When Coach Terri Bamford talks about her key players for the Wiggins Waves out of San Diego, there is a common theme. Bamford consistently uses terms such as “high IQ” and “knows the game.” Teaching those traits to talented athletes is a cornerstone of the Wiggins Waves program.
“I think that when you look at the top teams in college, the teams that win championships, you see something a little different,” Bamford said. “It seems like all the teams have great athletes, but to win championships you need kids that play with high energy, a high motor, and a high IQ. There are some athletes out these who can run and shoot, but they aren’t very good at running an offense. In order to be really successful, college teams need the kids who bring something extra.”
That savvy will be on display when the Waves compete in the Lake Las Vegas Classic at the Westin Lake Las Vegas complex on July 10-13. The field in Las Vegas will be loaded with outstanding programs from around the country.
The Waves will be featuring a strong group of young players in Vegas. The youth movement will be anchored by the Class of 2018, which features Bianca Notarainni (5-10, W), Kendal Ellenbeck (5-10, W), Kiera Oakry (5-9, CG), Jayda Villareal (5-6, G) and Bryce Nixon (5-9, G).
“Bianca is a high IQ, high motor player. She is aggressive and she rebounds well. She just knows how to score and how to get to the line,” Bamford said. “Kendal is another player with a high motor and a high IQ. She slashes to the rim, she has a great mid-range game, and she has great post moves with her back to the basket. Kendal is also good on the defensive end.
“Kiera is a jet quick guard who can get to the rim and she has nice shooting range. She is also a defensive stopper for us. Jayda and Bryce are both all-around players. They shoot the three, they can attack the rim, and they are good passers.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also gave his perspective on the Waves’ top prospects.
“Notarainni is a good athlete who understands the game. She can put it on the floor, and she has three-point range,” McCormick said. “Ellenbeck is an athletic wing who can post up, or attack the basket from the perimeter, and she plays hard. Oakry is a strong, quick player with a sweet shooting stroke and a nice pull-up jumper. Villareal is a heady point guard with a good feel for the position. She is a good passer who knows how to run the show. Nixon is a good athlete who, again, knows the game. She has a good mid-range game and she shoots the three.”
The Waves youth movement will also highlight Danielle Simmons (2017, 6-1, P) and a very special young player, Te-Hina Paopao (2020, 5-8, PG).
“Danielle is a big, strong athlete with good quickness,” Bamford said. “She is a great rebounder, and she’s just a load down low. Te-Hina is the real deal. I’m predicting that she will be a McDonald’s All-American. Her IQ is just unbelievable. She already knows when to push it, and when to slow it down and set it up. She makes great decisions, she shoots the three, and she has a high level mid-range game.”
“Simmons is a strong athlete with a blue collar attitude. She is a good rebounder, and she can score inside,” McCormick added. “Paopao is a young player with a high basketball IQ. She already understands how to run an offense, and she is an all-around player with quickness and good shooting range.”
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