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Monday, July 26, 2010
No longer about the famous fathers

By Lindsay Schnell
HoopGurlz

Victoria Carter
Victoria Carter and her young Georgia Ice teammates served notice at Basketball on the Bayou that they are more than a celebrity sideshow.

NEW ORLEANS -- By now you have surely heard of the Georgia Ice, the club team known more for its famous bloodlines -- three players are the daughters of former professional athletes -- than its play.

Until now.

On Sunday in the championship game of the Basketball on the Bayou 2012 division, the Ice showed it is made of more than just good pedigree, jumping to an early 20-12 lead and never trailing during its 42-31 win over Team Memphis. It capitalized a stellar weekend for the Ice, which went undefeated through pool and bracket play but won only one game -- the championship -- by double digits.

Depending on your sport of choice, the Ice's most famous player by association is either Kaela Davis, daughter of Ice coach and former NBA All-Star Antonio Davis, or Taryn Griffey, daughter of former baseball slugger Ken Griffey Jr. But on Sunday it was all about Lexie Brown, the daughter of former NBA player Dee Brown, who scored 14 points, most of them with her textbook jump shot.

Kaela Davis
Kaela Davis, daughter of former NBA player and Ice coach Antonio Davis, thinks her young team has a shot at the "next level."

"It's a lot of fun to have famous dads but it can get annoying, too," said Brown, a 2013 guard who has already given a verbal commitment to Maryland. "It used to be, 'Let's go see so-and-so's daughters,' but now I think people know us for us."

Team Memphis certainly knows them now, as do the college coaches crowded around their games the past week.

What they know is that Brown has deep shooting range and good vision, Davis' crossover is so long and low it resembles Kobe Bryant's, and that Griffey is lightning quick, more than capable of running down dribblers.

"If people come to see us because of who their dads are but stay because they see how the girls can play, that's OK," Antonio Davis said. "These girls are constantly trying to prove themselves."

Originally, the Ice started in Chicago, and stood for Illinois Central Elite. When the Davis family moved to Georgia three years ago, they decided to keep the team going, but opted to play in their own age division; in Illinois, they always played one year up.

Now they are comprised mostly of Georgia and Florida players, though they also have two Illinois prospects  Tami Morice, a 2012 forward and holdover from the original Ice, and Ashley Santos, a 2012 guard, joined them this summer. Now, with the 2010 summer evaluation period almost over, the Ice have started to think ahead.

"I think we've definitely evolved a lot as a team, and we've put in the hours in hot gyms, doing two-a-days," said Kaela Davis, who has committed to the Tennessee Lady Vols. "We definitely have a shot at the next level."

Lexie Brown
Lexie Brown, daughter of former NBA player Dee, had 14 points in the championship and says "now I think people know us for us."

Next week, the Ice will wrap up the summer at the Peach State Summer Jam in Atlanta. While there, Antonio Davis plans to take the team over to Augusta to watch Nike Nationals. They need to make sure they know what the next level is like, he says.

"The next step is to play in older elite divisions," he said. "And if we get our head beat in, we get our head beat in."

But teams at Nike Nationals would do well to pay attention to the sideline next week. If the Georgia Ice did anything this week in New Orleans, it was serving notice that they're no longer just a celebrity sideshow.

And, while talented and accomplished in their own rights, their dads aren't the only ones with some game.

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Lindsay Schnell is a staff writer for HoopGurlz.com. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has been involved in the Oregon girls' basketball community for most her life as a player, high school coach, writer and fan. She also has been regular contributor to The Oregonian and won several awards for her writing. She can be reached at lindsay@hoopgurlz.com.