Prospect Watch: Caldwell stands tall
GLENN NELSON'S RIM SHOTS
- Most conspicuous by its absence on the list of confirmed participants in next month's USA Basketball U18 trials was the name of Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-7 Houstonian many believe will be a game-changer in women's basketball. Turns out, it was not a snub; she received an invitation. "When I saw the USA envelope, I was really happy and really surprised," Griner said. "It's a big thing." However, her mother, Sandra, is having surgery at the time and her father, Raymond, is a sheriff who will be attending a month-long academy at the same time. So Griner had to decline the opportunity to see her mother through the surgery. "I really wanted to go," Griner said. "But it's my mom. Without her, there wouldn't be USA Basketball for me." Griner also confirmed reports by her father and Marques Jackson, the DFW Elite program director, that she has taught herself how to complete a 360 dunk and hopes to uncork it in competition soon - maybe as soon as this weekend in New Orleans.
- One of our favorite players in the 2009 class, Markel Walker of Philadelphia, who is ranked No. 8 by ESPN HoopGurlz, has de-committed from Pitt and re-opened her recruitment. Walker not only is ultra-explosive at 6-1, she has a lot of shake to her offensive game and plays extremely hard defensively. Expect a lot of attention her way.
- One of Walker's club teammates on the New York Gauchos, Charmaine Tay of Union, N.J., is one of the very best point-guard prospects in the 2010 class. She already has been offered by Florida and has serious interest from Louisville, Minnesota, Seton Hall and Xavier.
- The report by the Pioneer Press that Tayler Hill of Minneapolis, Minn., is down to Duke and Rutgers is incorrect, according to various sources. Hill recently was elevated to No. 10 in the 2009 class by ESPN HoopGurlz, and as recently as last month did not even have a definitive list of schools.
- Destiny Williams, the 6-3 forward out of Benton Harbor, Mich., ranked No. 37 by ESPN HoopGurlz in the 2009 class, is down to Duke, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers and Xavier.
- Keyanna Tate is a 6-foot 2011 prospect at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. She plays the point for Calvin Coolidge, but plays every other position on the floor, according to her coach. Tate averaged a double-double - 10 points and 10 rebounds - during her freshman season.
- The Lady Legends from Louisville made a lot of waves last summer and we're eager to see them again this weekend. This year's version is led by a couple of 2010 prospects, Samantha Drake of Nelson County, Ken., and Antonita Slaughter of Louisville, and 2009 wing Tiara Hopper. Both Drake (Kentucky) and Slaughter (Louisville) made their college choices before their sophomore high-school seasons. Hopper, who played with Vanderbilt signee Tia Gibbs on Butler High School's state championship team, has interest from Alabama and Indiana and has been offered by multiple mid-major schools.
Chris Hansen covers girls' high school basketball nationally for ESPN.com and leads the panel that ranks and evaluates players for the network. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American Selection Committees, he formerly coached girls club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For more in-depth coverage of women's college-basketball prospects and girl's basketball, visit HoopGurlz.com For more in-depth coverage of women's college-basketball prospects and girl's basketball, visit HoopGurlz.com