Parker names 20 schools
Candace Parker has deflected most questions that try to narrow in on her list of schools. But over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune got her to list her list of twenty.
Included on the list, in alphabetical order, are: Connecticut, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Narbonne plays tonight
It hasn't been easy for Narbonne this season, and if the last game of the LA City Tournament is any indication, the Southern Region California playoffs will be no picnic either. Narbonne advanced out of Los Angeles with a 41-40 win over Sylmar. Sylmar also advanced, but was rewarded with a first round matchup with nationally-ranked No. 2 Lynwood.
Sylmar's game plan was to limit Indi Johnson and junior guard Camille LeNoir, and try to maintain control of the game. The first part of the plan was successful, as Johnson was held to four points and LeNoir finished with seven. But the two teams defensively kept their opponent out of their game, enough for a close one point victory. Narbonne's defense held Sylmar to 27-percent shooting, a team that averages 40-percent for the season.
Johnson also had 13 rebounds.
Narbonne plays Hart (24-6) in the first round of the Southern Region playoffs. Round II of the playoffs is Thursday and the Regional Finals will be held Saturday. The bracket is set up so, for the third year in a row, Narbonne could meet Lynwood in the final game. The winners of each division's Regional Final will play in the State Finals at ARCO Arena in Sacramento March 21-22.
Alisha Hicks and Kennedy High still alive
Junior Alisha Hicks and Kennedy High (27-3) has advanced to the first round of the Northern California Region playoffs. Sixth-seed Kennedy faces four-seed Oakland Tech (17-8) Tuesday at 6:00pm.
The 5-foot-10 Hicks has been consistent throughout the season. Through six games at the beginning of the season, she was averaging 17.3 points per game. At 24 games later, she is still averaging 17 points. But don't count on her going for the average during playoffs.
"Alisha is a different player when it comes to the playoffs," said head coach Jody Hashigami. "When the playoffs come, Alisha comes out."
Walker finishes 2002-03 with career game
Sophomore post Ashley Walker of Grace Davis HS (CA) scored a career high 34 points and 19 rebounds in a 63-52 loss to Fairfield in the second round of the Sacramento Division I Section playoffs.
The following is a reprint of an article we did last year on Walker, who expressed a specific interest in Purdue as a freshman.
California freshman shows promise
Player impressed with coach she's never met
Author: Bob Richards
The Walker family is a basketball family. The senior T.J. is an assistant basketball coach for Grace Davis High in Modesto, CA. The junior T.J. is a star point guard for the Newcastle Eagles of the British Basketball League where he has been in the top three in the league in assists and steals per game for the past two seasons. But getting increasingly more press these days seems to be high school freshman, Ashley Walker.
Ashley Walker plays for Grace Davis HS, where her father also coaches. The 6-foot-0 post player's consistent double-double games are impressive, but ever more so due to the fact she is a freshman. Her father attributes that to her experience -- with boys.
"She's tall, so I kept her in boys leagues," said father T.J. "I think it is a carryover from the boys leagues."
Named the MVP of the Escalon Tournament in December, Walker put up 49 points over three games, and scored 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 47-34 championship game victory over Tracy. In Davis' last contest, a 48-47 loss to Turlock on Friday, Ashley had an almost identical repeat performance of 24 points and 20 rebounds.
Although a physical presence inside, Ashley's success tends to come from good footwork, a skill some players years her senior never quite master. Currently averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds for Davis, her skills are beginning to be noticed by schools on the west coast.
Taking out a pile of recruiting letters, her father runs through a list of schools that has a distinct west coast flavor. San Diego, Cal, Arizona, Stanford, and Arizona State have introduced themselves, as well as more distant Nebraska, Texas Christian and Penn State. But staying close to home does not look like a factor in her future plans, according to Ashley. When asked what her desire would be for the future, she knows science interests her and has a particular program in mind.
"To go to a Big-10 college like Purdue," Ashley told the Modesto Bee when asked about her future goals. "I like their coach and the fact that it's out of state."
Purdue is not among the schools that have already sent her mail, but Ashley will continue to have opportunities to get noticed as she travels during the summer. Her father is looking for a good summer team, and there is talk of spending time on the east coast when her brother returns next summer to play in american developmental leagues. Invitations to Nike and Adidas sponsored camps last summer will act as a springboard to more national invites this summer.
College coaches will likely be placing Modesto on their travel itineraries to do their own scouting, as the city not only boasts the post moves of Walker, but also highly-touted freshman post player Courtney Paris of Modesto Christian, who had a 40 point game last Thursday.