East Lansing, MI: Although there was an intense buzz surrounding the epic senior day matchup of the men's Michigan State vs. Ohio State basketball game this weekend, young girls teams from all over the midwest came to find their own rivalry in the Spartan Classic tournament on the campus of Michigan State University. Familiar foes met and fought. While some new faces emerged and shined. But through it all, these are a few of the players that earned a standing ovation.
2024 Emanuel Davis SF 6’0” Common Bond 8th
There are a lot of “IFs” in my line of work. They could be this if they do that. If the kid works, if the kid grows, if the kid gets in a better situation, etc. Ifs speak to potential, and Emanuel Davis has it. She has a good foundation with her athleticism and agility, but IF she adds on to her foundation, she could work herself into a next-level player.
2024 Reese Polega 5’9” SG West Michigan Drive Copeland
Continues to improve. Reese seems to have a stronger handle she used to get to where she wanted in the court to create for herself and her teammates. The trademark hustle and grind was there as she is always moving on the offensive end while very active and disruptive in the defensive end. Polega was the catalyst for a very polished and seasoned West Michigan Drive team.
2025 Raven McQueen 6’0” SF Michigan Storm
Sometimes it's hard to get young players going in the morning, but getting the engine started was not a problem for Michigan Storm 7th grade team led by the infectious energy. She did a little bit of everything: pushed the ball on the break, crashed the boards, blocked shots, and used her hustle game to create extra possessions for her team. Raven already has excellent size and strength, so her ability and commitment to defend the perimeter at a high level was all the more impressive. I’m looking forward to her development this spring and summer.
2024 Alexis Castator 5’11” SG Always 100 Paul 2024
Skilled big guards are a commodity at the next level. Then that would make Alexis Castator a prime prospect in recruiting circles. Castator is very good getting to the basket and difficult for smaller guards to stop. She scored off of her pull-up jumper and finished well in transition. With improved motor, the sky is the limit for this kid as she has all the tools to have a successful high school career.
2025 Elisha Dykstra 5’10” SG MBA Meerman
Elisha Dykstra is a high-motor and very skilled player. She has great length at her size and seems to get herself involved in every play on both ends of the court. Offensively, she can beat you from deep or in transition. Defensively, she guards her position well and is disruptive.
2024 Madelyn Geers 5’8" SG West Michigan Drive
Madelyn Geers has an unassuming demeanor but she is ferocious on the court. Geers is slippery in the lane and finishes with either hand. She used a good pace and quick euro step to score time and time again. She has poise versus pressure beyond her years and is the catalyst for a very tough West Michigan Drive team. She did a solid job on the other team's best guards this weekend as well.
2025 Maddie Bernard 5’9” SG Michigan Crossover
As the Spartan Classic went on, Maddie Bernard began to heat up. Maddie is a super smooth shooting guard with very good range on her three-point shot. She scored in bunches on Championship Sunday as she was able to get out and finish in transition while finding a way to knock down multiple triples in the half-court setting. When Maddie gets going, Michigan Crossover is hard to beat.
2024 Coco Courtright 6’0” SF 03 Elite
Solid, strong, and tough is a great combination of attributes to have when you are trying to compete at a high level. When adding the fact that Coco Courtwright also is an inside-out threat, then you have a very good player. Courtwright anchors 03 Elite in that she is equally impactful on both sides of the court. Whether pulling out a big on the perimeter or posting up a smaller player for easy post scores, Courtwright is solidifying herself as a name to be reckoned with across the state of Michigan.
2026 Lola Lampley 6’0” SF Blaze United 2025
You could argue that Lola Lampley was pound for pound the best player at Spartan Classic. No one exhibited the ability to impact a game the way she does, and she is playing up two years! Very strong and mature for a 6th grader with basketball IQ well beyond years. She was unstoppable off the spin move as she can get to that spin move driving from the perimeter or the high post. Time and time again, Lampley was in the mix for crucial rebounds or loose balls as well. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better 6th grader...in the entire country.