Part I of our look at the 2005 Blue Star Elite Camp. The two-day camp invites underclassmen and puts them through an intense series of fundamental drills and controlled scrimmages. The 2005 Elite Camp was attended by 50 promising players from the classes of 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ten states were represented at the camp, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Below are some observations for a sampling of players from the camp. These players stood out in the games and drills I viewed. Omission from this list should not be taken as an indication of talent, or lack thereof. To get a good view of players that caught my eye, I have to watch them for a period of time in different situations. Some will be more lengthy than others.
Notes were taken in the style we do at any camp we attend. Notes are by jersey number during the camp. Only later is a name put to the jersey number. This allows a level of objectivity by preventing being "star struck" by a popular, or well-publicized player.
2007 Jess Slonim (6'2, HS: Turpin (OH)) -- A righty, but equally smooth going to her left and finishing. Won the praise of the coaches for her ability to successfully negotiate left-handed drills without falling back on her dominant hand.
2006 Jenny Vincent (5'7, HS: Anna Jonesboro (IL)) -- Exceptional athlete with a very solid all-around basketball game. What sets her apart is her speed on the floor and her quickness getting to the basket. Not much movement is wasted by her as most of her movements seem to run in fast-motion. It is a testament to her ballhandling in that her hands can make the ball follow the rest of her body as it shoots off in a direction. Maybe one of the most effortless leapers here, as her jumpshot clears the floor by a couple feet and she releases at the top of her motion. All these together make her a difficult assignment to defend.
2006 Jessica Vaughn (5'6, HS: Villa Angela St. Joseph (OH)) -- A pickpocket against all but the elite point guard prospects here. Matched up against a shooting guard turned point guard on Tuesday, she continually stripped her opponent as she crossed the halfcourt. Quick hands and low defensive stance in a compact body led to many fastbreak opportunities for her teams.
2006 Ellen Russell (5'7, HS: Clinton(?) (IA)) -- A top scorer here who has a gear higher than most, and impressed me with her ability to go from steal to full speed without letting something like dribbling get in her way. A player that looked so comfortable streaking down the court ahead of her opponents and her teammates. Of the games I watched, there was no one who could catch her when she broke out into a run. The fastbreak opportunities were partly generated by defensive work of her own, but her teammates would also get her the ball at the beginning of the break and let her take it. Finished well and in control with a soft touch. A top five athlete at this year's camp.
More to come!
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