Posted On: 01/31/21 6:48 PM

Now that we have crossed the midway point of the season, I wanted to highlight the up and coming names who have had success in their first high school action. Keep an eye on these players down the stretch of this season, and in the coming years.

Inia Jones – Omaha Central

Size, strength, speed, and skill are all qualities that the Eagles freshman point guard possess. I have yet to watch an Omaha Central game this year in which their opponent successfully kept Jones out of the lane. She has an excellent handle, and when an athlete like Jones is able to use all of that athleticism without being slowed by her own dribble, it’s a dangerous combination. She is averaging 11 points per game on 46% shooting so far this season. Her addition to this team has elevated the Eagles into the upper echelon of Class A. Her ability to penetrate has produced high-percentage looks for Aaniya Webb Aaniya Webb 5'11" | SF Omaha Central | 2022 State NE and the rest of her teammates. Defensively, she is an excellent point of attack defender. Good luck trying to drive the basketball when Jones is the one playing defense.

Jesani Green – Omaha Benson

The Benson post player has displayed impressive touch around the basket in her first season. She controls her body well and can finish from a variety of angles. She possesses valuable size, but has not yet learned how to weaponize it. Standing around with your hands up isn’t enough to get the basketball in your hands, which she is finding out. I’m sure her height has done all the work for her before high school, but she will need to learn how to post, how to seal, and how to fight off the defender. Her touch extends away from the basket, which is very promising for a young big. She can hit a jumper 10-15 feet out if they give her the space to do so.

Ahnica Russell-Brown – Omaha Benson

The future at the point guard position for the Bunnies is Ahnica Russell-Brown. What impresses me most is her confidence. She runs, jumps, and moves like she has been doing this at this level for several years. Her ball-handling ability is above-average, and she is always scanning the court. Her eyes never drift to the ball or the ground in front of her. I do not see any glaring mechanical flaws in her jump shot. In fact, it seems to be a very clean stroke, but the shooting percentages have not backed up the eye test yet. With more reps and improved strength, I anticipate her release to become consistent and her shots will start to fall at a higher rate.

McKenna Murphy – Fremont

The best passer I’ve watched in this class is McKenna Murphy. She can assist with either hand, from all angles, and from all areas on the court. There is so much more to passing than just the ball leaving the ball-handlers hands. Murphy slows her body and alters her strides to create windows, and she is excellent at faking one decision to make the next. A micro-skill that she possesses that all great offensive players have is the ability to draw fouls. It is not cheap or flopping in the way she does it, but when she knows her shot attempt is a difficult, or impossible one, she will hang in the air a bit longer and adjust herself to draw contact.

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