Grand Rapids, MI: Day 2 brought more heat and sizzle to the LBI Summer Sizzler at the MSA Fieldhouse in Grand Rapids, MI. Teams that went 2-0 on Sunday sought to win two more and individuals that had great games Sunday, looked to have an encore performance. Games ran on time, scores of coaches filled the baselines, parents cheered, and players gave there all in hopes of starting the July evaluation off on the right foot. Here are a few players that scorched the nets over the last two days and left a lasting impression on LBI evaluators and college coaches.
Summer Sizzler Day II Top Performers
2022 Deyonce Thompson 5’10” CG MBA National 2022
Deyonce Thompson has a focused demeanor that is almost scary. She comes off the bench, but she makes sure that the MBA attack doesn’t skip a beat as she can provide instant offense and defensive flexibility. In nearly a 20-point win for West Michigan Drive, Thompson netted two triples and broke down the Drive defense for a few more buckets in the paint. Thompson’s business-like approach and efficiency makes her a highly effective piece off the bench, but a starring candidate for some lucky college that decides to scoop her up.
2020 Athena Samson 6’2” C Michigan Metro Cagers
Sometimes all you need on a hot summer day is a good old fashioned vanilla ice cream cone-classic right. Center, Athena Samson, is that classic post player that has a bit of an old school type feel to her. She works from block to block, posting and sealing, just waiting for the perfect post feed to do her magic. Samson was able to finish from both sides of the rim and use either hand doing it. She had a couple of buckets that showed off her nice footwork inside as well, leaping off one leg around the defender. Her fundamentals in boxing out and controlling the boards were outstanding. She snagged everything that came her way, throwing in several offensive putbacks along the way.
2020 Anna Winkler 5’6” SG, 2021 Hadley Gratz 5’8” PG and 2022 Olivia Bussell 5’7” SG FSA Team-Black (2020/21)
Scoring was a bit hard to come by for FSA Team-Black today, but luckily they had a few feisty and relentless backcourt players that kept the game a tough and competitive one. 2021 Hadley Gratz had a smooth and fluid game. She was able to knock down some threes with an effortless stroke. Gratz also used her skill to take her defender off the bounce and create for her teammates. Her interior passing was on point; she repeatedly hit cutters to the basket with very good bounce passes. Lefty point guard, 2022 Olivia Bussell, used her ultra-quick first step to beat her man to the basket several times. 2020 Anna Winkler did a great job late in the game of hitting some much needed three’s along with a few aggressive drives that led to some big buckets.
2022 Theryn Hallock 5’8” SG MBA National 2022
I’ve never seen anyone play with more heart, grit, and energy than 2022 Theryn Hallock. This young player runs the floor like a legit sprinter-every single possession. She puts so much pressure on the defense to sprint back because of how hard she pushes the tempo or simply runs the floor. There was no loose ball that Hallock wasn’t in the mix for. When her man had the ball, she was like a stalking lioness just waiting to pounce on the pass or one wrong move. Her intensity is infectious and intimidating, all at the same time. Hallock is just a flat out problem on the perimeter; she hits the roll man nicely on their ball screen action, knocks down the three if they sag, and she has this swaggy, no-look, super-fast flick of a pass around the horn. Her overall improvement lately has been very impressive to watch.
2025 Kira Reynolds 6’2” SF Michigan Crossover 15U
Obviously, the most impressive thing about what this young player was able to accomplish today, was the fact that she isn’t even a teenager yet and still managed to put up huge numbers against young ladies much older. At first glance, Reynolds doesn’t look like your average 2025 athlete, she stands at 6’2” and has a super long wingspan. She used her size today to catch multiple accurate passes due to her reads and ability to sneak behind the defense. Reynolds was able to finish several offensive put-backs as well, because of her soft touch around the rim and nice length. She also found herself at the free-throw line several times throughout the game as she attacked the rim aggressively. As the backside defenders caught on to Kira finishing multiple looks, they waited for her at the rim, so Reynolds showed she had a jumper as well. The sky is the limit for this young athlete.
2024 Lillian Zeinstra 5’8” PG West Michigan Drive 2024
As the youngest team entered in into the LBI Sumer Sizzler, West Michigan Drive 2024 held their own throughout the event. Point guard, Lillian Zeinstra was able to get just about anything she wanted. This backcourt player has progressed nicely over the year, adding some toughness and a few inches as well. However, Lillian’s skill level excelled on the court today, as she pushed in transition and continued to make good decisions when the defense collapsed on her. She used her high-level ball handling and good length to get to the rim and finish using a variety of moves. Without a doubt, Zeinstra’s three-point shooting was electric today against a more seasoned Mystics team today. She managed to drain several long threes for her young group as well.
