30 courts running 30 games simultaneously, with 13 games per court each day.

These AAU tournaments are NO JOKE! I spent 3 years orchestrating Kansas State University’s 4 coaches recruiting schedules for July live period, and I’m glad I learned the tedious behind the scenes work back then… I felt READY coming into this storm! 

I watched 12 games on Monday and 10 games on Tuesday. Every single game made me proud to be a Canadian women’s basketball player! Here are a few of the ballers that I noticed, and who I know generated interest from the lineups on the baseline.

BC United National 

2020 6’2 P Jessica Clarke got my attention early on in the game. She rebounded on both ends of the floor and had a defensive presence in the paint; she blocked some shots and protected the rim. Offensively Clarke didn’t shy away from contact; she posted strong inside, played the high post aggressively and finished with contact.

2021 6’0 F Isabelle Forsyth showed a versatile and well rounded game as a forward. She moves well off the ball and gets herself in positions to score the ball – finishes well around the rim, within 15ft, and has shown 3 point range. One of those players who facilitates the offensive possessions by being purposeful and efficient with her court time. Swiss knife type of baller.

2021 5’9 G Samantha Shiels went to WORK in the first game I watched! She was running the ball through the defense every chance she had and got to the rim to finish or distribute. Shiels displayed smooth shooting off the dribble and spot up. Picked up full court D and showed toughness and grit in her game.


Blue Star Ontario 

2020 5’9 G Lauren Fullong killed it this game. She was knocking shots down from beyond the arc and penetrating through the defense to get to the rim. Brought the ball up and ran some point; showed good handles and passing skills. High energy player, I’m looking forward to watching her more!

2020 5’8 G Kirsten Mcgrath is a nice well-rounded guard; she can handle it, pass well and showed good floor leadership skills. Lefty shooter who facilitates the offense and brings the ball up. Makes the hustle plays.

2019 5’8 G Ketura Balabyekkubo showed her ability to play uptempo and high energy on both ends of the floor. She plays full court on-ball pressure D and does so with clean footwork and good hands. Offensively she did a great job slashing hard and getting looks inside the paint.

Team Ontario

2019 5’4 PG Kali Pocrnic Small but gritty and tough! PG with solid handles, vocal leadership skills, excellent vision and a skilled distributor. Makes her teammates better and scores the ball when the time is right. Defensively her full court and fundamentally sound full court pressure on the ball handler puts her team’s defense at an advantage. Makes the hustle plays and shows she’s got heart when she’s on the floor.

2020 6’1 C Kayla Drummond showed my a side of her I hadn’t seen before; she was physical, fought hard for position inside, and moved well off the ball. Drummond cleaned up the on the boards and ran the floor hard in transition. Defensively she moves well, got some tips and steals, and has the size to alter shots. 

2020 6’1 F Maggie Besselink has been one of the most popular names in my conversation with coaches, and she showed why in DC! Her length, athleticism, versatility and IQ is evident and extremely valuable in her game. She makes excellent decisions offensively, rebounds and runs the ball up the floor in transition, creates for her teammates off penetration and passing, and is my first choice to play the middle of any zone. Her passing skills, 15ft jumper and ability to attack the rim and finish high is a challenge for all defenders. Maggie scores, drops dimes, and defends. At 6’1 with that wingspan, skillset and ball IQ, the game is easy for her.

2020 5’11 F Callie Wright is long, tough, and versatile. She rebounds and can push the ball up while maintaining good court vision. Her length and agility enables her to be an impactful defender, alter shots, and get tips and deflections. Offensively she can shoot the 3 ball, cleans up and finishes on O boards, and is a versatile scorer inside in arc

Toronto Matrix

2019 5’4 PG Tiya Mirsir was locked in! She hit some big time shots at key moments of the game; showed off her deep range as well as her ability to create space and knock down step backs. She likes to get the ball moving quickly on offense and is a good communicator and strong presence on the floor. She handles the ball well, passes well, and has the vision and skillset to make things happen.

2021 5’6 PG LeShae Dwyer brings a lot of well earned attention to her team. She is relentless getting to the rim and displayed the ability to finish midrange with traffic in the paint. She can knock down the 3, pull up on a dime or use her hang time on penetration to finish around the defense at the rim. Defensively she is fierce, but needs to be careful fouling 90 feet from her basket. She is one who flips that kill switch and plays with an insatiable hunger.

2020 6’2 F Jada Grannum played good defense, moved her feet well and had her hands up, cleaned up the D boards, and ran the floor well. She wasn’t flashy but she was efficient. I hope to see her gain more of a presence on the offensive end, but as a big who plays D, runs and rebounds she has a good starting point. 

Tri County Soldiers

I want to give a shoutout to this team for playing the best team ball I’ve watched thus far!!! Their players knew themselves and their roles, took their shot, and moved the ball when the easy basket wasn’t there. This team was a complete and well-assembled puzzle, I’m very impressed.

Their key player was 2019 G Claire Sutherland-Case – she just got it done! No problem taking the ball full court through everyone and to the rim every single time down the floor. She is fast, smooth, has good ball control, strong finishes at the rim and gets to the line! She knocked down the 3 ball and nailed a couple nice pull up jumpers! She reminds me of a smaller Maggie Besselink – high IQ with length and versatility. Running the show was 2019 PG Alliasen Miscione she runs hard, pushes the ball up, gets her teammates in their position and puts pressure on the defense by having an offensive mindset and creating for her team. 2020 G Alex Webb plays bigger than she is, runs hard, gets on the boards, attacks the rim and finishes well with contact. 2019 G MacKeely Shantz was a wiry strong guards who got looks attacking the rim hard and drawing the contact to finish and get to the line. She got good looks cutting through the paint and finishing off the assists. 2019 SG Jenna Button knocked down the open shots; her stroke is smooth and solid. Definitely the shooter in the lineup. Defensively the squad was in sync and effective. 

SJSR Ballers

2023 5’8 SG Rosalie Mercille SHOWED OUT! I was very proud of our NPH Showcase MVP! Rosalie is a knock down shooter who can create her own looks offensively and handles the ball with vision and the ability to make the quick pass. Her penetration to the rim is always accompanied by something crafty who often leads to a bucket.

2022 6’2 F Clara Bergeron knocks down the spot up 3, penetrates to the rim, cuts behind the defense and finds the offensive advantage with her length, skillset and agility. She’s an offensive threat from every spot on the floor and will continue to develop into a more consistent perimeter threat.

Momo Niva

2019 5’11 F Jael Kabunda is a crafty offensive minded forward with deep 3 range off the dribble and spot up. She can use the screen read the D and put herself in positions to score. Knows her shot, knows her strengths and knows how to put herself in advantageous positions. Defensively she movs her feet, keeps her hands up and is strong enough to hold her own guarding the forward positions.

2020 G Grace Kofi was running and gunning on both ends of the floor. Uses her athleticism to her advantage; high pressure defense and creates turnovers to lead the break and get transition points. Offensively produces in the half court from getting paint touches off penetration and slashing hard to get buckets behind the defense. 

Next Up

Toronto NPH Showcase August 1-2  hosted by Humber College

Join the NPH family, get in the system and Raise Your Player Stock!

Follow Toronto camp, its off to our Western Canada Showcase.

The first EVER NPH National Player Rankings will be released following the completion of the NPH Showcase Circuit *insert eyeball emoji*

✈️Manitoba: Aug 15-16
✈️Sask: Aug 18-19
✈️Edmonton: Aug 23-25
✈️Calgary: Aug 26-29
✈️Victoria: Aug 30-31
✈️Vancouver: Sept 1-2


Written by micaella


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