It seems absurd to think that a talent rich area like Kentucky would be ignored in the world of college basketball recruiting. However, before the Kentucky Premier came into existence in 2011 that was a true statement. David Tapley, Trent Milby and Jarrad Parmley have worked together to help players be recruited by college coaches from across the country. After four years of hard work, the ladies from Kentucky are some of the nation’s most sought after recruits.
PeachStateBasketball.com Tournaments attended
Tip-Off Classic (TN)
Elite 32 Summer Jam
End of the Road Championships (GA)
Larryn Brooks – Indiana Sophomore
Makayla Epps – Kentucky Sophomore
Sara Hammond – Louisville Senior
Sydney Moss – Thomas More College Sophomore
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers – Kentucky Freshman
Erin Boley – 2016 (Notre Dame commit)
Alexis Brewer – 2015
Anna Hammaker – 2015 (Kansas State commit)
Cheyenne Hooper – 2015 (Kansas State commit)
Nora Kiesler – 2015 (Purdue commit)
Krystalline McCune – 2016
Morgan Rich – 2015 (Kentucky commit)
Alexis Robinson – 2015 (Colorado commit)
Sydney Shelton – 2016 (Kentucky commit)
Tapley put together an impressive group of players together in their inaugural years. Those players included Sara Hammond of Mt. Vernon, Ky., who would become the state of Kentucky’s first McDonald’s All American. Now a senior at the University of Louisville, she will be a centerpiece for coach Jeff Walz and the Cardinals. Other players off of the original Premier teams included class of 2012 Sydney Moss of Union, Ky., who was the daughter of former NFL All-Pro, Randy Moss. She went on to sign with Florida out of high school and registered one of the most prolific freshman seasons in school history. Also within that group of players included Makayla Epps of Lebanon, Ky., who was ranked No. 36 in the class of 2013. She now enters her sophomore season at the University of Kentucky. She will be joined this season by class of 2014 Premier alumnus Kyvin Goodin-Rogers also from Lebanon, Ky., for coach Matthew Mitchell in Lexington. Look for Goodin-Rogers to make an immediate impact this season as a true freshman.
Program Notes from David Tapley
Although the program had notable names play in its early years, coach Tapley says that the program is stronger now more than ever. He says, “We graduate good players and somehow we find ways to bring in better players the next year.”
Coach Tapley goes on to speak about this season’s success. “We had a really good year. Both our older and younger teams qualified for Nike Nationals. Our kids are getting exposure and being recruited by schools that our players would want to attend.”
One of the biggest reasons why Tapley believes his teams succeed is because of the skill work of coach Jarrad Parmley and Trent Milby do with the players. He says, “Those guys do a tremendous job at teaching these kids. The players take it very seriously and most importantly they take the lessons home and work on it on their own. It is a true testament to the work that those two guys do.”
This year’s group of seniors certainly make up the most concentrated amount of talent that Kentucky Premier has boasted of in the four years of existence. The class of 2015 is headlined by Maci Morris of Pineville, Ky., the No. 32 player in the country. Morris will join Epps and Goodin-Rogers at the University of Kentucky next season.
Another talented guard that may have gone under the radar this year because of injury is Morgan Rich of Scottsville, Ky. The 5-foot-11 guard is ranked No. 119 in the class and has also committed to stay in state and play for the Wildcats at Kentucky. Coach Tapley says, “Many people may have forgotten about this kid, but she is a real talent. She will bring a big contribution to Kentucky next season.”
Two of Premier’s players decided to leave the Southeast and play together for coach Jeff Mittie at Kansas State next season. Anna Hammaker, a 5-9 guard, and Cheyenne Hooper, a 6-5 post of Knoxville, Tenn., joined the program this year and gave an inside-out presence all summer long. The high school teammates are bound to bring the same combination of production to Manhattan next year.
The story of success continues with 6-5 post Nora Kiesler of Floyds Knob, Ind., who committed to Purdue this fall. Ranked No. 108 nationally, she will bring a combination of size and skill to coach Sharon Versyp in West Lafayette, Ind. Kiesler was complemented by point guard Alexis Robinson, Catlesttsburg, Ky., along the travel circuit. Robinson gave her commitment to coach Linda Lappe and the Buffaloes of Colorado this past spring.
One of the top uncommitted players in the class of 2015 is Alexis Brewer of Buffalo, Ky., who played for coach Tapley’s team for the past few years. The 5-9 combo guard has garnered interest and offers from schools across the region. Coach Tapley adds, “Alexis is a player with skill and athleticism who helped us in big spots this year. She is still weighing her options and will sign in the late period.”
Kentucky Premier has even helped underclassmen get on the map. A prime example of this fact is Erin Boley of Hogensville, Ky., who is currently ranked No. 17 nationally in the class of 2016. The 6-2 forward gave her verbal commitment to Notre Dame and coach Muffet McGraw earlier this fall. Boley has positioned herself as the top player in the state of Kentucky going into her junior year of high school.
Another player who could make a case for being a top of the conversation in the class of 2016 in the state is Krystalline McCune of Louisville, Ky., who is currently ranked No. 36 nationally. The 6-4 post player is an athletic presence in the lane, but consistently adds skill to her game. Tapley adds, “Krystalline has her choice of schools to choose from. She is an outstanding talent for this organization.”
Another player that contributed to the Premier’s success this season was 5-6 guard Sydney Shelton of Greenfield, Ill., who is committed to play at the University of Kentucky. The class of 2016 sharp shooter was a great complement to the talent that Premier put on the floor.
Although this season has produced a number of success stories, coach Tapley seems even more excited about the future. He says, “We have gotten better even since August. We have added some very talented younger players. We got a great look at the future when we brought our teams to the PSB End of the Road Championships in September.”
Premier boasts of a very solid class of 2017, which features skilled wings in Addison Byrd of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and Lyndsey Duvall of Mt. Washington, Ky. A name that Tapley believes will become more noticeable to college coaches next year is Elizabeth Anderson of Louisville, Ky. He says, “Anderson plays harder than any kid I have ever seen. That is a big statement, but it is 100% true. She never gives up.”
Tapley gets really excited when he talks about his class of 2018. He says, “I don’t know much about rankings, but I have to believe we have five kids that are potential top 100 players. These kids are already proving themselves.”
That list starts with 6’ wing forward Blair Green of Middlesboro, Ky., who entered the courts of high school basketball as an eighth grader last year and averaged over 20 points a game for her school. Joining Green is Alexis Robinson’s sister Mykasa of Catlettsburg, Ky., who is another talented point guard. A talented wing in this class is Seygan Robins of Harrodsburg, Ky., who has already gained the attention of several coaches in the region.
Two more class of 2018 prospects to watch are point guard Grace Berger of Louisville, Ky., and Ally Niece of Independence, Ky. Tapley adds, “These two kids are very talented and I am already talking to coaches about them. They are a big reason why I believe our program will progress from where it is right now.”
Be on the lookout for class of 2019 wing Raquel Reese of Louisville, Ky., who Tapley classifies as a special talent. He says, “We played Reese up with our older kids at the End of the Road Championships and she not only held her own, but even made plays versus the older players.”
This success started four years ago with the simple mission of bringing the best players from Kentucky together to gain exposure. Now Kentucky Premier is firmly entrenched as one of the nation’s top travel programs. Fans and college coaches will be able to track many of the players from the Premier organization as they compete at PeachStateBasketball.com events during the calendar year of 2015.
Watch Kentucky Premier on The SUV TV from the End of the Road Championships
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. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB