USA Basketball: "The Bar Is Lowered For No One"
We got a chance to get 2022 Mila Reynolds thoughts on her recent attendance at the USA Basketball u17 Trials.
Mila attended with a desired to play against top level competition.
Mila reminded us that "basketball is the same everywhere you go. You must be in shape, focused, and skilled to compete at the highest level. The bar is lowered for no one."
This is definitely true at USA Basketball Trials where everyone can ball at a solid level. Any chink in the armor is normally exploited. If she is able to attend in the future, one of the changes that she would make is her mindset. In her own words she said "it wasn't a business trip for us, and I saw the difference between those like me, who came for the experience, and those who were about that business like Haley Jones, Rickea Jackson & Camille Jackson. I won't be making that mistake again!"
In addition to the players listed above, there were several players who impressed Mila, namely "Azzi Fdd, Van With, Bueckers, and Angel Reese."
To compete on this level I'll be working on my "body, strength, and conditioning"
Mila is versatile & skilled. The USA Experience just added another level of motivation to her. We will see the results of that motivation in the future.
Club Team: Michigan Crossover
Home: South Bend, IN
We have watched 6'3" Aaliyah Moore for a couple of years now. Her game has exploded. She is long, athletic and makes a impact with or without scoring.
Aaliyah participated previously in the USA 3x3 just a couple months prior to attending the USA Basketball u17 Trials. Very eager for the opportunity to wear USA across her chest and represent her country.
The adjustment to the altitude is something she made notes of. Additionally making sure to "drink tons of water."
She was impressed by the overall games of "Haley Jones and Rickea Jackson."
Going forward she knows she'll be "playing the 3, so everything on the perimeter will be tightened up even more so."
Club Team: Cy Fair EYBL
Home: Moore, OK
Coming Out Of The Comfort Zone...
Liliana 'Cookie' Marques was encouraged to attend the USA U-17 Trials. She embraced the suggestion and applied, as she was eager to measure herself against the best in the country.
Liliana came away "amazed at the talent I saw.'
She was impressed by "Zia Cooke. I thought she stood out. Her speed and aggressiveness stood out, even though she wasn't as big as some of the other girls. Size didn't matter with her. She was a beast. She moved with ease, and made everything look easy."
Even though she didn't make the team, she learned some valuable lessons. "I realized that even at the most elite level it wasn't about the extravagant moves or plays, it was about the fundaments and the concept of team."
Known as one of the best shooters in the class of 2019, Lilliana understands that as a guard "I had to come out of my comfort zone and be more vocal." That level of responsibility and accountability can only help her going forward.
What this experience taught her was "that I need to work on my speed."
Liliana is excited and already in the gym looking to keep getting better.
Club Team: Oakland Soldiers
Home: Sacramento, CA