From July 5-8 Canadians walked to Louisville Kentucky to kick off their travel south of the border. Here is just a small portion of the players who stood out at this event:
This stretch-4 does most of her work on the offensive end, when faced up on the perimeter, but can put the ball on the floor when necessary. She proved she can get hot beyond the arc, as she did in her game against the Illinois Explosion. In that game she connected on a number of 3s, including three in a row in the first half. I would like to see her be able to play a little bit more physical on the defensive end when called for, when she needs to defend in the post. There were times in Become Ones‘ game against East Coast United where the refs were letting things go a bit, where Fraser could have added a bit more defensive resistance with tougher box outs and forcing opponents to smaller wins on the offensive glass.
Ellis’s game is rounding into form in this summer before her Senior high school year. Its as if she is at a point where she has caught up mentally to the speed of the game and what is required from her and her skill is such that she is able to step into whatever situation that presents itself. She plays with lots of energy throughout games and was a spark to several opportunities in which she was able to cash in. While there is room for improvement, post secondaries need to know that ceiling is likely to be quite high.
Nakeisha Ekwandja and Mikhaela Ekwandja
The Ekwandja twins were big contributors to the successes that the Warriors had in this event. Throughout the games I saw them play, Nakeisha (who was wearing jersey number 6) and Mikhaela (jersey number 15) displayed a number is similar traits when in the floor. Both have solid builds which allowed them to be strong on the ball. When driving, they each displayed some ability to navigate tight spaces and were good with being unselfish at just about the right times. One of the obvious questions that come up regarding the recruiting of twins, is whether they would like to stay together, or if they would be okay with going in different directions. I have learned that although these two are very close, they are not adverse to seeing what life would be like on their own during their university years.
Day-Wilson saw quite a few high level Point Guards this weekend and rose to the occasion countless times in terms of guarding them. Measuring in at only 5’4”, she was often outmatched as far as size was concerned, but made up for it in many different ways, including the full court pressure that she could provide her team. I noticed a good understanding of when to try to hedge, when to go on top of screens and when to switch in various situations. Offensively, she showed some shooting range, but will need to develop more consistency beyond the arc and with her finishes at the basket in order to take her game to her next level.
Foreman is a poised, accurate 3-point shooter. To go along with the handful of 3s she already hit in the game, she remained calm under pressure in her game against iExcel. She came up big hitting a big 3-point shot with around 2 minutes left in the game to help complete an 8-0 run to tie the game for her Welland NGBA Warriors. Besides her ability to hit big shots under pressure, one will notice that Foreman has a good understanding of the game, which comes in handy when jumping into passing lanes for steals and anticipating just how rebounds will fall.
While the DC Chameleon team may have stayed under the radar, this Guard did not. While it was a little different to see Adams in a jersey other than the Woodbridge Lions, who she usually plays for back home in Ontario, its obvious that regardless of who she plays for, or where she plays her game translates very well. The solidly built and strong Adams seemed to have fit right in with this travel team. She showed ability to dribble in tight spaces, play both sides of the pick and roll, as well as shoot the 3. As she continues to train in the coming years, I expect stamina and already decent speed to keep her stock high.
Representing one of the key cornerstones for the Toronto Matrix Jr, Bartholomew is a name to keep on your radar. Not yet in high school, she possesses many of the tools needed including size, strength and a very good work ethic. She showed that she has the ability to take over games, and can score in bunches in a variety of ways. It’s a sign of a good training foundation that she pounds the rock hard on her takes to the basket, and seems to welcome any contact she receives. As intense a player she is, she did show that she may be a bit vulnerable to picking up fouls depending on how tight the game is being officiated. While the intensity is not exactly something to be discouraged, I will look to see how she learns to pick her moments when to attack defensively over the coming years, to not risk in game foul trouble.