Camp Estival D’Excellence; NPH in Montreal

Hello Canadian Girls Basketball Family, 

I just finished my first year at Camp Estival D’Excellence, and it was two days filled with high quality coaching and high quality ballers. I shadowed the girls from 9:30am until the end of their evening games both days. The camp runs through Friday. 

Lead coaches Bernard Tanguay and Webster Hyppolite did an excellent job leading the group of 24 girls, mostly 2022’s, through solid drills with applicable content and lots of reps. 

The mornings started off with stations focused on different game type skills such as your go-to moves, finishing in transition and finishing with contact, counter moves etc. 

Next, the girls had their morning classroom session where coaches speak on various topics related to the holistic development and components of being a successful high level girls basketball player.

Before lunch, the girls had strengthening sessions with Trainer Arianala Razimfimbola. He used his Brazilian Juijutsu background to put the girls through different bodyweight exercises geared towards core, glute and knee strength. 

After their lunch breaks, the girls went back on the court; day one was volume shooting, and day two was motion offenses and spacing on the floor. 

Next up was the afternoon classroom session. On Monday afternoon, we had special guest speaker Nirra Fields; Quebec Native, UCLA Women’s Basketball Alum, and 2016 WNBA second round draft pick to Phoenix Mercury. She participated int he Rio Olympics, and is currently on the Senior Women’s National Team, heading to Spain in September. She shared her journey and learnings and answered some great questions from the players.

The rest of the afternoons on the court were light, the players went for dinner, and then ended the evenings on games. The group of 24 was divided in two rosters; one played, the other was on scouting duties and presented their offensive, defensive and personnel reports in the following day’s afternoon session.

Player Standouts 

2022 6’0 SF Penelope Albert was the player who immediately caught my attention. Lanky forward with a great feel for the game
and how to play it in a crafty way. Handles are good but need to get tighter, she uses good pass fakes, and delivers the ball well off penetration and in the open court. Her jumper is solid and rises above the defense.

Another camp standout was 2022 5’10 G Saouda Ntaconayigize. She’s an athletic wing with good touch, the ability to penetrate and finish, a post up game and a jumper. Gets on the boards and runs the floor hard for transition buckets; she can finish with contact and in traffic. Locks up on ball defensively and gets good looks for blocks off weak side help.

The only big in camp was 2022 6’0 F/C Anais B-Couture. She’s a strong bodied post with good hands and soft touch at the basket. Raw skillset, but her 3 ball is smooth and she moves well off the ball for clean catch and finish looks inside. I look forward to tracking her progress. 

Another player who impressed me was 2022 5’5 PG/SG Jayla Owen. Her competitive edge, shooters mentality and self-belief
showed in her game. Small guard with great change of speed and head fakes, creates off penetration and will knock the 3 down from anywhere; quick trigger and range. Great energy, and I’m looking forward to watching her step into a bigger role this upcoming season. 

2020 5’6 G Jennifer Damoah proved that she can get to the rim on demand; she’s an explosive, powerful guard with the ability to finish through contact and in traffic. She can deliver off penetration, but doesn’t do so enough. Decent handles with solid change of speed and direction, a low base and quick footwork. Pull up jumper looks good. 

2022 5’10 G Inora Touloute was probably the most athletic player in camp. Not only this, but she had the skillset to set up and draw her defense using good change of speed, she delivers beautiful passes off the dribble with both hands, and she can get to the rim and through the defense at will. She rebounds and runs hard, has good hands and is great in the open court. Uses her length on defense and she has a motor .

Camp MVP & Defensive Player Awards

Back to back Camp Estival D’excellence MVP is NPH Showcase Alum 2022 G Angelie Ricard. This baller has a well rounded skillset; she can handle the ball and deliver beautiful passes, knock down the 3 and the jumper, and is unstoppable in the open court. She gets to the rim with strength and body control, and looks to draw contact on the finish. She passes well off penetration and recognizes how to use ball screens and read the defense. High IQ combo guard with player coaching skills and leadership.

Defensive Player Award goes to 2022 G Daniella Mbengo. Uptempo high energy lock down defensive player who holds a reputation for getting cookies! Clean footwork, active hands and locks down on ball pressure. Keep your handles tight around this one! Offensively raw, strong on rim penetration and active slasher, moves well off the ball.

The end of Camp Estival D’Excellence marks the beginning of our North Pole Hoops Western Canada Showcase tour. I got some new ballers for the database and I’m looking for some more… First up is Winnipeg!! Sign up for your province’s showcase now!

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