The following Canadians stood out during the 2016 USJN Washington DC National Championships which took place from July 22-25, 2017:
After an extended layoff, it was nice to see McDonald performing at a high level once again. Following thought that MacDonald just might give up the game all together due to an ACL tear during her Grade 11 year, this weekend MacDonald displayed all of the work that she has put in over the past nine or so months. The result is strong drives to the basket and cuts that display that she is well on the road to recovery. Next up for the reclassified Guard, will be improving her fitness levels and getting stronger, which will put her well on the way to the potential she had prior to the injury.
What a difference a year makes. At the USJN DC event in 2015, Mungar and Blue Star Ontario had their challenges in the top division. This year however, Mungar looked great with both her shot and her mobility. Mungar’s ability to get up and down the floor opened up opportunities for her and she was able to capitalize on odd man rushes and her ability to get open in half court sets. She was charged with energy throughout the games that she played and was a constant threat when she had the ball in her hands, especially from long range. She deservedly raised an eyebrow of many of the coaches on hand as she certainly seized an opportunity to make a name for herself in this event, just as she is looking to enter her Senior year in high school.
With Tamara Farquhar on her team, right off the bat it was more than apparent that Boudreau was not the most athletic player in DC. That being said, she is a sure handed combo Guard that is able to do a lot of the little things that one would expect a skilled Guard can do. With some pretty decent length, Boudreau proved throughout the event that she not only knows how to pick her spots with how and when to score, from inside or out, but that sh knows just what it takes make others around her better. There is likely to be several schools in need of a similar skill set that will be inquiring of her services when the freeze is over, as they look for a smart Guard, that knows how to put her team first, in of the Class of 2017.
Many people talk about how they love their team. Hanson did more than that talk this weekend, she walked it out. Less than a weekend removed from likely fracturing her hand while playing pick up, Hanson not only made the trip to DC from the Pacific Coast, she actually logged some serious minutes for Blue Star BC. Obviously hampered by not being able to use her right and at all, she was able to demonstrate some skill with her left. To her credit, proved that she is a good dribbler with her off-hand, being able to get to the whole in traffic and complete a fairly good percentage of the time. While her team did not fair so well, the sacrifice this leader made, playing for her team when she just could easily bowed out, speaks volumes for the type of player a very fortunate post secondary school will be getting. Just don’t expect too much of her, connecting from beyond the 3-point line with her left hand.
Ganpo has been showing steady signs of improving since the beginning of the year. Improvement surrounding her footwork and mobility has really helped to open up her game. She fit right in as a key contributor to her A-Game Lessard’s matchup vs. BWSL VA Select 17 Starks. In a tight game that went down to the wire Ganpo’s mobility was key to blocking shots, running he floor and being an active rebounder. I would like to see a better shooting touch from 5 feet out as her development evolves, but with more time in the gym, working on her game it shouldn’t be too far of a stretch.
Dennis’ name may not yet be a household name just yet, but that doesn’t mean that this 5’8″ PG shouldn’t be on many more radars than she currently is. As a 2019 player playing in the U17 division with A-Game T-Dot, Dennis proved that she was not just an add-on to round out numbers. Her defensive abilities showed that she is able to move quite well laterally against opponents with the ball and is quite capable of turning them over when she catches them napping. On offence, Dennis proved that she is able to get to the hole. I would like to see more consistency in the way that she finishes around the rim in order to reward herself for the hard work it took for her to get there, but I didn’t get the sense that it isn’t a trait that will not come in time.