Conventional wisdom says that Arizona will never see another crop of girls' prep talent like the class of 2004, and it's true that there's not another Sybil Dosty on the horizon. While there are standouts like junior Rachel Majewski of Ironwood or Soph sensation Dymond Simon of St. Mary's, these classes definitely don't seem as deep with college prospects as the current seniors. There may be another class out there that equals or even surpasses '04, however. Say hello to the class of 2008. Club hoops fans have known for three years that this is a special group. The class includes sharpshooting guards like Paige Traw of the Arizona Sting, post players like Jeanna Furst of the Arizona Elite, and speedster Madison Hernandez of St. Francis Xavier and the Arizona Thunder 14s. Perhaps the best collection of 8th grade talent lies with the Arizona Thunder. Since starting as 10s, the Thunder has won 125 games, including three straight Arizona BCI and AAU titles. The team also has finished in the top ten at BCI Nationals in each of the past three years. The team is led by 5'1" guard Ceslii Granado, but all nine players contribute to the team's success. The Thunder's good fortune is even more dramatic considering the team lacks a true center. Thunder coach (and Thunderbird High School assistant varsity coach) Barry Ringel credits strong defense and team rebounding. "They know they all have to contribute. " He's quick to add, however, that a real tall center "would be nice!"
It may be that the
classes of 2005, 06 and 07 don't produce the
same amount of college players
as 04's, but just wait. The next group of hotshots are just around the
Girls hoops future is bright!
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