July is a month on the high school and travel basketball calendar that sees the conclusion of camp month – June – and many of the nation’s top ballers get reacquainted once again with their AAU teams.
Hence this year’s early July NCAA live period – and the litany of events associated with it. One of those many events was the two-day Prep Girls Hoops 2K22 emanating from the Chicago area.
The event welcomed a number of teams from a number of states. The home state of Illinois was, as expected, well-represented, but those from nearby states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan made the trip as well as those from non-Midwestern states such as New Mexico, Texas and Alabama. All in all, more than 40 teams converged on the Midwest’s signature city for two days of competitive travel ball.
The rising seniors and other 17U participants that were on hand for both days of the event more than earned their six-sided Chicago stars. In a city known for its beloved “El” trains, many 2023s took it upon themselves and their teams to “El”-evate their games.
– 2024 – St. Charles North – Full Package 2023 Black – Having a six footer with shooting ability is a priceless attribute to have at any level of basketball – including the high school and travel levels. Stack combines a height advantage with accuracy from deep. Defensively, she plays heads-up and seemingly is a step ahead of where a ball carrier could be. Her height and length enable her to be an effective shot blocker and rebounder on either end of the floor. She finished with 11 points as her team began Friday’s play with a dominant win over El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023.
Mistidawn Roybal – 2023 – Robertson HS – New Mexico D1 2023 – Listed at 5-foot-11, Roybal is one of the taller members of the New Mexico D1 2023 bunch. In fact, she is one of three that is close to that height. She runs the floor with effectiveness and can get from one end of the floor to the other with the ball in her hands. Roybal can play a bit on the perimeter but is active even when she does not have the ball in her hands. If she is near the rim, she can play with her back to the basket and can look to post up on who is guarding her. She finished with 18 points in an emphatic 63-28 victory over MSF Flight 2023.
Lovely Isabella Allemand – 2024 – Robertson HS – New Mexico D1 2023 – The Cardinals’ connection had the cards in its favor when New Mexico D1 2023 faced off against MSF Flight 2023 on Friday. It was a contest that resulted in a 63-28 win where Allemand managed 12 points. She brings a fearless attitude to the game and is not afraid to draw contact which can place her at the free throw line. Allemand can also be accurate from behind the 3-point arc and her activity away from the ball make her a consistent playmaking threat as she is with the rock in her hands.
Josie Zuvers – 2023 – Morenci HS – MSF Flight 2023 – Zuvers is the tallest talent on the MSF Flight 2023 squad as she is listed at a towering 6-foot-2. This gives her a noteworthy height advantage as a scorer and a rebounder but a 3-pointer is also part of her offensive arsenal. Zuvers combines her playmaking abilities with a high basketball IQ and an ability to keep herself out of foul trouble. In addition, she has length along with height and is poised to be one of many rising seniors across Michigan that will conclude their high school careers on a high note. She contributed an 11-point effort in her team’s Friday contest against a tough D1 New Mexico 2023 assembling.
Hannah Ayala – 2023 – Immanuel Christian – El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023 – The rising senior who sports the royal blue and gold of the Warriors is a two-sport athlete. The other sport of choice for Ayala is volleyball. Her primary position for basketball is at the four and she possesses shooting ability from long range more conventionally seen in ones and twos. Ayala’s scoring and rebounding make her a consistent double-double threat and she has no issues playing defense either in the paint or out on the perimeter. Ayala also is unafraid of contact that can put her at the free throw line. She finished with 14 points in a get-together between her team and Florida-based Lady OTOD 2023 Pink on Friday.
– 2023 – Andrew Jackson HS – Lady OTOD 2023 Pink – Jackson has been one of the standout rising seniors all Prep Girls Hoops Circuit long – and that continued as said Circuit reached its apex in Chicago. She has plenty of chemistry with her Lady OTOD 2023 Pink teammates given many of them are also Tigers. Jackson provides a noteworthy paint presence that makes coaches and teams have to game plan against her scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking. She will also head out to the perimeter to stay further involved in the flow of an offense and also knows when to pass and when to score. A rising senior who also shines as a flag football player, she tallied 11 points in a 56-49 victory over El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023 on Friday.
Alexia Taliferro – 2023 – Andrew Jackson HS – Lady OTOD 2023 Pink – Speaking of veteran Tigers whose excellent play has translated from the high school scene to the travel realm. Taliferro is another name to watch in the Sunshine State’s consistently robust girls basketball landscape. She is versatile in that she can thrive as either a guard in the backcourt or in the frontcourt as a three. Her activity away from the ball also enables her to make plays. She also presents a height advantage at 5-foot-9 and that can be a worthwhile attribute especially when presenting matchup problems against smaller guards. Taliferro scored 11 points in a Lady OTOD 2023 Pink 56-49 win over El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023.
