There is no surprise to me who are the kids that will step it up this season. The kids who show up everyday and get in the gym will shine. Those kids who work hard and understand this time of year is about addressing any weakness; they may have in there games. These are the kids who understand the window for improvement in the fall is a small one. Most players in their heart believe they work hard. But at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding. There will always be those kids who simply love to play and they will play until their are no more AAU tournaments to play in. But there also will be that group of kids that make that jump to the next level. These are the kids who change their bodies, improve that jumper, upgrade that handle. These are the kids who WILL shine at the next level but more importantly these kids move their games to the next level. Here is one thing I know about all kids. If their not working now…they are not going to be working in the future…. Coaches, no matter how much you try to convince yourself they will. They don’t change their stripes at the next level….they will be who they are today…tomorrow. Here are a few names that I can assure you will shine this coming season….and won’t get some poor college coach, who didn’t do their homework, fired one day!
5 PLAYERS WHO HAVE TAKEN THEIR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL
LOLA MULLANEY- MANASQUAN HIGH SCHOOL
I have never seen a player make the type of jump as Lola Mullaney has made in the past year. Remember a year ago Miss Mullaney was NOT on my pre-season All Freshman Team. Right now Lola Mullaney is rated as my #1 shooting guard in the shore. She is also rated the #19 rated shooting guard in the country in the 2019 class by ESPN. Now why has Mullaney, become such a hot recruit? It simple, Lola Mullaney shows up over and over and over. She misses no chance to get in the gym. She is not consumed with politics or playing games. What she is consumed with is getting better. She is the ultimate gym rat and never puts anything this time of year ahead of her training. Now some may feel, she will need time to adjust this season to the change of playing at Manasquan. Here is a little something people are missing the boat on…Playing with other great players will make her even better. This my friends is a very, very scary thought!
JESS BOARD- MARLBORO HIGH SCHOOL
Folks hold on to your hats, because this young lady is stepping up big time. How good is Jess Board? She may be humble and not have a lot to say. But line up all the best players in the 18 class and right now she is as good as any of them. Now here is another little dirty secret, she is age wise a sophomore. Yup Jess Board could be a “19 right now. College coaches let that marinate for a second. But for now we will just talk about this, she is the biggest gym rat who plays her position right now. Here are some more facts, she is a knock it out stand still shooter from anywhere these days. Would you like to know how she got there? After school everyday she shoots for a hour plus. She can guard D1 post players and guards. How did she get their, but showing up every day and playing against the best players in those positions every day. Now here is what you may have forgotten, she was the Hoop Group Most Improved Player…yeah every player that has one that award has gone on to D1. But what every player who has one that award has not done, is jump two recruiting levels….right now Jess Board is closing in on A-10 good…bad news for the mid majors of the world…Jess Board is going to have a huge year.
ELLYN STOLL- ST. ROSE HIGH SCHOOL
Make no mistake, NJIT you have hit the lottery and here is the reason why. Her ball handling skills have surpassed her shooting skills. We are talking change of direction and finishing at the rim, be it from half court of full court. She has totally brought into the fact that she can get her game to another level. But here is what everyone better understand. Ellyn Stoll is not only going to be a All Shore players, but a great college player. Do you know why? What do most kids do after making a commitment to college? They dial it back, they stay in their comfort zone. Travel to train? Why bother, when I can go in my backyard, work on next level skill sets vs next level players, why bother I will be doing that all next year, they can wait. Ellyn Stoll has gotten out of her comfort zone and has a eye on the season and the future. Ellyn Stoll folks is on a serious mission and it is showing. How much is it showing? a coach after viewing NBS video….” the Stoll thing is looking like it going to be my biggest regret Tiny” I hate to be the bearer of bad news…BUT YOU ARE 100% CORRECT!
COLLEEN BRADY- SOUTHERN HIGH SCHOOL
With all due respect to a good friend of mind. She is tracking as D1 player and it’s not because of anything except for a new found desire and confidence to be the best. Yesterday, while many were doing what most do, playing politics, playing pick up games or getting ready for October AAU games (had to throw that in, coaches your right its nuts) Colleen Brady yesterday walked into the Hoop Group and shot around for a bit. They did a hour killer post work out with Mike Rice. She then took a 3o min break, after that break, she did a killer 90 min workout at Core Skills Training. Folks this has been going on for a month. Her body is lean and mean. Her first step is lighting quick, she already has D1 ball handling skills and the mid range jumper is finding its mark. Colleen Brady folks is willing herself in that rare air. She is becoming what many believed she could have been a few years ago. But with confidence, ones talent begins to show. Miss Brady folks is getting ready to have a special season…JUST WATCH.
PAIGE SLAVEN- DONAVAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
This list would be joke if it did not include this kid. You see some kids have an agenda, they want to build a reputation and name by doing just enough. The bounce around from gym to gym , game to game, event to event. Some times these kids not only fail to develop, but other kids with less talent move pass them. Well to all those kids I give you Paige Slaven, who right now is as productive as any kid I have seen all fall. It started at Academic Elite when she had coaches buzzing. It started when a college coach, said these words. “The Slaven kid, may not have the rep, but I tell you what, I like her way more than ……( another very talented freshman)” Guess what she is that good folks. Yesterday, I walked in the gym and their she was shooting for a hour with Mary Beth Chambers. She lives in the gym, she is 100% dedicated to her craft. Now what’s most impressive, is that a few months ago, she was a after thought to most. She was that kid on the outer edge, few gave any love too. Here is a lesson to all, stop worrying about whose giving you love and worry about getting better. Because as you get better that LOVE will come. Right now Paige Slaven is not only getting love, she is giving out headaches….she is going to be in the hunt for FRESHAMN OF THE YEAR!
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