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Nike National Invitational Tournament(2014) Standouts



Alyssa Jerome, Carmen Handy, Rylee Welsh, Nike National Invitational Tournament, Canadian girls, Basketball

nike-national-invitational-tourn-2014 The 2014 July viewing period has gotten off to a rousing start with almost two dozen Canadian teams showcasing their talents in Chicago, IL at the Nike National Invitational Tournament.
With over 450 teams all playing basketball under one roof in front of 529 registered coaches in attendance, here is a quick look at some of the evaluations of the many Canadian standouts:

Chelayne Bailey
Part of the glue that holds the ‘A’ Game T-Dot team together is 5’6″ PG, Chelayne Bailey. Relentlessly providing backcourt defensive help, Bailey continued to prove that she is a high level on the ball defender with good lateral quickness. Delivering on just about everything that was asked of her on the defensive end, and steadily improving offence this weekend should only see her stock continuing to rise at just the right time before her Senior year.

Julia Chandler
With what seemed like over 75 college coaches taking in ‘A’ Game T-Dot’s last game on Saturday, Chandler put together a game for the ages against a quality Full Package Elite squad. In that game she showed off just about everything in her post game arsenal. Defensively from denials to on-ball defending. On the other end, offensive rebounding to pulling the trigger on drop step hooks…talk about stepping it up with all the lights on!

Chiso Ufondu
Team Alberta has a gem in this PG. Although at times it appeared as though her creativity was held under wraps, it was apparent by her play that her athleticism and different ways of scoring could of benefit at the next level. She is strong and demonstrated that she can shoot from long distance. It appeared as though she knew exactly where each of her teammates needed to be during the execution of plays but at times made her intentions very obvious when running the point. Early on in games, it also seemed as though it took her some time to get use of the pace of play and the athleticism of opponents she encountered in games vs Illinois Defenders 17U Black and Team Fury Select U17, but as the games went on, she seemed to find her groove. It is too bad though, that in a showcase such as this, many of the things that were only on display in small doses. Many of the things that she could bring to the table were held under wraps, not allowing her to play to her strengths.


Rylee Welsh

Rylee Welsh
Shining brightly for Greg Grant Canada was Welsh, who’s fierce competitiveness will be a valuable commodity at the next level. She logged a serious amount of minutes over the tournament for her team that only appeared to have dressed seven players. Each one of those minutes were spent earning her stripes, as well as respect from her opponents. Likely more of a Wing player, Welsh played a hand at the Guard spot as well finding open teammates. She showed that can shoot from outside when given the chance, but showed very little of it because of the need from her team to have more inside presence. She was forever on the move slashing through lanes or fighting for position in the post. While I don’t foresee her being able to play too much in the post at the next level, I do expect teams to want to benefit from mismatches and her ability to play through contact.

Ayoleka Sodade
Fitting right in on her first foray onto the summer travel scene, Sodade’s stock is continuing to rise throughout the summer. Having next to no exposure before this summer, she is showing many what we’ve known of for quite some time. She is a Guard that is a strong, tough defender that can find ways to score. I would hope that the ability to complete around the basket with both hands would be something that she continues to refine in her skill building. Regardless, because of the way that she played this weekend, and how she has been flying under the radar, a school at the next level may be in line to land the hidden gem she is proving to be.

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