BUFORD, Ga. – A year ago Taya Reimer of Fishers, Ind., sat on the sidelines of the Bogan Park gym, nursing an ankle injury she suffered playing for USA Basketball in the FIBA U18 3-on-3 World Championships. Fast forward to today and the No. 4 prospect in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100 is healthy, dominant and making a statement at the third annual Elite Basketball Academy’s All-American Camp.
Despite a wealth of perimeter scoring talent that always is around in events of this caliber, it was 2012 standout Bashaara Graves (Tennessee) who made a statement with her play at EBA Camp a year ago. After the first day of camp, it appears Reimer is more than capable of filling that role this year.
Embracing inside play hasn’t always been a strength of the 6-foot-3 lefty and Notre Dame commit. Even with top five billing for several years, scouts, including myself, have been critical of her tendency to settle for jumpers and perimeter action, but after two years of international competition with USA Basketball, things are different now.
“I always used to want to play guard,” Reimer said, “and I thought that if I was a post and embracing the contact that it would take me away from that but now I’m just at the point where you have to score however you can score and just dominate however you can dominate.”
Reimer was a workhorse and a dominating force from the start of EBA All-American camp’s drill work and into game play where she scored 15 points in the morning game and 27 in the evening game. The smooth athleticism and composure while playing a physical style in the paint is now the basis of her game. It allows her to demand a post defender and from there, she can catch the ball anywhere and have ample way to score the ball.
“I always wanted to be able to show that I could dribble and I had guard skills,” Reimer added, “so that’s kind of why I always stayed away from it.”
Reimer’s improvement isn’t solely in the results or style of play category, she has evolved as a leader as well. In a class with multiple players that could make a valid argument to be tops in the nation, Reimer made her case loud and clear today.
A pair of 2014 perimeter players led Team Three to a 2-0 start at camp. Kelli Kingma of Mill Creek, Wash., a 5-8 sharpshooting combo guard, and Mikayla Reese of Colorado Springs, Colo., a 5-7 guard, each scored 15 points to overcome the strong inside play of Reimer in their opening salvo. Both are returning EBA campers and the growth in their strength and confidence has brought major results on the court. Kingma has verbally committed to Washington while Reese has committed to Oklahoma State.
Another youngster making noise on day one was Caliya Robinson of Marietta, Ga. The 6-3 forward scored a dozen in her team’s morning game but was more impressive with her ability to rebound the basketball and impact the game without designed touches.
Chris Hansen is the managing editor for Peach State Media. In addition to serving as a contributor to the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report, Hansen also covered girls’ basketball and women’s college basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women’s basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald’s All-American team selection committee.