Barbara Berry, the founder of The Way To Win Gold program in Washington, has experience mentoring amazing young point guards, having worked with current WNBA players Lindsey Moore and Courtney Vandersloot in the past. Now Berry is coaching another backcourt prodigy, 14-year old freshman Sam Fatkin.
“Sam is a lot like Lindsey and Courtney,” Berry said. “She is 5-10 and she is still growing, and she is just a special talent. She is a great ball handler with great vision, and she plays great defense. She is a true point guard in the sense of leading the team. The other players want to play with her and play for her.”
Fatkin and her teammates will be competing against top-flight competition in July at the Summer Basketball Playoff in Charlotte. The Summer Basketball Playoff will follow in Charlotte, NC, from July 27-29. The Summer Basketball Playoff will feature 72 of the nation’s elite club teams. The Playoff will be held at the same time as the Nike Nationals, which will be played two hours away in North Augusta, SC.
The Way To Win Gold also relies heavily on several veterans, including Alex Hagen (2015, 6-2, F), Sadie Mensing (2015, 5-10, W) and Sydney Shepard (2015, 5-11, W).
“Alex is a very good outside shooter, and she can slash to the basket and rebound. She is long and quick, so we put her at the top of our 2-3 zone and our trap,” Berry said. “Sadie is a great defender and rebounder, and she shoots 60 percent from the field. Sydney is a great shooter and passer, but her main thing is her on court leadership. She has the intangibles.”
All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick also added his perspective on the standouts from The Way To Win Gold:
Sam Fatkin: “Fatkin is an intelligent, quick guard who can put it on the floor and she shoots it well.”
Alex Hagen: “Hagen is a long athlete with skills. She can post people up or step out to the arc.”
Sadie Mensing: “Mensing is an athletic, blue collar type of player. She defends, rebounds and does all the little things.”
Sydney Shepard: “Shepard has a high basketball IQ, and she is a solid leader who can shoot the three.”