Jantel Lavender vs. Jayne Appel
BEAVERTON, Ore. - Day Three started with a gut check for all the prep stars doing there thing at the Nike Girls Skills Academy and finished with Tina Charles showing why she was recruited by the best programs in the country and a breakout day for Jasmine Thomas of Falls Church, Va.
When you're a superstar you get away with things some players don't; it's just the way it is. Well, that crap doesn't fly at the next level (college) and the level beyond that (WNBA). Your accomplishments in high school don't buy you a single second of time in college and certainly don't get you time or money in the WNBA. An undisclosed camp participant was late for the bus and prompted long speeches from many of the Academy instructors on opportunity, responsibility and most of all that these young athletes, while stars on their teams at home, have not arrived yet. The work isn't done, it's hardly begun. After a good heartfelt butt chewing from Academy Director Kevin Eastman, a very to the point speech from former UCLA and Cal State-Fullerton coach Billie Moore and concluded with a speech from Stacey Dales-Shuman they got back to work.
Kevin Eastman makes a point
Game Two between Team B and the team of Angie Bjorklund, Jacki Gemelos, Jantel Lavender, Morghan Medlock, Ta'Shia Phillips and Thomas was all about Charles. In the 16-8 win she scored 10 points of those points in just six minutes. She was dominating with her pivots, on the glass and blocking shots. She was everywhere in a short amount of time. She was giving up size and height to both Phillips and Lavender but would not be denied. It was the most dominant performance of all the mini-games thus far.
Today's drill work progressed to some two-on-two, three-on-three and four-on-four drills. They spent a lot of time working the pick and roll. Thomas excelled in the two-on-two and skill development work today. She is a strong guard with good balance, quickness and explosive leaping ability. She struggled coming off the pick-and-roll at first trying to make a quick pass after just one dribble beyond the screen but took the instruction and figured it out. She was tenacious on defense in the live play as well, a feat that has been rare in this offense-intensive camp. Thomas showed some quick explosive mid-range pull up jumpers with good form and touch. She has been a little inconsistent with her deep range streaking both on and off at times but had a great day from the morning session through the evening session.
McMahan in the middle
Several kids were limited today by minor injuries. Elena Delle Donne was out again sick and wasn't in the gym at all today. Whitney Jones, Morghan Medlock, Porsha Phillips and Dymond Simon were all out at least part of the day ailing and treating. Tomorrow the camp wraps up with another round of drill work, some more scrimmage competitions before the campers sit down individually with their evaluators to discuss what they need to do to continue their success on the next level. The theme of the day though was set first thing in the morning when the message was sent; if you want to be successful in college you can't take opportunities for granted and accept efforts less than you better demand your best always, get outside your comfort level and continue to develop your game continually.
More Academy Coverage:
Nike Skills: Photo Gallery
Nike Skills: Day Two
Nike Skills: Day One