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|Travel Team Preview: Super 7 Florida Girl's Travel Teams|
|Posted, 3/18/2005 11:33:20 PM|
- Miami Suns (Miami, Fl ) Director: Paul Torres
Top Players: Eboni Sadler (Norland), Jacinta Monroe (Stranahan), Alysha Harvin (South Broward), Shamar Harris (Dwyer), Sharielle Smith (Pendleton)
2004 Honors: Showed Well @ Deep South, 2nd EGB, Showed Well @ Showtime Nationals
The Buzz: The Suns may lack the names of the past but they are still the top team in Florida. The Suns are one of the few teams ever in Florida to get all the top players from any metropolitan area. With more then 20 division 1 players in the past 3 years the Suns have to be considered the #1 exposure travel team in Florida. While the Suns usually only play 3-4 tournaments any encounter with Florida teams seem to be rather one sided. The Suns have only lost one game in Florida in the past three years (2004 to Tallahassee Essence). Look for the Suns tradition to continue in 2005.
Top Alumni: Erlana Larkins (UNC), Sylvia Fowles (LSU), Aubrey Grimsley (UM), Erica Brown (Dillard/Georgia)
- (Tie) Daytona Divas (Daytona Beach, Fl) - Director James Henry
2004 Honors: Showed Well at Basketball on the Bayou, Showtime Nationals, Deep South, 15u AAU State Runner UP
Top Players: Amber Smith (Winter Haven), Tiffany Hayes (Winter Haven), Allyson Speed (Mainland)
The Buzz: The Divas are back after a very successful 2004 season where they had four division 1 signees. Their back court may be the top in the state with Smith, Hayes, and Speed their front court is unknown. The Divas have become one of the top teams in Florida look for the superior guard play to propel them in to the #2 spot in Florida.
Top Alumni: Natasha Brown (Auburn), Tochia Richburg (OWCC), Marteneisha Fisher (CFCC), Breanna Cox (FAU/Seabreeze)
- (Tie) Essence Girl's Basketball (Tallahassee, Fl) - Director Kim Davis
2004 Honors: Showed Well @ Basketball on the Bayou & Boo Williams, EGB 2004 Champion, 17u AAU State Runner up
Top Players: LaToya Williams (Eastside), Nadirah Gardner (FAMU), Nikki Jackson (Chipley), Sharielle Horne (East Gadsden)
The Buzz: The Essence are the only team to not primarily rely on Florida players. The players from Southern Alabama and Southwestern Georgia have been very successful in the past years. With having one elite team one is sured a good scholarship offer after participating with the Essence. Kim Davis is the top tournament director in Florida with the Essence Girl's Basketball Tournament (The Real Florida State Championships) and Basketball on the Bayou (Southeastern Girl's Basketball Championships). With being in the least urban area the Essence have really done an excellent job in national tournaments and sending girls to college.
Top Alumni: Jessica Starling (Michigan), Tamara Arnold (Eastern Kentucky), Jessica Hall (Memphis), Brittany Hudson (Georgia State), Amber Hall (Leon VA Tech), Shawn Goff (Ole Miss).
- Orlando Comets Red Team(Orlando, Fl) - Director Garfield Blair/Jack Givens
Top Players: Krystal Thomas (The First Academy) , Alexa Deluzio (The First Academy), Jordan Coleman (Lake Mary), Sheffany Thomas (Wesley Chapel), Brianna Blair (Boone)
2004 Honors: AAU State Champs (14u), AAU National Sweet 16
The Buzz: After finishing in the top 16 at AAU National 14u once again the Comets look to begin competing with the big dogs in the Nike national travel circuit. With no real history of success behind them it will be difficult for them to achieve the status which the more established teams such as the Suns or Essence have in their first year. The fact of their youth is also and issue when you look at how they stack up against the rest of the teams listed above. While the Suns and Essence are laden with rising juniors and seniors the comets will start a large amount of rising sophomores and juniors. The talent at the top of this team is definitely comparable to any other whether they are able to mature quickly against the top competition in state and nationally is still to be proven.
Top Alumni: None
- TEAM Ball (Jacksonville, Fl) - Director Sheila Pennick
Top Players: Daleisha Carn (Englewood), Ashley Thompkins (Bradford), Rachel Blum (Bolles), Courtney Lee (Oak Hall), Ally Styles (Bartram Trail)
2004 Honors: Showed Well @ Basketball on the Bayou 15u, 17u AAU State Champions
The Buzz: Coach Pennick has done very well in the state of Florida tournaments the past few years but has yet to push the team over the top at the national level events. With a very deep team in 2004 they should improve their status among Florida teams on a National Level. With losing the poster child for Team Ball Erica White who will step up and bring attention back to Jacksonville?
Top Alumni: Erica White (LSU)
- Florida Shockers (Naples, FL) - Director Gus Navarro
Top Players: Stephanie Sarosi (Astronaut), Jacky Nikic (Lake Brantley), Charlese Williams (St Thomas Aquinas).
2004 Honors: 16u AAU State Champs, Elite 8 Boo Williams, Showed Well at Basketball on the Bayou
The Buzz: The Shockers might be the team who have been most decimated by graduation. Losing Rachel Hammond, Brittany Denson, and Rashawna Sippio will cause any team to take a dip. While the Shockers started off strong only barely losing to the Miami Suns in the EGB and showing well at Boo Williams they did not do as well at 16u AAU Nationals or at Basketball on the Bayou. If the Shockers can bring back the shock they had through March and April of last year they will be a top team in Florida once again. While a lack of athleticism is an issue the discipline Coach Navarro has on his team usually brings him about even with his competition.
Alumni: Rachel Hammond (Clearwater/Liberty) , Brittany Denson (Miami/Winter Haven)
- DEBO (Orlando, Fl) Director: Gina Jones
Top Players: Caitlin Mytrick (Lake Mary), Jennifer Mossor (Colonial), Dominique English (Gulf), Kelly Dwyer (Oviedo)
2004 Honors: 15u AAU State Champs
The Buzz: DEBO has a strong core of players returning. DEBO is another team which has been successful in state the past few years once they cross the Florida border things seem to go wrong. While they were the 2nd or 3rd best team in Orlando last year to the Miracle (13u) and Comets (14u) this year to prove that they are the real deal they must beat those teams and participate in elite events. Jennifer Mossor has already committed to the University of Florida and they might have one of the better classes of rising seniors in state. It will be interesting to see where the rest of the team ends up at the college level. Another big factor is that the Orlando Comets Red are playing 16U and it will be very difficult for DEBO to get past them at AAU State
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