Jasnea Hall-McDowell – 2023 – Andrew Jackson HS – Lady OTOD 2023 Pink – Another one of the five Tigers that comprise the Lady OTOD 2023 Pink roster, Hall-McDowell proves herself to be an asset with her multi-dimensional skillset. She will take and make her fair share of 3-point attempts and welcomes the thought of playing on contact as she will take her chances at the free throw line. Listed as a 5-foot-5 guard, she keeps opposing ball carriers on their toes with the number of steals she can compile and translates attributes from her second sport – flag football – that can apply to basketball. Hall-McDowell scored 15 points in her team’s 56-49 win over El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023 on Frid
Janise Respess – 2023 – Terry Parker HS – Lady OTOD 2023 Pink – Prep Girls Hoops has had many glimpses of Respess – at Circuit events such as the Triumph Region Kickoff and at non-Circuit events such as the Apache Memorial in Charlotte. She will play the game on contact and will take her opportunities at the free throw line in addition to getting herself in position to make plays near the rim. Respess can play taller than her 5-foot-3 frame and that skill comes in useful when hauling in rebounds – particularly offensive boards that can become two-point putbacks. She will also showcase how accurate she can be from 3-point land. Respess will also run the floor efficiently in transition and connect on midrange shots. She scored 10 points in her team’s 56-49 win over El Paso Lady Hurricanes 2023.
Kennedi McCray – 2023 – Pleasant Grove HS – Alabama Twisters Elite 2023 – McCray has been another of the consistent standouts throughout the Prep Girls Hoops Circuit. She has consistently displayed her talents through her ability to score from anywhere on the court – including from midrange, long range and at the free throw line. McCray displays impressive handles along with an ability to organize an offense in the halfcourt as a point guard. She is a problem on the defensive side as well with her ability to collect steals. McCray concluded her Prep Girls Hoops 2K22 outing with a 17-point performance in a thrilling 72-69 victory over Illinois-based Full Package 2023 Neon.
– 2023 – Hoover HS – Alabama Twisters Elite 2023 – Hill made sure she finished her time in the Chicago area in emphatic fashion. She did just that with a 23-point performance to lead her uber-talented travel squad to a 72-69 victory over Full Package 2023 Neon. Hill plays the game with a fearless attitude with a knack for attacking the rim and a willingness to absorb contact and find her way to the free throw line. She is one of the reasons why the Buccaneers continue to be among the class of what is a talent-rich Alabama girls basketball scene.
– 2024 – Fremd HS – Full Package 2023 Neon – Following a tenure on the junior varsity team with the Vikings, Eshoo proved her talents worthy of its varsity squad that went 27-7 in 2021-22. Eshoo is a playmaker on defense as she will fill up a stat sheet with steals. At at even six feet, she provides a height advantage coaches certainly look for out of their fours. Another element to her overall game is what she gets accomplished as a rebounder. Eshoo scored 21 points in a thrilling contest against Alabama Twisters Elite 2023 where defense was at a premium.
– 2024 – Carmel Catholic – Full Package 2023 Neon – Schlabowske had herself a great Prep Girls Hoops Circuit as she was named to this year’s Second Team All-Tournament for the Victory Region. While she will take her opportunities from behind the 3-point arc, she is not afraid to absorb contact and get to the free throw line. Schlabowske takes care of the ball well and displays superb court vision combined with a high basketball IQ. She tallied 14 points in what was an impressive conclusion to her live period as Full Package 2023 Neon was locked in an intense offensively-charged battle with Alabama Twisters Elite 2023.
Eleni Medero – 2023 – St. Ignatius College Prep – Full Package 2023 Neon – As proficient as Medero can be from behind the 3-point line, it is only fitting that her maroon and gold Wolfpack jersey features two 3s on its back and front. While her sharpshooting ability is only one element of her game, her status as a threat to steal the ball make her a defensive stalwart. Medero is also unafraid to draw contact and come up clutch at the free throw and plenty of her baskets will occur in big moments of games. Medero finished with 17 points in one of the more entertaining games of Prep Girls Hoops 2K22 as Full Package 2023 Neon matched up against Alabama Twisters Elite 2023.
– 2024 – Rolling Meadows HS – Full Package 2023 White – McMahon continues to prove game in and game out why she is worthy of playing up in class. McMahon impressed at The Exclusive in late April and did so again at Prep Girls Hoops 2K22. When mentioning 3-point shooters among Illinois high school basketball players, McMahon should be near or at the top of that discussion. She stands at 5-foot-7 and her play can facilitate plays for the taller players on her squad. Racking up steals on defense, getting out in transition and versatility on defense are other elements to her complete game. All of her points in her team’s final matchup of the tournament occurred via the triple as she had 18 points against New Mexico D1 2023.
Anjali Nimmagadda – 2023 – Glenbrook South HS – Full Package 2023 White – The Titans got back to their winning ways in 2021-22 as coach Steve Weissenstein’s team finished with a 20-9 mark. Nimmagadda, who previously played at Springman MS is an efficient scorer who also approaches every contest with a high basketball IQ. She is listed at 5-foot-8 and has found her footing on both the high school and travel circuits. Nimmagadda also has a knack for keeping herself out of foul trouble and making the most on both ends of the floor of the many minutes she accumulates. She scored 10 points as Full Package 2023 White concluded its Prep Girls Hoops 2K22 with a competitive matchup with New Mexico D1 2023.