Reflections Back on the last/final day of the 2014 Haeco Invitational Basketball Tournament(Now with Photos)
Haeco Tournament Chairman Worth Holleman said he was just waiting to exhale, but he would not release that last gasp of air, until the final whistle blew and all of the hardware/trophies had been handed out…
When it was all said and done and Mr. Holleman could exhale without the threat of being impaled, you knew success had come again to the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center….
Mr. Holleman did not want to get stuck with a second place tag and he, along with his crew of noble Greensboro Sports Council members, all came home winners with nothing but first place feelings, as the 2014 tournament came to a close….
Lots of hard work turned in by men like Rob Goodman and Demp Bradford along the media and press front lines, as they manned the crisis-control center and interacted among the brain-trust that kept the tournament flowing/moving….
Lots of talent out there this week, but just from an observation standpoint, the youngest player in the tournament might have been the top prospect out there amongst the men and women….
Elissa Cunane, the young freshman center/post player from Northern Guilford, at maybe 14 years old max, might just be the next top hoops model from Guilford County….
Hard to teach that 6’3 and she is still growing, you think???
Not here to down-grade the rest of talent that was in the tournament, but the colleges start looking at these kids when they are in the 7th or 8th grade and you just know that Cunane is already on the radar of most of the East Coast college coaches at the DI level….
We have plenty of Mid-major prospects out here and the colleges are hot on their heels, but I’m not sure/sold on the abundance of major DI prospects out there, for the boys and girls when you start to take a realistic look at the overall lay of the basketball land/talent….
Harry Giles and Kwe Parker over at Wesleyan will be going somewhere at the top DI level, but these days you have/see more of those Mid-major opportunities than you do the chances of making it at the top level of NCAA hoops….
Lots of the kids are going Mid-major and they will have tons of chances there…..
I was very impressed with the play of Will Dillard, from Greensboro Day in the men’s championship game…Will had a little bit of a coming out party and he had a major impact on the Bengals taking their fourth straight title….Will can get up and his ball handling skills have risen, as he has become more involved with the overall GDS offense….Will’s brother Reggie went the Presbyterian route and something like that would not be a bad route for Will….
On the men’s side a kid that I thought had a great week was Jalen Seegars from Page…I almost wrote down Jalen Spicer, and I could have listed Jaylen Gore, but right now the name to leave with you is Jalen Seegars…Just loved his complete game with rebounds, blocked shots, hustling after loose balls that were about to go out-of-bounds along the sidelines and at the baseline, plus Seegars scored plenty of points to help his team and was working on the inside, the outside and he threw down a couple of monster dunks in the 3rd place game, as Page was taking care of business vs. Smith…Not sure how far he will go and if he will continue to grow, but Seegars sure got my attention and he was not out there trying to draw attention to himself, he was just going to work and doing his job….
We got big men going to the Mid-majors with Peter Agba(GDS) going to Akron and Xavier Hill-Mais(Page) headed to Oakland(Michigan) and Darius Moore from GDS is going the Mid-major path too….Spoke with Agba on Monday night and just a very nice mild-mannered young man, who plays very hard when he hits the court, but had nothing but good things to say about everyone at the end of the tournament, with special praise for the efforts of Hill-Mais and Reggie Davis(Northwest Guilford)…
Spicer and Gore from Northwest Guilford will get good long Mid-major looks and they should do well at the next level and while looking over these young men, we must not over-look the fact, that all of them were on the All-Tournament team, with the exception of Hill-Mais….
There are many other kids out there that will be getting college looks and for local kids like Hendon Hooker at Dudley, and Diondre Overton at Page, it will come down to, “Do you want to play football or basketball in college?”, and right now, I see both leaning toward football….It might change for Overton, since he is picking up the point guard spot in a good way, but he will have to weigh his options between now and the end, or even the beginning of 2016….If he goes football, he could be out by January 2016, but with his love of basketball, you just feel like he would stick around and finish up the hoops with his friends, but those college coaches have much more say, than we do here….
On the girls side of the court, you know Cunane is going to keep on getting lots of attention and she does something that many of us look for in a player from the jump street and it does not even apply to the jump, it is the shot….Cunane can hit free throws….Watch any player, male or female and if they can hit free throws, they can be a hit playing college basketball and if the tall players can hit free throws, that is like “money in the bank”….
Cunane can drain the foul shots…I used to love to hear that word “Drain-O”, when somebody would nail a long outside shot and you need to enforce and open up a can of “Drain-O” every time you go to the line and Cunane is working to drain those free throws….Morgan Pointer is a “BIG” for NWG and she can hit the free throws and she should be able to hit the Mid-major level of college play….Not sure what spot she will play in college, just depends on what a certain team is looking for….Pointer somewhere near the paint, but maybe at a three or four spot….Hayley Barber and Toni Tucker from NWG are not post players, but they are very good guards, with one at the point(Barber) and the other at the two-spot(Tucker as the shooter) and both are solid college prospects at the Mid-major level….Not really sure if we have a low-level Major level, but with the game that Barber and Tucker have, they will be playing college ball if they pursue it….In the end, DIII might be in the works, but not at this time, got to think a level larger, with 2 years left on your high school contract…
Kasey Johnson and Sydney Wilson at Northern Guilford might be exploring their possibilities and DIII might be there for them and that is not a bad deal when you look at that DIII education and what it can mean when you pick up/receive your diploma….
There are three sets of sisters at Page and that still makes your mind spin every time you try to keep up with the Pirate ladies…The Kargos, the Caspers and the Heards and in the old days of women’s basketball, when they played six on six, you could have had the entire crew on the floor for you filling out your team/lineup at one time….Somebody out of that bunch of six will end up playing college basketball and you may see up to 2-3 or maybe even 3-4 that hit the college floor at some level whether it be DIII or mid-level DI….
Greensboro Day will have Tamera Thorpe in college next year at the Mid-major level somewhere and she may already be signed up, but I don’t remember the spot and the Brady kid, Mahlon Brady….She is young, she is fairly tall and she can hit free throws(with the arc of St. Louis)…That is a go for me, if she continues to work on and improve on her game….Gloria Smith-Bunch was another shooter from Greensboro Day that caught my attention and she has very good strength and range…
Plenty of talk from me and now time for you to add-on/add-in your opinion….Probably left a few people out and maybe missed a few of my free throws, so you pick up the slack and let’s see what you have to say….
Photos of Haeco MVP’s in their Post Game Interviews.