Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fierce Competition- Part 2- Update from Nike Girls Skill Academy!

Here is another entry from Mrs. Simmons at the Nike Girls Skills Academy:

"Yesterday afternoon the girls began their second workout of the day with with the Jackie Ansley. What can I say about this women. Fit!! She has been the instructor for their warm ups. Making sure that she gives pertinent information to the success of these girls and less injury. Warming up puts it mildly. Taking her time she shows the exercise with much ease, but the expression on her face shows how involved she really is.

Now to the competition. No need to size anybody up,or make comparisons. Each girl here can play. From as far as California to New York, these young ladies love to BATTLE. And that is an understatement. Is there room for improvement, yes there always is. Five minutes of nonstop movement. These young ladies are showcasing their gifts to the next level. From Ogwumikes' 'get-that-out-here' blocks, to fast pace up and down the floor pushing of the ball, (every body is hustling) each girl takes advantage of the opportunity and puts on a show that exhibits why they were chosen to be here. Its INTENSE! No I have not seen this kind of ball play in long time. The class of 2010 is representing well. But as they say, there is a generation to follow, the class of 2011 is here in the house. There are four of the 20 girls here, and at this point and skill level, these four are running with the big dogs. I believe they will be representing USA 16U in Mexico. That will be a game to see.

Stefanie Dolson (2010) the tallest one here (6'5), a UCONN signee, is full of size and can be very dominant in the post. You better have real moves when driving in on that! She is BIG. No offense, just stating a fact. But with that, these guards have no fear. Relentless in the drive and unintimidated, even when their shot gets blocked. They battle right back in for the rebounds, and floor scrambling. I once heard a college coach say, "You don't take donkeys to a horse race', well this race surely has no donkeys. From the side, the expressions of the the evaluators is almost unnoticeable. Smiles is all you see, to cover up the real look of amazement. I wonder what they are thinking.

In closing for the day, Gannon Baker, begins his count down as the last buzzer goes off. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, he shouts, looking for HUSTLING players to come to his call. He means just that, HUSTLE!! Clapping intensely he evaluates the time and tells them this; "Ladies you cannot afford to be cripple in this game, you must have a solution, Don't just do the drills, work the skill!
Nancy Lieberman, WNBA commentator gives last minute notes as well. She states to the guards, "you can do nothing standing still, get open, move, make the game happen." Words that sound oh too familiar.

Will get back at you soon,

Mrs. Simmons