Monday, October 24, 2011

Immacculate(a) Night!

Paying homage to the rich history of the game, local stars had a movie night out to see The Mighty Macs. Over 35 players with San Antonio Finest Basketball skipped skill sessions to view the inspirational tale of Immaculata University. Above from left to right, Amber Ramirez(2016 Heritage MS), Shameka Brown(2014 Judson HS), Kayla White(2013 East Central) and LB Brown(2013 Judson) get dolled up to see the movie.

Amber Ramirez is a certified Division 1 player before playing her 8th grade season. She catapulted on the college landscape this summer with a bang. A couple of 30 point performances against 2012 players that have already pledged commitments to BCS programs marked Ramirez as one of the best young 2016 prospects in the nation. One report, the west coast based Next Level Sport Service has her in their Top 10 nationally.

Shameka Brown is one of the best kept secrets in the city. The sophomore guard scored in droves while playing on JV last season. Shameka had a great summer that put her on the minds on numerous Division 1 universities such as the University of North Texas and University of Texas Arlington.

Kayla White is primed for a breakout year for East Central. The uber athletic guard is ready to take off. Playing on varsity as a frosh and soph, it is know her time to provide the veteran leadership for the Hornets. White has a 30 inch plus vertical leap and is track star fast. She had the kind of summer that made schools such as UMKC, Rice and Prairie View A&M all keep close tabs on her progress.

LB Brown is not only the older sister of Shameka Brown but a two year starter for Judson. The former District New Comer of the Year is another very athletic kid with top speed in the open court. LB has tightened up her handle and 17 foot jumper. She will prove to be a nightmare to defend at the 3-4 spot this season. She is another kid who helped her standing with colleges this summer with Wichita St, , UTEP, and multiple Ivy league schools reaching out to her.

The story of the Mighty Macs is a must see for young aspiring female basketball players. The movie is a good one, but should serve as an introduction to further research for basketball lovers. The Immaculata team was lead by Hall of Famer, Cathy Rush. The success of Rush is remarkable in and of itself, but her contribution to women's college basketball is astounding. Her coaching tree has roots that are as deep as it gets.

Theresa Shank Grentz played for Immaculata and went on to win over 670 games at schools such as Rutgers, Illinois and St Josephs. She led the USA to a bronze medal in 1992.

Marianne Crawford Stanley too played for Coach Rush at Immaculata and has won over 400 games at the college level. She has coach as USC, Cal, and Penn. She won an NCAA title while at Old Dominion in 1985. She has coached WNBA franchises Los Angeles Sparks and Washington Mystics.

Rene Portland has won more than 600 games while coaching at Colorado and Penn State University. She led the Nittany Lions to a Final Four appearance and over 20 post season trips.

Through the contributes of the Grentz, Stanley and Portland, Coach Rush has indirectly been responsible for more than 1600 victories at the Division 1 level!

(Side note: UTSA assistant coach Lubomyr "Luby" Lichonczak is a close associate of Marianne Crawford Stanley and coached along with her for the Washington Mystics. Speaking of history, Coach Luby is an encyclopedia on the women's game.)