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LBI Event Recap: U16 USA Final 18 (Colorado Springs, CO)

By Steve Reynolds @LBI_Steve, 05/28/19, 1:00PM EDT


Here are the final 18 to make the U16 USA Trials training camp roster & why!
2021 Olivia Miles 5-10 CG (NJ)
One could argue that no guard has had more of an impact on the play on the court than Miles.  She dominates, facilitates, and communicates from the PG position.  She can seamlessly slide over to the SG position as well.
2021 Dede Hagemann 5-8 PG (MI)
Does the things the committee has been asking for naturally.  She’s a winner that plays championship caliber basketball from the point guard spot.
2021 Payton Verhulst 6-1 SG (KS)
Payton is a high basketball IQ player.  Also, if the USA needs a knockdown shooter that still has the all-around game always to make an impact on the court even if her shot is off, then Payton is that girl. 
2022 KiKi Rice 5-11 CG (MD)
Being EXTRAORDINARY at the SIMPLE things gets you a long way.  If the committee loves the tall, long, and agile point guard that can make plays and makes it look simple, then you have to keep KiKi Rice.

2021 Raven Johnson 5-9 CG (GA)
By my count, Raven was the lone applicant athlete to make it to training camp. She was consistently good with no high highs and no low lows. Raven was just good every minute on the court, on both ends of the court.
2021 Sonia Citron 6-1 SG (NY)
Consistency is, and one could argue there has been none more consistent than Sonia Citron.  She runs the floor well and is going to light it up from the international three.
2022 KK Bransford 5-10 CG (OH)
If KK makes the team, she’s shown she can lock up the other team's best perimeter player, and she won’t turn the ball over.  That’s a winning combination, and hard tandem of abilities to overlook.
2022 Londynn Jones 5-6 PG (CA)
Quickness personified, but never out of control.  Over the years the small point guard has not been a staple for USA teams, but Londynn has just been too solid to ignore.
2021 Saylor Poffenbarger 6-2 SG (MD)
Saylor offers excellent size at the shooting guard position, and she can shoot the ball. I also believe she is the best rebounder of all the shooting guards, which is a plus.
2022 Ashlon Jackson 6-0 SF (TX)
Ashlon Jackson is a fighter. I watched a majority of the Trials Sessions, and I saw only two charges taken. Ashlon took both of them.  She’s an impact player on both ends of the court.
2022 Timea Gardiner 6-3 PF (CO)
Timea Gardiner is the most offensively skilled big of the group with her back to the basket.  In a system that emphasizes feeding the post and working inside out, Gardiner seems to be the ideal player as she can score and move the ball out of the post with regularity.
2021 Sania Feagin 6-4 PF (GA)
Think young Sylvia Fowles in demeanor and game.  Sorry if you don’t know who the LSU and WNBA all-time great Sylvia Fowles is, but there is no other better comparison in my opinion.  Watch some YouTube videos, and you’ll get the picture.
2022 Janiah Barker 6-3 PF (FL)
The most versatile of the PF can do so many things on both ends of the court. She would be a nightmare for international players and coaches to match up with.
2022 Lauren Betts 6-7 C (CO)
Barring injury or a complete meltdown, I don’t ever see Lauren Betts being cut from a USA Trials team.  Size and defensive/offensive skill set combinations make her a problem for years to come.
2021 Aaliyah Moore 6-2 PF (OK)
Aaliyah Moore is going to be the toughest girl on the court in every game she plays…PERIOD!  If she misses, she’s going to get her rebound.  If she loses the ball, she’s going to get it back herself. If she gets beat, she’s going to recover and block the shot.  These are the things I saw that make her a no-brainer to make this team.
2021 Amari DeBerry 6-5 C (NY)
This crop of bigs was so exciting to watch and compete.  None more than DeBerry as she was dominant in spurts and is the only one comparable to the unique size and defensive/offensive skill set combination of Lauren Betts.
2022 Maya Nnaji 6-4 C (MN)
I don’t believe anyone did more for themselves during the final 3-4 sessions than Mya Nnaji.  She peeled back the layers of her game, and we got to see her knock down midrange shots off the dribble, pick and pop, and high post flash kick.
2021 Jillian Hollinshead 6-4 PF (GA)
The Georgia native is long and athletic.  The scariest thing about her is that she can go all night! Hollinshead is running circles around her peers and is hard to keep up with.