The Carolina All-Stars are achieving their goal of helping young ladies continue their education by playing basketball at an astounding rate. Currently there are 50 former Carolina All-Stars that are playing college basketball this year and over 100 have played since the All-Stars began their organization in 2004. This year’s group of rising seniors is on course to add to that number as many have already committed or in the process of making their college choice.
This year’s edition of the Carolina All-Stars is highlighted by the 2015 team winning the AAU Gold Showcase in Orlando. After Orlando, they played at the Real Deal in the ‘Ville Shootout where they played toe to toe with the New York Gauchos in one of the best games broadcasted this year on ProspectsNationTV. Carolina All-Stars 2015 coach Brian Norwood attributes much of this success to the core group staying together for all of these years. He said, “There were plenty of opportunities for these ladies to go play elsewhere, but they stayed loyal to the team and that helped us have a successful summer.”
Durham, North Carolina
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Season Highlights from Coach Brian Norwood:
This year’s All-Star team was unique in the way that it was constructed. Coach Norwood mentioned that he had a number of players who created mismatches on the floor. They had a number of players that could play both inside and outside and also had size to be able to pressure on the defense at in the lane. As Norwood said, “We just looked for which kid had the best match-up and tried to get the ball in their hands.”
Perhaps the biggest mismatch problem on the floor was class of 2015 forward Mone Jones of Durham, N.C. Currently ranked No. 35 in her class, she has narrowed her college list down to LSU, Penn State, Virginia and Texas A&M. Her size, mobility and skill have always allowed her to be one of the most productive kids in the country at her position. However, what is most notable about Jones is what she does off of the court. Norwood says, “Mone has stayed very humble throughout this whole process. She puts the important things first like being good in the classroom. And she does whatever we ask of her on the court to help us win.”
This team already has four players who have verbally committed to a Division One school already. Coach Norwood anticipates that at least three more players should commit within the next few weeks. George Washington verbal, 6-1 forward Kelsi Mahoney of Concord, N.C., was the first player to commit from this group. Norwood called her “hard to guard, because she can shoot it so well from help in writing papers outside.”
The two shooters on the team, Taylor Petty of Newton, N.C., and Carley Lytton of Floyd, Va., were important to the team’s success because of their ability to stretch the defense to the arc. Petty gave her verbal commitment to Presbyterian College in July while Lytton committed to East Tennessee State this year as well.
The ‘X-Factor’ on this team is Jade Phillips of Raleigh, N.C., she committed to play at Syracuse at the beginning of July. Although Phillips often came off of the bench for the All-Stars, coach Norwood says “Phillips may have the most upside of any one on this team. She really took people by surprise, but her athleticism is off the charts.”
Norwood also had good things to say about forward Salita Greene of Durham, N.C. At 6’ she did all of the dirty work on the floor and was good at it. While defenders were concerned about shooters like Mahoney and Petty, it was often Greene who cleaned up the offensive glass with put backs. Look for Greene to be added to the list of Division One commitments later this fall as she has official visits slated to a number of schools.
Things keep on clicking along for the Carolina All-Stars program. With all of prospects that are slated to play college basketball in 2015, the next group of players in the program are already being recruited heavily. Program director Ty Cox raved about the Carolina All-Stars Bond team, which consists primarily of class of 2016 players. He says, “Since July has ended, I have had 75 schools contact me about players on that team.”
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The interest is with merit as Cox says that the Bond group only lost three games all summer while winning notable tournaments within the evaluation period. He mentions wing forward Dominique Claytor of Winston Salem, N.C., as a prospect to watch carefully. At 5-11 she has size and versatility that only a few kids in the nation possess. Also class of 2017 guard Tierra Wilson of Winston Salem, N.C., is already one of the better scorers in the region. As Cox mentioned, “At one point Wilson drained six straight three pointers this summer. She can really do it all.”
Even with the success that the Carolina Bond group has had, Cox has plans for even more teams for the future. He says, “We will bring four teams to the PSB End of the Road Championships in September. Next year we plan on having a team for class of 2017 and 2018 kids. We have a number of talented prospects coming up in North Carolina that we plan on helping.”
ProspectsNationTV: Carolina All-Stars versus NY Gauchos on July 9, 2014
Jonathan Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com. The service is used by more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide. He also serves on the selection committee for the EBA All-American, Fab Five and Super 64 Camps. He has been involved in the community since 2002 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB