Many New Faces Show Their Worth............

March 26, 2017

The Annual Gems In The Gym Spring Showcase is getting bigger and bigger. This years event saw 118 players from four different states, primarily from the 2017 thru 2022 (a few exceptions) classes  that showed up and showed out in California's State Capitol. With California's High School State championships the previous two days, additional tournaments and showcases all in Sacramento over the weekend, Northern California was definitely the place to be.

With this being a non-live period, Division 1 college coaches couldn't attend. However, all other levels could. 11 colleges attended and National Evaluator Prentice Beverly was also in attendance to get a close up look at the talent.

The event focused on concepts, skills, drills, situations, some 1 on 1 play, 3 on 3 play, defensive principles, a ball screen series from both offensive & defensive perspectives, feeding the post, early offense, post players transition workout, and of course a little 5 on 5 play. Definitely alot for the players to digest in a 6 hour period, but the energy & effort was definitely there as the day went on.

Super trainer Britnea Moore of Access Your Game led the drills. Her knowledge, intensity and passionate style is infectious and well received by the players.

Many players performed well, here are a few Gems:

2024 - 4'2" Allexus Avent (Sacramento,Ca) is fearless. She embraced competing against the older girls. She is lighting quick, has slick handles, can shoot the rock, and defends with passion. It will be nice to follow her journey.

2018 - 5'5" Monet Brown (Elk Grove, Ca) is explosive! She really has a knack for finding a crease in the defense, then attacking with her tremendously quick lead step to get by defenders, then finishes over defenders with her nice athletism. Definitely one to watch.

2018 - 5'7" Sydney Buckley (Stockton, Ca) plays with alot of flare, confidence and pace. She demonstrated a nice perimeter game. She shot the ball well from deep and was solid overall.

2021 - 5'3" Heaven Samayoa-Mathis (Sacramento, Ca) has it all. She is tough and skilled! Shoots off the catch & off the dribble. She has a maturity that is beyond her years. A highly skilled, tremendously fundamental player with blazing speed, good leaping ability and a high IQ. Kid has a chance to be special.

2019 - 5'10" Andriana Avent (Sacramento, Ca) has the size, skill, athleticism and strength to dominate. Tends to pick and choose when she wants to dominate, but when she does its off the charts good. She showed a myriad of finishing moves: we saw her step back from distance, the floater, she finished through contact, and put defenders on skates with her quality combo dribble moves! Theres really not anything from a physical stand point that she can't do. Her ceiling is unbelievable, its just a question of how high is she committed to go.

2020 - 5'8" Anya Choice (Santa Rosa, Ca) was simply amazing. She can defend at a high level! She frustrated guards consistently with her ballhawking style! Offensively her ball skills are outstanding. Her handle is low and compact, has a change of direction & hesitation that is nice, shot the ball consistently well, and finished her drives with numerous acrobatic finishes. One of the best in her class in Northern California.

2022 - 5'8" Jade Dickson (Fairfield, Ca) is a player with good length and phenomenal athleticism. Her overall offensive skill set is still developing, but she is able to compete right now off her motor, length and quick leaping ability. Keep a eye on this kid. If her perimeter game catches up to her motor and athleticism, then she will be in demand in the future.

2021 - 5'11" Alayah Flucus (Bay Point, Ca) is a high level player. She is quick, bouncy, has a long wing span and attacks the ball relentlessly. She is active on both ends, really competes, extremely coachable, and very productive. I totally enjoyed her game!

2021 - 5'7" Julianna Walker (Tacoma, Wa) made her presence known. She really knows how to play. She reads the defense so well. She looked like a maestro in the half court. You go under a screen she buries the trey. You go over the top of the screen, she burst around the screen and causes havoc in the paint. Skilled to score over taller defenders, and has the vision to drop dimes. A throwback point guard with high level overall skills.

2020 - 5'11" Brianna Hale (Antelope, Ca) was a pleasant surprise. A high IQ sweet shooting lefty with nice size. A very patient player who uses her body well to score inside, but steps outside to knock it down with regularity as well. A true diamond in the rough no longer. The secret is out. #stockriser

2019 - 5'10" Leilani Otuafi (Fallon, NV) simply dominated. Her motor, toughness, and consistency is undeniable. Shoots it from distance off the catch well, and demonstrated the ability to get by anyone from the wing. She is very powerful, isn't afraid of contact, scored from all levels, and rebounded in and out of her area! We have followed her progress for close to 3 years and she continuously improves. You can tell she makes getting better a priority. She is a flat out do-it-all baller!

2021 - 5'10" Lovely Sonnier (San Francisco, Ca) - her motor was inconsistent, but her overall game is outstanding! She has size, athleticism and has that ball on a string. She has a feathery sweet left hand jumper which she gets tremendous elevation on. Her length and handles allows her to create space to get by defenders to score or to just shoot over defenders. Ironically for someone with a inconsistent motor, she has something within her where she refuses to be scored upon. She had numerous steals and highlight reel blocks. She has alot of potential. The consistency of her motor will determine if she reaches her potential.

2018 - 5'7" Celeste Almendarez (Stockton, Ca) - Arguably the most impressive guard of the day from start to finish. She demonstrated a complete game. She was persistent without being selfish with the ball. Her decision making were on point, she shot the ball extremely well from all areas, and played from a much more physical and strong standpoint than I remember her playing previously. Her off-ball movement was very good, then upon the catch she attacked defenders decisively to rpeatedly cause havoc. Definitely one of the most dominant All-Around performances of the day. I believe she is poised for a breakout Spring and & Summer.

2021 - 6'0" Olivia Williams (San Francisco, Ca) - This kid plays a pseudo Eurpean-style. Very cerebral, patient, extremely skilled, solid on both sides of the ball, seems to always be in the right spot at the right time, and making the right play when she is there, whether its a pass, a score, or coming up with a key steal or stop from the defensive side of the ball.  With her size,strength, motor, she has some serious potential! If she starts to consistently knock down the outside shot, then watch out, it will be Lights, Camera, Action!

2022 - 5'5" Zoe Tillery (Sacramento, Ca) - My PG! Zoe is never in a hurry. She plays at whatever controlled pace which is required to be successful. It is not often a young player  can take command at this type of event, but Zoe has such a confident aura about her game. Her handle is ridiculously nice. She really competed  and excelled in our "Handles Cypher". She is a really quick learner. Her floater is nice, her midrange pull-up is consistent as well. She ill need to get stronger as she progresses and quicken the release on her outside shot in the future. She is a very promising

2022 - 6'2" A'ja Muhammad (Fresno, Ca) -This is a new face just getting her feet wet. Kid is has length, really transitions up and down the court well, and seemed eager to learn. Her performance was solid. Her size and length combo makes her a intriguing prospect to follow in the future.

2022 - 5'5" Michaela Young (Hanford, Ca) - One of the kids I enjoy a lot! She competes at such a high level. She is a instant fast break with her blazing speed. It's very tough to stay in front of her. She's equally menacing defensively. She routinely pressured the ball. She's one of those players who changes the tempo and complexity of the game on both ends anytime she is on the court. Don't sleep on her! 

2021 - 5'10" Macie James (Fresno, Ca) - even though she's still in middle school, Macie isn't knew to folks recognizing her game. She already has a college level frame and athleticism. She reminds my of Former NAU/NCCU guard Khyra Conerly. Her speed, toughness, power and ability to relentless attack and finish through contact is amazing. What excited me most was she was knocking down the outside shot consistently. If she masters that, then it's really a wrap!

2019 - 6'0" Anna Blount (Sacramento, Ca) - Anna plays a lot with her back to the basket normally. However, she showed her face up game and handles today. Her face up game from the elbow and short corner has really opened up her game. She also displayed a above average handle. 

2021 - 6'0" Marley Langi (Redwood City, Ca) - Marley made a strong case to possibly be the best in her class here. Within the last 9 months she has transformed her body, and improved her game exponentially. She is getting by defenders with a much improved handle, knocking down the three ball, and has a assortment of moves when she gets down in the paint. She has the Dream Shake Show The Rock and Riverse Pivot down. She can play both the 3/4 effectively. This dual threat of inside and outside skill, plus her size, has really taken her game to another level.. 

2018 - 6'2" Ashlynn Lockhard (Tracy, Ca) - Ashlynn is no longer just a nice player with a deadly midrange shot. She is now attacking off the bounce and showing a willingness to dish otut and embrace physical play. She is a legitimate wing prospect who is hungry to show any and everyone her improve overall game. 

2018 - 5'11" Indya Williams (Hayward, Ca) - simply put, when Indya brings it she is a load to deal with. She was punishing defenders when she was in attack mode. Occassionally settles for the jumper, which she can knock down, but at this level her quickness, strength, body control and ability to play through contact  is tough to deal with On any day ending in the letter Y. Her stock is going up! 

2018 - 5'7" Kendall Weary (Stockton, Ca) - Kendall is  true sleeper. She had defenders off balance and retreating all day. She has a knack for creating off the dream, without doing to much with the ball. She is able to read defenders well, then has the IQ, skill and quickness to make a play. A playmaker with upside. 

2018 - 5'7" Lauren Toler (Sacramento, Ca) - Lauren is exciting! Super quick, extremely athletic, hee speed is off the charts, and definitely defended well. She has a few hard drives, and stop & pops that were impressive. She is overlooked playing behind some elite guards, but shouldn't be. The kid can play! Add her to your list, and watch her closely this Spring/Sunmer.

2019 - 5'7" Ryanne Walters (Sacramento, Ca) - this kid was the first to arrive at the gym.....a hour early! Always volunteered first for every drill, and is a true competitor! A high level guard who is widely known already! A playmaker with a slick handle, amazing body control, and vision out this world! She makes others better, but can score the ball herself as well. Kid can sit down and lock up other point guards with no problem! A high level prospect! 

BEST OF REST

2018 - 5'6" Myani Thornton (Lathrop, Ca)

2020 - 5'8" Sophia Chalmers (Eureka, Ca)

2017 - 6'0" LeilanI Moncrease (Oakland, Ca) 

2021 - 5'9" Kennedy Johnson (Hayward, Ca)

2017 - 5'10" Maya Lawrence (Sacramento, Ca)

2020 - 5'7" - Sophie Chalmers (Eureka, Ca)

So many talented players overall. We couldn't mention everyone. But trust me, there was a talent overload.