Friday, October 29, 2010

She's Like Mike!

Micheal Jordan runs amateur female basketball. At least that is the way it appears when viewing the Top 10 players of the ESPN HoopGurlz rankings. Nike, the house that Jordan built, is THE brand when comes to the Top players in the 2011 class. The common maxim in girls basketball is "You are either with Nike or trying to get with Nike". Here are the Top 10 players according to HoopGurlz and their club team shoe affiliation.

1)Kaleena Mosqesda-Lewis- West Coast Premier (Nike)

2)Elizabeth Williams- Boo Williams Elite (Nike)

3)Cierra Burdick- Boo Williams Elite ( Nike)

4)Ariel Massengale- Tennessee Flight ( Nike)

5)Kyrstal Forthan-TeamXpess (Blue Star/Nike Affiliated)

6)Brionna Canty- NYC Gauchos (Nike)

7)Justine Hartmine- Cal Storm (Nike)

8)Bria Smith-Philadelphia Belles (Nike)

9)Morgan Jones- DEBO-

10)Samantha Logic- Midwest Elite

Nike is rumored to be cutting down from the current 23 teams to 16(some say 12). What this will mean to the travel ball scene is still to be determined. What can not be denied is that Nike has a major presence among the top players in the nation. With 80% of the current Top 10 playing for Nike teams(Forthan's TeamXpress team is not a Nike team but is affiliated through Blue Star), they have successfully branded the next generation of female basketball superstars.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rating/Rankings Comparisons!!

With three of the rankings services releasing its Top 100 selections for 2010, I have decided to put the choices side by side. Also included the well respected Dan Olsen Report. The Olsen Report is highlighted in red. The Olsen Report ranks up to 300 players so his report includes more San Antonio area players. Included in these comparisons are past SA college players so you can decide how you feel about the rankings.

Player-Year /ESPN/ Olsen /ASGR/ BS

Arielle Roberson’11/ NA /#162-20 /NR /#78

Erica Donovan ‘11/ NR-90 /#125-20 /NR/ #95

Alexis Govan ‘11/ NA /#300-20- /NR /NR

Sune Agbuke’11 /NR-90/ #61-21- /#97 /#83

CeCe Harper ’10 /NR-90 /#305-20-/ NR /NR

Len’Nique Brown ’10/ NR-86 /#238-20-/ NR/ NR

Lyndsey Cloman’09/ ?/ #127-20+/ NR /NR

Meighan Simmons ‘10 /#24-95 /#8-25 /#14 /#11

Monica Engleman ‘09 /? /#245-20- /NR/ NR

Danielle Blagg ‘11/ NR-90/ NR-19 /NR /NR

Ebony Watkins '11 /NR-90 /NR-19 /NR/ NR

Asha Hampton-Finch /NR-85 /?/ NR/NR

Reports- ESPN, Olsen(Dan Olsen), ASGR(All-Star Girls Report), BS(Blue Star)
*NR- Not Ranked
*N/A- Not Listed(No Profile)

The Olsen Report ranks players and assigns them a number. For Example, Meighan Simmons was ranked #8 and received a rating of 25. Here are some observations of local players in the Dan Olsen Report:

-Alexis Govan(20-) is rated as high as CeCe Harper(Kansas) and Len'Nique Brown(USC). Arielle Roberson(20) and Erica Donovan(20) are rated higher than both Harper and Brown. Most SA basketball enthusiasts believe that the 2011 class is thinner than the 2010 in terms of overall talent. Dan Olsen obviously disagrees.

- Sune Agbuke is rated(21) and ranked higher(#61) than any other player in recent San Antonio history except Meighan Simmons.

- Compared to the ShesBallin Rankings, the Olsen Report is in agreement in regards to the Top 3 players. ShesBallin has Sune #1(#61), Donovan #2(#125), and Arielle #3(#162). However, Olsen has Govan ahead of Blagg.

The Blue Star Report is ran by the very well respected Mike Flynn. Flynn is a BOSS in the girls game. Here are a couple of observations and interesting notes with his rankings:

- Mike Flynn has numerous teams under his Blue Star banner. One of them is TeamXpress. Flynn is a major player on the Nike Circuit. In fact, while NO team under his banner is an official Nike team except his Philly Belles Club, the clubs under his banner can claim Nike because of his important standing on the national scene. To see which 23 teams are officially Nike teams, view Blue Star's site.

- The Blue Star associated kids tend to be ranked higher in its rankings than others publications. For instance, Nneka Enemkpali(TeamXpress/Texas commit) is ranked #25 by Blue Star. ESPN has her ranked #32 and ASGR has her ranked #52.

-Arielle Roberson Blue Star ranking is almost 100 spots above her Olsen Ranking. Blue Star has her ranked # 78 while Olsen has her ranked #162. This highlights the disparity in the "experts" opinions.

ESPN Hoopgurlz has Ebony Watkins rated as a 90. They have Len'Nique Brown rated as 86. I am a huge fan of both of the Wagner guards however I find it hard to believe that Watkins is that much better than Brown. In fact, I would venture to say that very few people would say that Watkins is better than Brown, period. Hoopgurlz attempts to project effectiveness on the next level. They apparently feel that the bigger Watkins will have more of an impact at the D1 level than Brown. Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Local High School trainers share Muscle Recovery Advice!

