It’s a tricky thing when a player goes to a program loaded with talent. There is the worry about playing time that hangs over their head. In some cases a players may decide to attend a program where playing time is promised. In the case of the player going to a weaker program. There is happiness in getting playing time and in some cases putting up numbers. In the case of the player going to a stronger program, while there may be limited playing time. There is the competition on a daily bias and real development. That gets me to today’s topic…players with big futures who made the sacrifice of giving up playing time to be part of something special, while developing as players.
The names Riley Kehoe, Maddie Doring, Lauren Lithgow and Katie Foos may not mean much to you today. But make no mistake they all will be household names before the summer ends. They are players who choose to take the hard road to fulfill their dreams of being college players. They are players who have sat for the most part under the radar. Some had moments last season, this year they will jump into the spotlight as prime time players.
Junior Katie Foos was labeled years ago as nice young lady. It was probably a label that hurt her early in her career and motivated her at the same time. When she went to the stacked RFH program it was a bit of a shock to me. There seem to be very little chance the 6ft Sharpe shooter would be given a real opportunity. Labels die hard and people were doing a good job of putting Foos in a box; they talked about her defense and lack of quickness. But Foos choose to attend RFH anyway, and it may turn out to be the best decision she has made from an athletic stand point. While it took 3 years for RFH to finally accept the fact that Foos was a special talent. It took real mental and emotional toughness for Foos to hang in there and continue to work, while being dismissed. Today, Kaite Foos is the BEST spot up shooter in the shore conference, if not the state. No player has a quicker release and range than Katie Foos. But her 6’0” height and big body is what separates her from everyone. I have never seem a player develop and pass by other players with bigger reps in ALL MY YEARS COVERING THE SHORE. Right now she just may be the most college ready of all big wing shooters in the shore. She has jumped passed so many others by out working them and having a real desire to prove, that she could play with the best of the best. There are those who will try to continue to hang the labels on her but its useless. Her brilliant performances against the #1 and #2 teams in the state said it all this year. It’s the reason, I believe this summer, she will be the apple of every academic school on the east coast….SHE’S THAT GOOD RIGHT NOW…I do not believe any of this happens if she had decided to look for a soft spot to play…she gave up two years in order to secure her basketball future….which will be at the DIVISION ONE LEVEL. COACHES By the way in terms of pure shooting…. I BELIEVE SHE IS A HIGH MAJOR SHOOTER.
Junior RIELY KEHOE of St. Johns Vianney, I can assure you is a total unknown to most. But what is known by me is this. Kehoe would play for every single team in the state except one…SJV. It’s because SJV in her 3 years has had 4 upperclassmen D1 PLAYERS, who play her position. There is no question most kids in her spot would’ve looked to move on. But Kehoe is one of those kids who is a fighter, who prefers to be around champions. It’s no mistake that SJV won the SCT, TOC and finished #8 in the country. There are loaded are every position. While Kehoe didn’t get much playing time, she had the benefit of playing against 4 D1 guards every day in practice. Again she could have moved on to almost any other school and started. But she wanted to develop and take on a challenge. Now let me explain something to those outside of the SJV family. Riley Kehoe is one hell of a talent who has all the skill sets a player needs to be a successful. She is blessed with a live athletic body that allows her to guard point guards and shooting guards. She is blessed with insane…insane quickness. But her biggest strength is her competitive nature. There is no back down in this young lady. There is no doubt playing against the SJV talent every day in practice has served her well. There is no game she would have played in and seen such talent. I have seen her against some top players and they are always caught off guard by her talents. Her ball handling and passing skills are next level stuff…she is the classic case of a player not very well known, who comes out of nowhere. There is zero question that all high level D2 schools will be hoping that she stays unknown. This is a classic case of a young lady taking the long road to success. RIELY KEHOE IS GOING TO SHOCK EVERYONE THIS SUMMER…. TOUGH DECISION WILL PAY OFF…
Sophomore MADDIE DORING of SJV is the lock of lock sleeper D1 players that I know. Let me also say this about Miss Doring…she made a great decision to stay at SJV. I believe scoring points and getting playing time is sometimes overrated early in a player’s career. Maddie Doring maybe more that anyone has benefited from playing against top competition, EVERYDAY. The 6’0” guard can handle the ball, shoot three’s and pass of the bounce. I really don’t believe there is anything this young can’t do. She will one day be a very special player and playing for Coach Karpell is just what the doctored ordered. There is no question, next year she will be an impact player. Those who believe SJV will disappear are only dreaming, Maddie Doring will give SJV a player who can help replace the seniors moving on this year. Her size and talent are something I can assure you will jump off the page this summer. I love that Doring can play the all three guard positions and is a pesky defender….College coaches here is the best advice you’re going to get… THIS YOUNG LADY COME JULY WILL BE IN FULL DEMAND….GET AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION!
LAUREN LITHGOW of ST. ROSE, I can promise will be a name you will know for years. She is right now is the most explosive player I know…PERIOD. No player I have seen in the state has her speed, quickness and change of direction against pressure…nobody. Trying to contain her in transition is useless…she is a female Russell Westbrook at the high school level. St. Rose has 4 D1 LOCKS right now in its starting lineup. They have a size, shooting, ball handling and defense. They have a master coach in Joe Whalen, it seems they have it all. But their biggest goodie of all is Lauren Lithgow, because St. Rose trust me has never had a player with Lauren Lithgow’s raw ability. While she saw limited time last season as Whalen played his upper classmen, who too once had to wait their turn, before becoming stars. Whalen continues to develop his young superstar quietly. Those who believe St. Rose will fall off the map when this current group of seniors leave are solely mistaken. Lithgow folks will one day not only be All Shore and All State but one of the most recruited players in New Jersey. Those may seem like strong words…well they are… but all TRUE. Lithgow folks has a high major ability and the perfect attitude. She is a drama free, likeable kid, who is in no hurry to rock the boat. The ball handling is high major, the speed is high major, the quickness high major, the shooting range like all Joe Whalen players will be high major. This my friends is the total package and real soon everyone will find this out. Lauren Lithgow is that rare player….she was very wise to attend St. Rose and not take the easy road…why? Nobody develops and uses their talent like Joe Whalen…. And he has a MEGA TALENT ON HIS HANDS.
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