Apache Paschall started the Exodus program in 1997 as a backyard program. The son of a pastor, Apache, named the program after the Biblical story of freeing people from bondage. Much like Moses led the enslaved Jewish people out of Eygpt, Apache hoped to use basketball as a vehicle to save young ladies from the poverty of the inner city. Sadly Apache passed away nearly four years ago, but the vision of the program lives on with the players within the program and director Thomas Davis.
New York, NY
PeachStateBasketball.com Tournaments Attended:
#PSBElite32 Session I & II
Notable Alumnae (*all 11 listed were McDonald’s All-Americans)
Anjale Barrett (2007) – Maryland
Brianna Butler (2012) – Syracuse
Bianca Cuevas (2014) – South Carolina
Bria Hartley (2010) – UConn
Marina Mabrey (2015) – Notre Dame
Erica Morrow (2007) – Syracuse
Jenn O’Neal (2010) – Kentucky
Samantha Paralis (2008) – Ohio State
Epiphanny Prince (2006) – Rutgers
Shenneika Smith (2009) – St. John’s
Kia Vaughn (2006) – Rutgers
Returning for her red-shirt senior season at the University of Kentucky, Jenn O’Neal earned her second consecutive Sixth Woman of the Year honor. She averaged 14.4 points per game on the season, which ranked her second on the team and seventh in the SEC. Although undrafted in the WNBA draft, she did earn a tryout with the Minnesota Lynx and earned a roster spot with the World Champions during last year’s run.
Brianna Butler finished her junior year for Syracuse where she averaged 13.3 points per game. She made 91 3-pointers which ranked second in program history for most long range jumpers made in a season. Bianca Cuevas also played an integral role for South Carolina’s run to the Final Four. The freshman point guard played in all 37 games last season.
Committed 2016 Players
Notable Uncommitted 2016 Players
Program Vision from Thomas Davis:
Director Thomas Davis remembers vividly how the Exodus program began. He says, “Apache took the girls that didn’t have money, the ones the other travel programs didn’t
want and he turned around beat those teams. It was literally a backyard team that turned into one of the best programs in the nation.”
Now an EYBL team, things have changed but Davis remains committed to the original vision from Apache. He says, “He used to have girls selling candy bars to get enough money to rent a van and feed them in July. We have some constrictions on what we can do today with us being a part of the EYBL circuit. However, we still hold to the script of helping as many girls as possible in the city.”
Although Exodus is a program with much tradition and history behind it, every year is a new challenge for the players that suit up. Coach Davis talks about how well Exodus competed at the #PSBSummerInvite. He says, “Two out of three of our teams won championships at the Summer Invitational. That is saying something, because that tournament was loaded. The match-ups were great and we were pushed to compete each game.”
Davis also mentioned how the college coaches followed their teams during the month of July. He says, “I remember going to the high school gym to watch our 14U team at the Summer Invitational. I figured there would not be any college coaches there, but then I look up and there are 40 coaches sitting on our youngest team. That is terrific exposure for our girls.”
The national breakout performer in the month of July was class of 2016 Arella Guirantes. The 6-foot wing only played the last seven days in the evaluation period. After re-classifying from 2015, she had to wait for clearance before competing. After showing out at the Summer Invitational, coach Davis said, “It seemed like a coach from every Power Conference school was calling me about her.”
Davis talked further about the No. 44 ranked player in the ProspectsNation.com Elite 150, “She put up 42 points in a semi-final game. She has that, kind-of, playground game. She will post you up, jab and pull-up with a hand in her face or hit a three in transition.”
Expect Guirantes to wait until the late signing period before choosing a school. However, she was not the only standout performer for Exodus this year. Virgina Commonwealth commit Niya Johnson of Brooklyn, N.Y., earned a No. 114 ranking with her consistent play both as a point or shooting guard. Also Albany commit Kaela Hilaire of Floral Park, N.Y., earned a 4-star rating and landed at No. 143 in the Elite 150. Post player Jayla Jones-Pack of Amityville, N.Y., gave her verbal commitment to coach Joi Williams at the University of Central Florida.
The future of the Exodus program seems to paved with even more talent. It starts in the class of 2017 with No. 49 Millicia Reid of Bronx, N.Y. The point guard played up on this year’s 16U team and proved to be one of the best facilitators in her class. Add in size with 6-2 Aislinn Flynn of Point Lookout, N.Y., and 6-5 Apiln Bonny of New York, N.Y., and Exodus already has a nice inside-outside combo of talent.
The class of 2018 began to make noise in the rankings and recruiting circles after a big July. Five foot eleven power guard Donnetta Johnson of Far Rockaway, N.Y., busted into the ProspectsNation.com rankings at No. 15 in the Elite 60. Her performance at the Elite 32 solidified her reputation as one of the best play-makers in her class.
Alongside of Johnson is guard Dara Mabrey of Belmar, N.Y., who is already building her resume’ as one of the best shooters nationally. Throw in guards Grace Stone of Glen Cove, N.Y., and Jenna Annecchianco of Baldwin, N.Y., who competed on the 15U team last year and Exodus has talent and experience ready to go next season.
When asked about the class of 2019, Davis voice lit up. He says, “Our 2019 class is dangerous. People are going to have trouble with them.”
Davis mentions Faith Masonius of Spring Lake, N.J., Lauren Hansen of Setauket, N.Y., and Daja Wentz of Bronx, N.Y., as kids who will be the talk of college coaches in years to come.
ProspectsNationTV presented by the SUVtv: Exodus EYBL vs. Cy-Fair Premier Blue from #PSBSummerInvite
Jonathan Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com International Scouting Report, is on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and owns CoachHemi.com, the go-to source for coaches for X’s and O’s. He is the floor director of #TeamEBA camps, a site director for #TeamPSB tournaments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.