I recently sought the advice of a local high school trainer. The questions that I asked pertained to the proper nutritional way(s) to help facilitate muscle recovery in young female basketball players. To my delight, this trainer not only offered his assessment but included input from his peers throughout his district. My initial email is in red and some of the advice follows in italics:

"Please give me your opinion on muscle recovery drinks....I have bought Myoplex and Muscle Milk.... While researching the topic, I came across articles detailing the benefits of organic chocolate milk."


"What is the best drink for a highly active girl? What drink (food) would you recommend for me to purchase that would allow her to recover rapidly without having negative side effects...Also, what are your thoughts on anti-inflammatory supplements".

"From a female prospective my personal Doctor is a fan of Soy Milk for women. I have never been a fan of any magic supplement of any type. As long she eats a healthy well-balanced diet and drinks water and limits sugar drinks in moderation including gatorade and has a normal regular menstrual cycles she should not have to supplement. But of course I am old school." Female Trainer from local High School

"The chocolate milk is just as effective as the muscle milk or myoplex, and is probably more beneficial to a 14 year old girl anyway. I would stick to low fat or 2% chocolate milk." Male Trainer for local High School

"If the student/parent wants an "advantage" in recovery, then the most natural route is the "best" for muscle recovery.
As far as the anti-inflammatory supplements, if the student is not complaining of or being treated for "soreness" I do not believe there is an advantage to treatment of a condition that does not "show" itself."
Male Trainer for local High School

"My reply might state that any food or drink with protein, carbs, and, yes, a little fat will be sufficient for recovery." Male Trainer for local High School

"Normal chocolate milk I have heard is the best for a growing teenager. The myoplex is not bad but it is more filling than anything else and cost a ton. Muscle milk is a meal replacement and it muscle recovery items are horrible tasting, expensive, and high in fat. Honestly just stick to simple things for a high school kid that other stuff is super expensive and has been linked to digestive track issues later in life due to additives." Male Trainer for local High School

Blue Star Rankings!

Blue Star released its Top 100 rankings today and a few local players made the cut.

Arielle Roberson is the highest ranked local kid at #78. The senior for Wagner plays summer ball for TeamXpress. She is highest ranked kid in the city still yet to commit to a Division 1 University. She reportedly has numerous offers but is still considering her choices.

Sune Agbuke is ranked #83 by Blue Star. Sune is also ranked in the Top 100 by All-Star Girls Report. The Baylor commit is a senior at Cornerstone and plays summer ball with Lady Rohawks.

Erica Donovan is ranked #95. The senior forward for John Jay recently committed to NC State. Donovan plays her summer ball for TeamXpress.

Monday, October 25, 2010

All-Star Girls Report!

All-Star Girls report released its Top 100 rankings today. Featured at #97 on the list is San Antonio's Sune Agbuke. The Baylor bound big plays for is ready for a huge season at Cornerstone. Agbuke plays summer ball with the SA Lady Rohawks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Commitment!

Ashely Salazar of Knippa High School has committed to McNeese State University. According to Sophia Young Elite founder and coach, Mike Ekanem, "Salazar helped start" the travel club. Salazar averaged 29 points per game last year as a junior.

According to Ekanem, Ashely chose McNeese over Nichols State, UT Arlington, and West Texas A&M.

Congrats Ashely!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ebony Decides!

Wagner High School guard, Ebony Watkins has reportedly committed to the University of Texas Arlington. Watkins had a breakout summer with her SA Lady Rohawk club and garnered offers from half a dozen schools.

Her stock really skyrocketed after a stellar performance in the well respected Basketball on the Bayou. Watkins led her team to the finals of the Bourbon Division.

Watkins will join her former high school teammate, Michelle Rodriguez at UTA.

Congrats to Ebony!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

ACC Bound!!

John Jay star, Erica Donovan has reportedly decided to attend North Carolina State University. The TeamXpress wing will get to see her future team play her former club teammate, LenNique Brown on December 5th when the USC Trojans visits Raleigh.

With her college future apparently decided, Donovan can concentrate on leading her Lady Mustangs back to Austin.

Congrats Erica!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Donovan Decides?

John Jay star, Erica Donovan has reportedly narrowed her college choices down to North Carolina State and Univeristy of Central Florida.

UCF is due in town over the next couple of days to make its final pitch.

Word is that Donovan has already decided.

And the winner is.......

Taylor Calvert Decides!

Steele High School star, Taylor Calvert has committed to Winthrop University. The Eagles are a part of the Big South Conference and are located in Rockhill, South Carolina.

Calvert reportedly gained the attention of the Wintrop staff during the Boo Williams exposure event last April while playing for DFW-Washington.

Calvert's travel ball career started with her parents team, Schertz Jaguars.

Congrats to Taylor!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tulane it is!

Danielle Blagg has decided to attend Tulane University according to her South Texas Hoyas club coach, Theresa Nunn. The Smithson Valley star chose the Green Waves over Wichita State and SMU.

Tulane is ranked in the Top 50 for universities according to

Congrats to Danielle!