In the news Thursday, the nation's top 2012 point guard, Moriah Jefferson, chose Connecticut. Jefferson is one of the truly unique players on the circuit in that she is home-schooled and already is taking college courses at the local junior college down the street.
We talk a lot about having moments where we see the greatness in a player. My Jefferson moment was in Pomona, Calif., last May at the West Coast Premier Spring Invitational. Her DFW 2012 team played Boo Williams' top team, with Elizabeth Williams, Cierra Burdick and Co. The game was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and my flight was the red-eye at midnight. With Los Angeles International Airport about 40 minutes away from the gym, I needed to leave at halftime to make sure I had enough time to catch the flight.
I told her before the game that I'd see a half before leaving. Halftime came and went with Jefferson willing her team to a six-point lead. So I decided to stay.
The game was back and- forth throughout the second half. Jefferson started to deal with calf cramps in her right leg. Meanwhile, led by Burdick (No. 3 in 2011 and a Tennessee signee), Boo made a serious push. One of DFW's top players got a technical and fouled out.
At this point the game was even with just under two minutes to go. It was now 10 p.m. and I was sure I was going to miss the flight. Jefferson inbounded the ball right by my seat and said to me, "I got it."
A basket and four clutch free-throws later, Jefferson had led her team to a signature win and fortunately for me, I still found my way to the gate as the final boarding call was being made.
Jefferson will get her third shot at USA Basketball later this month. She is one of the 35 players invited to the U19 national team trials.
Moss to the Gators
Sydney Moss, a consensus top 75 caliber recruit and one to look for in next week's ESPN HoopGurlz 100 for 2012, gave Amanda Butler and her staff a great jump on the 2012 class. The Gators also have a commitment from in-state four-star guard January Miller.
Moss will give Florida an athletic forward who can get ahead on the break, finish in the open floor and generally play the uptempo pace that the Gators used to catapult into the national spotlight two years ago with senior guard Sha Brooks leading the way.
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Brandon Clay is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as a recruiting analyst, event operator and trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.