2022 Gwen Rogozinski 5’7” PG and 2022 Maddison Valentine 5’8” SG Michigan Premier 2022 Blue
These backcourt buddies had defenses off-balance all day. They could beat primary defenders as well as shoot the ball at a high rate. 2022 Gwen Rogozinski, pushed the tempo and consistently made the right pass, never forcing anything, but always finding her shooters camped in the corners or her counterpart 2022 Maddison Valentine looking to attack frazzled defenders. With a dynamic dribble-drive style of play, Rogozinski was able to knock down a few triples after her teammates collapsed the defense for her. Maddison Valentine also had the role of scoring for her Michigan Premier squad, hitting several long threes as well as finding open driving lanes and penetrating big gaps. These two guards led their team well on the offensive end with solid play after solid play.
2023 Claire Erickson 5’11” PF Michigan Mystics 2023 Bell
From the first play of the game to the last minutes, Claire Erickson dominated the paint. Drawing a foul because of her aggressive mannerisms early, really set the tone for the duration of the game. She made a living inside or at the free-throw line all day long. Erickson was unstoppable once she got the ball with two feet in the paint. She hit the defense with spins moves, pump fakes and good old power moves inside. Claire showed she could secure the rebound nicely and then push in transition using wraparounds and reliable crossovers to shake the draping defense. Erickson was instrumental in capturing the win for her Michigan Mystics group today.
West Michigan Drive 2022
PG Jaci Tubergen 5’9”
I’ve heard it said that you lead by example. And in the toughest moments vs. a really good Michigan Basketball Academy, Jaci Tubergen leads her team. She attacked the pressure and created plays for herself and others. When the ball found her on the ball reversal, she calmly sank multiple triples. Jaci is tough, and she didn’t back down from the relentless MBA attack. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one impressed by her composure and ability to compete at such a high level.
PG Avery Zeinstra 5’7”
Avery Zeinstra is the engine that makes the West Michigan Drive....drive! She has an unbelievable motor that allows her to max out on the defensive end while managing to move with precision and vigor on the offensive end. Zeinstra scored on all three levels on Monday and used her wiry frame to get in gaps to finish with a floater or create a shot for a teammate. Zeinstra is another tough as nails guard coming out of the West Michigan Drive program.
Factory Basketball 2022 Orange
PG Kerry Donehue 5’6”
Kerry Donehue told me her recruitment wasn't going as well as she would have hoped, but hopefully, that will change...and it should. Donehue not only handles a good chunk of her team's ball-handling duties but she is also a capable three-point shooter. Down the stretch, Donehue was able to use her speed to break down the defense to get her team a few good looks from beyond the arc as they tried to close the scoring gap vs. Always 100. Donehue consistently got her team in their offense in the halfcourt and made good decisions in transition. I’m sure someone could use a player like that.
CG Ashley Hill 5’8”
Ashley Hill sets the tone for Factory Basketball 2022 Orange as she is persistent in attacking the rim. Though she did not finish at the rate, I’m sure she would have liked to vs. Always 100 Hoopsters, she put a lot of pressure on them. As the foul count for the opposing team rose, it was evident that Ashley Hill had a knack for getting in the paint and getting to contact. Hill played with a confidence I’m sure will help her at the next level.
Common Bond 2021
PG Lauren Dewolf 5’7”
Lauren Dewolf is one half of Common Bonds tenacious tandem in the backcourt. I enjoyed her energy on the defensive end. She’ll have some court burns and bruises to show for it. Dewolf has an unassuming demeanor, but there is a tiger in there as she fearlessly attacks the basket to create for herself and others. She played vs. older competitors for most of LBI Summer Sizzler but did not look overmatched. In fact, she was composed beyond her years vs. pressure and took care of the ball, which is an essential attribute of a good PG.
SG Mya Hicks 5’8”
Maya Hicks is the other half of Common Bonds tenacious tandem in the backcourt. She compliments Lauren Dewolf so well in that they both have high motors and maintain intensity on defense. Hicks has active hands and played the passing lanes well. Hicks also attacks and finishes, but never seems to be out of control as she understands the value of each possession. Look for Mya Hicks to continue to blossom in the coming years as she already looks poised playing up.
Michigan's Finest 15 DeCook
PG Claire Groenewood 5’7”
Every good team needs the girl that does a little bit of everything at a high level. Claire Groenewood is that girl for Michigan’s Finest - DeCook. She relentlessly pressured the ball vs. Michigan Crossover and dissected their defense for scoring opportunities. Those scoring opportunities were created from her steals and knack for getting loose balls. Groenewood’s impact was felt in many facets of the game that saw Michigan’s Finest up at least 20 at one point early in the 1st half. The tornado that is Claire Groenewood should continue to do damage and disrupt her opponent's plans as the July issue valuation period continues.
PG Soraya Timms 5’5”
Soraya Timms is a joy to watch. She’s a high basketball IQ kid, and one of the most fundamentally sounds ballplayers I’ve seen this year regardless of class. She has a plethora of ways to beat you on the offensive end including stepbacks, dribble jabs to a shot, floaters, 1 or 2 dribble pull-ups, no-look passes, etc. She’s small but like I always say about very good smaller guards...they will find a way to get it done, and Soraya Timms finds a way to hurt her opponents. Timms is consistency good, and Monday at the MSA Fieldhouse was no different.