– Georgia Hoopstars Program Review – August 6, 2014

Tianna Swearinger fueled the Hoopstars attack all summer. They exceeded expectations and finished the summer as one of the stronger programs nationally.

Tianna Swearinger fueled the Hoopstars attack all summer. They exceeded expectations and finished the summer as one of the stronger programs nationally.

Coach JD Davis and the Georgia Hoopstars are a staple at events. Their ability to locate talent in the greater Atlanta area and help young ladies to the next level is well documented. This year is no exception as his Black team has prospects that have already gained interest and offers after a spring and summer full of exposure to college coaches.

By: @JLHemingwayPSB

Coach Davis is accustomed to coaching some of the best talent in the Southeast. His daughter, Sparkle Davis, played at both Auburn and West Virginia while in college. He also coached Kianna Holland of Seneca, S.C., who will suit up at Ohio State next year. He also helped develop Breanna Richardson of Conyers, Ga., who signed with Mississippi State and started 31 games last year as a freshman. And do not forget Kaliyah Mitchell of Stone Mountain, Ga., who played with the Hoopstars organization since she was in eighth grade. That experience helped earn her an ELITE 100 ranking and a scholarship to Penn State out of high school.

Program Director:

JD Davis

Program Headquarters:

Decatur, Ga. Tournaments Attended:

Spring Showdown
PreSeason Shootout
Tip-Off Classic
May Day Challenge
Summer Kickoff
Real Deal in the ‘Ville
Elite 32 Summer Jam Session I
Elite 32 Summer Jam Session II

Notable Players:

Kaitlyn Duncan – 2015
Alex Frazier – 2015
Makenna Pouengue – 2015
Allison Johnson – 2015
Tianna Swearinger – 2015

Program Notes from JD Davis:

Heading into this season, expectations might have been a bit lower than in past years. While the Hoopstars roster lacked an ELITE 100 player he also lacked depth at the post position. Also dealing with untimely injuries throughout the year could have set the Hoopstars back in their development. However, at the end of July coach Davis had this to say about the travel season, “It turned out better than we thought. In many ways we overachieved and surprised even ourselves with our accomplishments.”

Coach Davis attributed much of this success to team chemistry and the players giving of themselves to the team. He says, “Everyone bought into our system and we believed in ourselves. Although we may not have had the one major recruit like we have had in the past, we played hard and together.”

The Hoopstars benefitted from playing against some of the top teams from around the country in the showcase games. Davis goes on to say, “Those showcase games are what I like! They make us better. I much rather go 0-4 in showcase games than to skate through pool games 4-0. We got to measure ourselves against some of the best teams in the nation like All-Ohio, Boise Hoop Dreams and the West Virginia Thunder.”

July ended with the biggest highlight of summer according to coach Davis. “We knocked off Boise Hoop Dreams with Destiny Slocum on the last day of the year. That was a highlight to beat the team that had won the Battle of the ‘Boro gold division earlier that month. It showed our girls that if we play together and believed that we could beat anyone on any day.”

The Program:

The leadership of the team landed on the shoulders of the Hoopstars two play making guards of Alexandra Frazier of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Tianna Swearinger of Greenwood, S.C. Both of these guards made plays to create scoring opportunities for themselves and others all summer long. Both guards have offers on the table from Division-1 schools, although it does not appear that either is ready to commit at the moment. However, Texas Southern did follow Frazier and the Hoopstars all around the country during July.

The quiet leader of the team was Kaityln Duncan of Commerce, Ga. who gave her verbal commitment to Furman this spring. Coach Davis says, “KD never wanted to the limelight. She always wanted to help others on and off the court. She helped keep us all together.”

This group got a great bolster from a late addition to the team in Allison Johnson of Norcross, Ga. The high energy forward provided the hustle needed on the interior for the Hoopstars. Her exceptional play raised the eyebrows of a number of college programs in the Southeast. Appalachian State and Columbus State offered almost immediately after the travel season ended.

While the group as a whole exceeded expectations, there were also individuals who surprised coach Davis and the Hoopstars family. Makenna Pouengue of Lilburn, Ga., who is known for her outside shooting ability, came into her own as a defensive force this year. While Kelsee Arnold of Fayetteville, Ga., might  have earned the title Most Improved this year as she hit timely shots during July. Coach Davis also mentioned Uche Ibebunjo of Snellville, Ga., as a player who improved as the month went along.

Next year will bring another set of challenges as the Hoopstars graduate an entire roster of class of 2015 prospects from the Black team. Refilling that roster will be tough; however coach LaToya Brown prepared a number of younger prospects who could be ready to make the leap to the Black team. Her tireless work with ball players over the years has been integral in the Hoopstars success. She has developed 6-foot-1 post Khari Jernigan of Lilburn, Ga., as a player to build around. Also Kimora McClinic of Cartersville, Ga., and Kiersten Hunter of Snellville, Ga., are talented guards who should fill the shoes that Fraizer and Swearinger leave behind. Also be on the lookout for class of 2017 guard Jessica Belcher of Suwanee, Ga., who might make a push towards the top team as an underclassman.

ProspectsNationTV: Georgia Hoopstars versus Boise Hoop Dreams on July 29, 2014

Jonathan HemingwayJonathan Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the 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 [email protected] and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB