina does when she is just in the seventh grade, that’s impressive.”