Covering Prospective Student-Athletes in the SouthEast US and beyond
9 Underclassmen Who Shined in Lakeland (FHSAA State Tournament)
We didn’t cover the FHSAA tournament like we have in the past because the FHSAA brass decided to get stingy with their media credentials. Although our articles were read the past 2 years by literally over 10,000 unique visitors, the FHSAA nixed our credential application.
Despite the lack of love from the FHSAA, we didn’t want to take away from the best young players we saw this past week. So here’s to the kids, the future of Florida Girl’s Basketball –
Re’Yanna Jones – 2019 – Seminole HS – Even though Rey Rey’s team lost in the semi-finals, Rey may have been the best young player in the event. She carried Seminole in the 2nd half, with timely 3’s and amazing “and 1” finishes. Her handles and body control are superb. She’s got size and strength and the poise of a much older player. There’s no question she’s a high major BCS prospect.
Maria Alvarez – 2019 – Miami Country Day – Insider Exposure Scouting has been promoting Maria for 3 seasons now. So if you follow us and you don’t know Maria, you haven’t been paying attention to our Florida write ups. Maria like Rey has the poise of a much more experienced player. She doesn’t get rattled. Her handles, body control and basketball IQ are much better than other players her age. Plus did we mention she can flat out stroke the ball. Major BCS prospect.
Jasmine Peaks – 2021 – Covenant Christian – You wouldn’t think a 7th grade point guard could be a marquee player in a Florida Final 4 game, but Peaks star is bright. She shined bright even in a game that featured Jazmine Jones dropping 36 points. She’s got handles and poise, something that’s a common factor with younger players who stand out in the state tournament. She’s got the ability to score but the thing that stood out was how she wanted and demanded the ball vs the FAMU press. Without question Peaks is one of the top 2021 prospects in the state. BCS level prospect.
Koi Love – 2019 – Lake Highland Prep – We’ve been chronicling Koi for 2 years now and with Alvarez and Jones is among the top 2019’s in the state. Koi has a great frame, 5’11 or 6′ and super athletic. On the ball she’s becoming a great defender and she’s finishing everything 15 feet and in. Her passing is improving too. BCS level prospect
Erin Turral – 2021 – FAMU HS – As a 7th grader on a team with Jazmine Jones, it’s tough to stand out but Erin does. She can shoot the 3 ball and she’s got a nice floater that she uses in traffic. She’s got a compact strong frame and adequate handles. D-1 prospect, level determined by continued development and growth.
Audra Leipold – 2018 – Academy at the Lakes – High IQ player who plays with poise and savvy. Has some flash to her game and can really shoot it. Had a bit of an off day vs Grandview but it’s clear the potential is there. D-1 prospect
Zanoria Cruz – 2020 – Lake Highland Prep – Very similar player to her HS teammate Koi Love. They have the same body type and frame. Cruz is a good rebounder and can score around the basket. She’s also turning into a good on ball defender, getting after smaller quicker guards. Her perimeter game is going to need to improve but she should be on the radar of D-1 coaches.
Sheslaine Laureano – 2018 – Ferguson – A long lanky shooter, Laureano is the least heralded of Ferguson’s top players but she’s a definite D-1 prospect. She can score off the bounce or spot up for 3. Her best basketball is in front of her and you can expect her and Ferguson to be back to Lakeland.
Nigeria Harkless – 2021 – University Christian – The youngest of the Harkless sisters, Nigeria doesn’t have the guard skills that sister Glenisha has, but her potential as a 6’1 forward makes her notable. She’s gaining valuable experience as a key player on UC’s high powered team. She’s got good hands and she has the ability to make good passes out of the post. Her progession and development will dictate her level of play but D-1 coaches should keep an eye on her.