The USJN 17u Girls National Championships are being held this coming Wednesday through Friday in Washington D.C.
NYCHoops.net will be there watching some of the best girls basketball in the country, to see how some of New York's best matchup with those from across the nation.
It should be an excellent opportunity for college coaches to see what some of these talented girls have to offer on a very big stage, and here is a preview of what to expect from the competition.
There are 31 teams from New York competing in 16u and 17u Divisions, and teams from 44 of the 50 states, making this one of the top and most prestigious tournaments in the country, and when talking about teams from our state that will be in attendance you have to start with a dynamic team in iExcel. They are led by players from all over the tri-state area, but have a sharpshooting NY wing in Sabrina Friscia (Susan Wagner '16), while in the post they have Jodi Ramil (Binghamton '15) whose footwork and ability to finish in the block with both hands is impressive. Their two main backcourt stars are Jocelyn Willoughby (Newark Academy '16) and DeJane James (Weaver, CT '15) making iExcel a true all-star team from all over the region.
The Lady Choz who competed on the Girls EYBL circuit will be in attendance with guard Ashanae McLaughlin (Murry Bergtraum '15) looking to dominate the competition much like such does during the H.S. season. On the inside, it will be interesting to see how McLaughlin's H.S. teammate Alexandra Smith (Murry Bergtraum '15) can handle and play against physical threats as big and tough in the paint as her, while Ariella Guirantes (Bellport '15) looks to control the game from the wing. The team does have depth and good team speed on the outside to be a favorite though.
The City Rocks team that is coming down was another EYBL team this year, and they also brought home the Gym Rat Challenge championship behind the player of wing Hannah Friend (Taft, CT '15). The Albany native who transferred from Academy of Holy Names before last season has expanded her game to be a player with guard skills on the perimeter, putting the ball on the floor and creating, while also being a good rebounder who can defend inside and push tempo in transition. Emma Guy (Penfield '15) is their true interior threat though, as she is long in the paint, athletic enough to defend a wide variety of players, and can hurt you with hooks inside.
Another Albany area team, the Albany Capitals, can also be thought of as a team who can make some noise in D.C. this weekend. They are led by a pair of rising juniors who just might be two of the best in the 2016 class in the state. Carly Boland (Shenendehowa '16) led Section 2 in scoring this past season and she has continued to score in bunches this AAU season, impressively off the dribble for someone at 6'0. Jenna Giacone (Bethlehem '16) is almost as big at 5'11" but her versatility stands out as someone who is strong enough to man the 4 spot inside, but also has good enough handle with both hands to be able to capably run the point.
Basketbull Results is a powerful team from Long Island that has added guard Sydney Zambrotta (Christ the King '16) for this weekend. She had been with this team in the past, but moved to Exodus, but has now made the move back, and the sharpshooting lefty wing should make a big difference in how far this team is able to get this week. Meg Oberg (Upper Room '16) is a wing with post skills who can be a difference maker on the inside or out, while Alex Parlato (Wantagh '15) is a big post, who controls the middle with ease, and the Fordham bound center who stands at 6'3" looks ready for a big weekend.
The last team we will profile is Long Island Lightning (Slater). Led by Michigan commit Lauren Brozoski (Long Island Lutheran '15), this team can do special things. Seton Hall commit Taylor Byrne (Long Island Lutheran '15) is a premier post in the region and her skills going left have gotten to where she is just as good going left or right, while they also count on a pair of recently committed shooter in Erin Storck (Long Island Lutheran '15) who is heading to Sacred Heart, and Alex Cantwell (North Shore '15) who just committed to Lafayette.
This is just a sample of who and what to expect over the next 3 days down in Washington D.C. There are many other very good local New York players and teams who should also step up and prove to be of high level quality so it should be a great few days of action, and don't forget to come back to NYCHoops.net to get information about top players, top teams, and top surprises as we will be on hand to take in all the action.