By Bob Corwin of fullcourt.com —
Some teams rebuild. Others just reload.
Losing McDonald All-American center Kai James (Florida State signee), Raigyne Moncrief (LSU signee who set the tone on the team’s perimeter) and sharpshooter Brittany Brown (another FSU signee) does not appear to have slowed down the Suns based out of the greater Miami area and named after former club member and Sylvia Fowles of the Chicago Sky as a sponsor.
With younger players in the program stepping up, Team Fowles swept its three games at the FGB Spring Showcase held at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida during the April 6-7 weekend. In turn they defeated Florida-based FGB 17U (65-47), Florida-based Blue Star – Florida 2014 (46-36) and finally Atlanta-area based Peak Performance National (68-54). All three of those teams are also national elite level travel teams during the spring and summer college evaluation period.
In younger section play, the Suns Team Larkins (yes, former club member Elena Larkins of the Indiana Fever is a sponsor) composed of 2016 and 2017 class players also had a strong showing finishing with a three win, one loss record with its loss to a team consisting primarily of players one class higher in age.
Another young club that stood out was the Fort Myers-based Florida Future which entered two teams in the event.
The event consisted of pre-set games where teams were paired to give squads the best competition game after game rather than having an anticipated slaughter or two mixed in. Forty teams from Florida (mostly) and Georgia (a few) participated with players ranging from rising seniors (2014’s) down to rising eighth graders (2018’s).
Looking at some of the players in the event…
Aisha Edwards. 5-8, G, Miami Suns Team Fowles (Boca Raton, Florida)
Aisha Edwards has not played in any high school or club basketball events since leaving Coral Springs Charter School and enrolling in West Boca Raton High School in January. While she may not have been at the top of her game, her play on the wing was steady, showing variety in her ability to score via intermediate jumpers, 3-balls and offensive rebounds. A major division one prospect, when asked the colleges she was considering, she only mentioned Florida State.
Shakoa Edwards, 5-4, PG, Miami Suns Team Fowles (Boynton Beach, Florida)
Shakoa Edwards was Team Fowles leading scorer and the most aggressive player in the event while holding down the point guard duties. She is an aggressive driver in the quarter court and has good vision leading the fast break. She plays hard on defense. She needs to add shooting range. Currently, she has several non-BCS offers but could go higher as BCS schools find their pool of 2014 prospects diminishes at this position.
Faith Sanders, 5-11, 3F, Peak Performance National Team (Fairburn, Georgia)
If an award was given for hitting the floor while in this event, Sanders would be a leading candidate for ‘Miss Heart and Hustle’. She is trying to make up for lost time this spring having missed her sophomore high school season due to an ACL tear and then skipping last spring/summer’s club basketball season as well. She is an above average athlete not afraid to get physical and should garner some BCS interest while doing so. In joining Peak, she is playing for her cousin Kiesha Brown who had a lengthy WNBA career after her University of Georgia playing career concluded.
Dominique Simpson, 5-8, 2G, FGB Elite 17U (Orlando, Florida)
Simpson blew a knee last June and still sports a brace having missed most of the recent high school season. In Lakeland her perimeter stroke (nine three’s in her last game on Sunday) from behind the arc seemed to be there even though she not yet 100% physically. A good wiry athlete, Simpson will be garnering BCS offers this spring/summer.
Kierra Henry, 5-9, 2G, Peak Performance National Team (Marietta, Georgia)
Henry was Peak’s leading scorer in Lakeland. She has solid 3-point range as well as being a mid-range and driving threat. Strong in body, she runs well. She still needs to improve her left hand dribbling skill.
Beatrice Mompremier, 6-4, C, Miami Suns Team Fowles (Miami, Florida)
Mompremier has been written about previously on Full Court. She is slowly learning to add more moves around the basket to make use of her height. She is also getting better at imposing herself defensively. A certain high major prospect, Beatrice says she is wide open as to possible college choices.
Atyanna Gaulden, 5-7, PG, Georgia Sparks 2015 (Ocilla, Georgia)
Gauldin is a lot like CAL’s Brittany Boyd in her ability to successfully push the ball up the court at high speed. In the quarter court, Gauldin can also attack the basket and dish at the last moment making you say “how did she do that?” A likely BCS prospect, she needs to add shooting range to make her game complete.
Tamara Henshaw, 6-1, 4F, Blue Star – Florida 2015 (Auburndale, Florida)
A successful power forward needs to embrace physicality and although still young, Tamara Henshaw has already learned that lesson. A solidly built lefty, she likes to face up for a mid-range shot. She needs to add range and learn to use her right hand to be more attractive to the BCS level but she has time. Her game appears to be headed in the right direction.
Jade Lewis, 6-0, 3F, FGB Elite 17U (Pensacola, Florida)
Lewis is above average athletically and can explode to the basket. She also has a nice shot at mid-distance. She needs to quicken her release and add more consistency to her range. If so, BCS offers will come in due time.
Chelsie Hall, 5-5, PG, Miami Suns Team Larkins (Coral Springs, Florida)
Hall was the most polished of the players in the 2017 and 2018 classes in the event. One advantage she had was that she played high school basketball for Coral Springs Charter this past season while the grand majority of talented eighth graders were not high school eligible. She has a high basketball IQ and can shoot the 3-ball besides running the team. Physical maturation is most needed for this likely future BCS prospect.
Cabria Lee, 5-6, G, Miami Suns Team Larkins (Lake Worth, Florida)
Lee, who is expected to join Hall at Coral Springs Charter this fall, is an explosive attacker with above average athleticism. She needs to add more shooting range and know when to shoot what shot. Offers of a BCS level should follow maturation of her game.
Jarya Outten, 5-5, PG, Florida Future 2017 (Fort Myers, Florida)
Outten is a coach’s daughter and plays like one. She is primarily a ball distributor who makes sure her team’s offense is functioning properly. As to scoring, she appears to primarily look to drive.
Mikayla Thomas, 6-0, F, Miami Suns 2016 (Homestead, Florida)
Few youngsters have a plan in life as Mikayla Thomas seems to have. A long jumper in track, Thomas is just learning her way in basketball but has a high ceiling due to a combination of above average athleticism combined with height. A huge Sylvia Fowles fan, she decided to play for the same club team that Sylvia played for (without being approached) and will attend Gulliver Prep, the high school from which Sylvia graduated. LSU needs to put this player on their recruiting board to be monitored just in case this trend continues.
Destiny Waters, 5-7, 3F, Florida Future 2017 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Waters is one of those middle position players who seem to do a bit of everything. One possession it might be a drive and the next a mid-range shot which she seems to be able to create. In the years ahead it will be interesting to see which direction her game will go in besides being a division one prospect.
Jordan Cloutier, 5-5, G, Florida Future 2018 (Naples, Florida)
It’s a sign your club is doing things right when players come to you. Cloutier moved in last summer from New Hampshire and approached the Ft. Myers-based club. She can play either guard slot with strong dribbling and passing skills. She can also move over to the wing and shoot the 3-ball. She needs to work on her release but she has a feel for the basket and a definite division one upside with favorable physical maturation.
Destani Henderson, 5-5, G, Florida Future 2018 (Lehigh Acres, Florida)
Henderson is another guard with the ability to play the point as a distributor but can look for her shot via penetration. An above average athlete, she needs to build perimeter range and work on the ball rotation on her shot.