Atlanta, GA – For the third straight year, Nike has taken their Skills Academy concept out to the five regions of the country. Atlanta was the first stop on this year’s tour with subsequent stops in Santa Ana, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Dallas. The camp format was different this year as the company tried a different approach inviting only current high school freshman, sophomores and a select group of eighth graders.
*As written by Brandon Clay in April 2009
Lead trainer Ganon Baker was aided by Dee Brown – a former NBA standout and Slam Dunk champion – who brought a lot of teaching and development to the Atlanta stop. Here’s a recap and breakdown of some the academy’s standout players:
#1 – Kayla Brewer – Ribault (Jacksonville, Fla.) High
Brewer is shaping up to be a premier prospect in the Class of 2011. At 6-foot-1, she has the skill to play inside at the power forward position and can shoot the face up jumper. Brewer is at her best filling lanes in the open floor. She’ll have to continue to grow and improve her skill set in the narrative essay prompts for college half-court offense over the next two years.
#3 – Andraya Carter – Buford (Ga.) High
Carter has quickly risen to the head of the 2012 class. The 5-foot-9 point guard did a little of everything this weekend hitting jumpers, attacking the basket off the dribble and constantly moving throughout every drill. The next step for Carter appears to be improving her long range shooting percentage.
#8 – Aaliyah Whiteside – Central (Memphis, Tenn.) High
Whiteside is a smooth, 5-10 off guard in the Class of 2012. The lefty has a nice stroke but is more of a driver or slasher right now than a spot up shooter. She projects as a Top 50 caliber player in the class with the ability to move up if her jumper continues to develop.
#10 – Loliya Briggs – Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) Academy
If there was a true standout performance this weekend, the show Briggs displayed Saturday afternoon was it. The 5-9 combo guard was automatic from both beyond the arc and inside the lane as well. She is quick, has a solid basketball IQ and is very skilled as well.
#17 – Breanna McDonald – Chamblee (Ga.) High
McDonald showed flashes of greatness this weekend. mba admission essay The ultra-athletic Class of 2012 6-foot wing forward showed her versatility by pushing the ball through traffic and being able to shoot the midrange jumper. McDonald has the skill to defend the opposition’s best offensive player.
#22 – Michelle Woods – Community (Naples, Fla.) School
Woods plays like the coaches kid that she is. The 5-7 point guard showed the skill to handle the ball in the open floor, shoot the deep three pointer and make good reads for her teammates. She appears to be one of the top guards nationwide in the sophomore class.
#25 – Cierra Burdick – Butler (Charlotte, NC) High
Burdick is one of the Class of 2011’s top prospects and showed why this weekend with a good performance during the Skills Academy. She’ll have to continue to work on her jumper outside of 18 feet. Burdick has done a good job of working on her midrange jumper, ball handling and leadership qualities over the past year.
#27 – Rachel Hollivay – New Hope (Caledonia, MS) High
One of the two premier post players in the Academy, Hollivay has real size and length for a freshman. Standing at 6-4 already, the sky is the limit for her as she progresses on the offensive end. Hollivay reasons for homework already blocks shots, rebounds and runs the floor. Unfortunately, she was on the same team with Amber Henson preventing those in attendance from seeing what shaped up to be the marquee post matchup this weekend.
#32 – Kaela Davis – Norcross (Ga.) High
Davis showed why she has been the focal point of several internet articles over the past week or so after her stellar play at Boo Williams. Davis defends, passes and scores doing all three well especially gives that she is a member of the Class of 2013. The 6-2 wing made her high school choice a couple of weeks ago and will play for Angie Hembree – the same coach Maya Moore (Univ. of Connecticut) played for her first two years of high school.
#38 – Morgan Jones – Lake Mary (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) High
With an older sister, Tailor, already on the Florida roster, the 6-2 wing has plenty of guidance on how to play the game at a high level. Morgan has range out to 24 feet on her jump shot right now but will need to add an understanding on when to pull the trigger on the long bomb and when to attack the lane to create scoring opportunities for is custom essay meister her teammates. Jones – a Class of 2011 graduate – has all of the tools to be a very good player at the next level.
#40 – Amber Henson – Sickles (Tampa, Fla.) High
Like Jones, Henson is a Class of 2011 graduate with a sibling who is good enough to play basketball at a major conference school. In Amber’s case, it’s her brother John who will be a freshman at North Carolina next fall. The younger Henson isn’t far behind at all. At 6-4, she is at the top of the list for recruits in her class with the skill to run the floor in transition, finish around the basket and block shots underneath.
Brandon Clay is the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. The service is picked up by more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the EBA All-American, Fab Five and Super 64 Camps. In addition, he serves as a national recruiting analyst for ESPNHoopgurlz and a contributor to SLAM Magazine. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as an evaluator, event operator and trainer. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com or follow him on Twitter @BrandonClayPSB