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Champlain Winter Challenge Evals



On December 28-29, 2013, Champlain College was the host site for the Champlain SLAM Winter Challenge in Montreal, QC.

The showcase featured 8 teams from Quebec and Ontario as they respectively looked to ready themselves for their CEGEP and JUEL seasons.

Here’s a quick peek at just some of the players that caught my eye:


sarah-jane-maroisSarah-Jane Marois
Marois is an elite Guard that played at a very high level throughout the tournament.  The biggest thing that I noticed about her was that she has an uncanny knack for making everyone around her better.  It’s a quality that we all would like from a Point Guard, but one that we often find comes up short.  Directing traffic, controlling the pace of the game, and getting the ball in the places that she knows where her teammates need it to be successful.  When times got bleak with her team in offensive department, she even took it upon her shoulders to put some points on the board to provide a spark plug to get her team going.  Could she use a bit extra size? Sure, but regardless, she will be an asset to any team that lands her at the next level.

Chloe Hall
Showing signs of continued improvement is Hall, who now appears to be playing as well as she ever has. Hall’s stock is continuing to rise as her length is creating problems for defenders as she gets to the hole. Her improved ability to finish on fast breaks is creating a great option for her teammates. Her driving also led to a couple of of ‘and-one’ opportunities, which bodes well as the Blues look to push to improve on last year’s rep season finish. According to her Scarborough Blues rep team Head Coach, Andrew Bergant, who will be coaching her for the second season: “There is a lot room for improvement in all phases of her game. She’s beginning to tap into her immense potential!”

Lee and Miya Williams
Besides a couple of glimpses in the CROWN Scout Girls Event in September, this was the first time I’ve really had the opportunity to study the Williams twins in gameplay.  They are now back from a full stint at the end of the 2013 school year from a U.S. prep school.  They are solidly built 5’10” Guards that have elected to complete Grade 13 at home and are looking to turn as many heads as possible.  Both are strong aggressive players that love to take the ball to the hole with energy, and do not shy away from contact.  Speaking of energy, these two had loads of it as their North Toronto Huskies soldiered the four games in 2 days with a very short bench. They were unrelenting in their pursuit of he ball while on the court. Lee proved her worth to North Toronto more on the defensive side of the ball in this showcase, while Miya contributed as a good two-way player.  Miya was consistent with her disciplined ‘see-man, see-ball’ style of play on the defensive side and had more of a nose for the basket on the offensive side. Both were consistently vocal in communicating with teammates, but each would benefit from tidier finishes around the cup.


sirah-diarra-yasmine-bidikuindilaSirah Diarra and Yasmine Bidikuindila
The Champlain Cavaliers’ frontcourt is a daunting one.  Their sheer size can start to play intimidation mind tricks on the opposition when they get a look at the University-ready bodies of Diarra and Bidikuindila.  In Diarra, you have a 6’2” long body that can seal well on the block when fighting for position for an entry pass.  Going to her left is routine for her, and she has shown that improvement in her ability to complete post moves.  Improvement is also the name of the game for Bidikuindila.  This Providence commit comes in at a very solid 6’5” and has been looking to shake off rust surrounding an injury that kept her off the court since the Spring.  While her Post moves are showing signs of improvement, they still have some ways to go.  If she can ratchet up a more competitive streak to go along with her strength and size, which is not totally out of the realm of possibility, she has an exciting future ahead.

Destoni Willock
It was nice to see the emergence of a confident Destoni Willock throughout out the weekend. She is came across as more relaxed with ball in this showcase which allowed her to make better decisions with the ball. She drove with purpose and found some success when doing so. Although I would like to see a continued improvement in her shooting, the newly found poise that she showed through her ball possession is certainly a step in the right and direction in her development.

Roxanne Bouliane-Douaire
roxanne-bouliane-douaireBouliane-Douaire is a smart Guard that proved her potential throughout the weekend.  Good decision-making under pressure made her appear calm under fire especially playing against high level athletes on the other side of the ball.  I found her to also be quite patient when picking her moments to counter attack, which led her to cause several turnovers in the Lynx’ favor.  Bouliane-Douaire has an option of another school year, which would make her a very intriguing player coming out of the Class of 2015.

Abbey Clark
Clark demonstrated that she will punish defences that leave her wide open. Together with good length, that will be a big problem throughout the rep season as just another weapon in the Transway arsenal that needs to be accounted for. And, judging by the ton of opportunities that Transway Guards create with the way that they play, Clark will have more chances to cash in than a winter tire dealer during an ice storm. But along with those opportunities, her development must include the ability to better create her own shot and becoming stronger to face the inevitable jockeying for position that will be expected of her when occasionally posting up.


Hailey Brown
Brown held her own this weekend staving off players that were 4-5 years older than her.  I found that she had comparable strength to go along with her size, to not be out of place when battling other bigs.  There was a bit of a curve that I saw her have to deal with.  For example when it came to passing, adjustment such as making passing decisions less obvious and judging the timing in an increased game tempo will undoubtedly fill in over time.  Regardless, it was very nice to see her fight and be competitive as she was when she fought for position in the paint and for rebounds.  Some success with Post moves she was able to attain, rounded out a very good trial by fire experience for the very promising Forward.