Suwanee camp showcases nation's top girl athletes

Women's basketball coaches from all over the country will line the courts at the Suwanee Sports Academy this week, hoping to find their next star.

The Suwanee facility hosts the Adidas Top Ten All-American Camp, a showcase from Monday to Friday that features the nation's top rising seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

In Suwanee for the second straight year, the event brings droves of college coaches to scout the nation's top girls basketball talent.

The camp is a high-profile showcase for the players, but also a high-pressure situation with college coaches taking notes.

"You see coaches everywhere," said Wesleyan guard Nikki Luckhurst, who returns for her second straight trip to the invitation-only showcase. "You're just curious to see who is there and to see which team they're from. You can't really look over. Well you can, but you just don't."

Most of the Gwinnett players in the camp last year graduated, standouts like Central Gwinnett's Stephanie Higgs, Collins Hill's Stacy Booker and Shannel Harris and Meadowcreek's Amber Holt. Luckhurst is one of the few holdovers from Gwinnett with experience in the Adidas camp.

The rising senior remembers games with unfamiliar faces, all who are trying to show off their talents without trying to do too much.

"You're just trying to get some exposure," Luckhurst said. "It's really hard to play with people you don't know. You don't know what they're going to do and there aren't really any set plays. When I'm open I just want to get my shots off and play good defense."

This year's camp has a new meaning for the 5-foot-9 Luckhurst, known for her shooting and pressure defense. As a rising senior, she knows her college decision is coming up soon.

Her list of favorites include Texas Christian, Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, Richmond, California-Berkeley and North Carolina-Charlotte, and all those schools have informed her they will be in attendance at this week's camp.

"Because it's my last year, there's more pressure," Luckhurst said. "When I was a junior, there wasn't as much. Now there's more pressure because I don't know where I'm going, and you want to do your best in front of the people watching you."

Other top Georgia players enrolled in the camp include Paideia guard Sparkle Davis, 6-2 Woodward Academy forward Daphne Mitchell and 6-4 Campbell center Cristie Lautsch.

Luckhurst will be joined at the camp by Chandrica Smith, a rising junior who played her sophomore season at Stephenson and her freshman season at Wesleyan.

The showcase also is open to the public at a cost of $5 per day.

Following the camp, the Suwanee academy will host the Adidas Supershowcase Friday, July 18 to Sunday, July 20. The Supershowcase is a tournament for girls traveling teams in the 15-and-under, 16-and-under and 17-and-under age groups.


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