Standing out, Boo style
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- The Boo Williams Nike Invitational is a staple of the NCAA-Certified spring viewing period. It gives new up-and-comers a chance to test their games and determination against some of the best and brightest at the grassroots level of girls' high school basketball. Players such as Maya Moore, Elena DelleDonne, Skylar Diggins, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Elizabeth Williams have set the bar for future classes. Players like Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Jordan Adams were joined by Diamond DeShields, Tyler Scaife and Brianna Turner.
In our first tip sheet from the evaluation weekend, we focus on some up-and-comers trying to etch their names at the tops of their classes with the aforementioned stars.
Meghan Creighton, Philadelphia Comets (Chester, Penn.): One of the most important things scouts look for at the point guard position is how a player handles herself under pressure. For the 5-7 Creighton, she is as cool as the other side of the pillow. Her decision making stood out this weekend as she facilitated and distributed within the Comets offense, attacked when defenders overplayed her and showed she can come off a down screen and shoot the 3-ball. Her catch-and-shoot range extends several feet beyond the arc. Her assertiveness far exceeded what we saw from her this winter at Archbishop Carroll High School (Radnor, Pa.). She proved she will be a rock solid point guard whether she goes to an Atlantic 10 program or finds a home in the Big East. There are flashier options but when it comes to results, Creighton gets them.
Rebekah Dahlman, North Tartan (Braham, Minn.): Not to take anything away from Dahlman's individuality, but she is the next in a long line of somewhat unassuming North Tartan guards who can flat out hoop. The 5-11 combo guard has deceptive quickness and some flavor in her game that also catches defenders off guard, especially her spin move that she uses to put defenders trying to beat her to the spot in the middle of the lane, only to end up giving her position for a layup. She does a good job of attacking when angles are there and most of the time kept from forcing things when the defense is in position. The few times she did force things and turned the ball over, she seemed to learn from the mistake and not fall into the trap of just trying harder at the exact same thing the next time down the floor.
Gabby Green, East Bay Xplosion Black (Oakland, Calif.): Seeing Green competing against the top competition several years her senior is exactly what she needs. At St. Mary's High School, she had solid numbers for a freshman on a 30-5 team. Her decision making is promising but with her length and quickness she needs to get more comfortable playing through and initiating contact, something that happens on every possession at the level her EBX club team played in at Boo. She can get into the paint with her quickness and use her length to extend up to the basket to score. Physically, she has so many tools there are dozens of things you could think to add to her game because her ceiling is so high. But a consistent and steady improvement against elite competition is what folks will be looking for this summer. Her first test this past weekend was a success in that regard.
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Chris Hansen is the national director of prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at email@example.com.
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