Atlanta, GA: 100 athletes descended on Atlanta, GA for Dan Olson’s CGBR National Showcase featuring world-class trainer, Ganon Baker. Essential COVID-19 precautions were taken and explained as we eased into competition. Three sessions were kicked off with skill work and instruction on how to be efficient in 1 on 1, 3 on 3, and 5 on 5 settings. Lady Ballers Insider was among other top evaluators as the action was fast and competitive for these athletes who had an opportunity to showcase their skills and change some minds about who they were as basketball players.
2022 Kate Hollifield 5’9” CG Carolina Elite
Kate Hollifield was fantastic. She has very good pace to her game that allowed her to keep defenders off balance, producing multiple opportunities for And1s she was able to convert. She’s a playmaker who can shoot the rock with range, and that’s a dangerous and valuable attribute to have.
2026 Elsie Larsen 5’2” PG
Elsie Larsen was one of the youngest players in the gym, but her poise and basketball IQ are off the charts. She had some of the normal issues you’d expect from a rising 7th grader playing with older kids due to things like strength or height, but there was plenty to like about Larsen. She didn’t back down one bit, and she understood how to find her opportunities to make an impact on the game. This highly skilled young lady is going to turn heads as she matures.
2022 Jamiah Gregory 5’10 SG
It’s refreshing to see kids play hard with a smile on their face. Jamiah Gregory is one of those kids as she has a lot to smile about after her performance at the CGBR National Showcase. She played all afternoon, literally head and shoulders above her competition. Her athleticism was eye-popping. She leveraged her athleticism on defense and in her ability to finish. She was also one of the best rebounding guards at the event.
2023 Zakiya Stephenson 5’6” PG Princess Anne/Boo Williams 16U
Zakiya was trouble for hopeless defenders all day. She was able to get anywhere she wanted to on the floor because of her shiftiness and relentless attack of the paint. Her game is built for the showcase setting as she found the balance of being able to get others involved and creating opportunities for herself. Strong handle plus change of speed made it very difficult to take your eyes off of Zakiya for fear of missing what she might to next.
2024 Joyce Edwards 6’2” SF FEW360
Joyce Edwards established her dominance early and often. The combination of her length and athleticism allowed her to standout on the offensive boards and when she got paint touches. Her partner in crime, PG Zamareya Jones (more on her later), executed off the pick and roll and in transitions several times. Edwards frame is going to allow her to put on weight over the years, which will makes her a big-time prospect in the 2024 class.
2024 Zamareya Jones 5’4” PG North Pitt/FBC
In my opinion, no one did more for her stock than PG dynamo Zamareya Jones. She has it! The first thought on player comparison was a young Zia Cooke. She has flair and substance. She scored on all three levels, but I was most impressed with her ability to control the flow of the game and get others involved.
2023 Jade Tillman 5’10” SF St. John’s College/MD GTS Fusion
The morning session of the CGBR National Showcase ran by Dan Olson, started off with a nice bang. Small forward, Jade Tillman was one that took center stage early. She asserted herself from start to finish. What stood out from her play was the hard-fought battle that her and fellow 2023 stud Courtney Ogden had throughout the session. They went at each other over and over again. The play was rough, physical, and emotional at times. Tillman used her size and strength to muscle in several buckets at the rim. She also showed several smooth drives from the high post area that resulted in a few and one opportunities as well. Jade absolutely showed off her strength, grit, and desire to be great even amongst the top competition this weekend.
2023 Mallory Collier 6’4” C Houston, TX/FBC United
There’s probably one word to accurately describe the play of this frontcourt player; dominate. When it came time to play the games, Collier was the focal point for her squad indeed. She had an innate ability to know when to run some screening action or simply park it on the block and demand the ball. It was almost impossible to block her shot once she had the ball in her sweet spot overhead. She finished countless buckets in a variety of ways, as well. Her pirouette spin moves had the sidelines gasping with the simple fact that a 6’4” frontcourt player had the footwork to pull a move like that off in traffic, no less, at the end of a grueling workout.
2022 Aly Wadkovsky 6’2” PF
The first thing that comes to mind from the onset of watching Aly play was that she’s going to make some college team very happy. She’s such a tough, scrappy, hard-working kid. She managed to get under the skin of several highly touted players with her relentless pursuit on the boards, her ridiculous motor on both ends, and her highly physical style of play in general. Aly was able to clean up missed shots around the rim because she managed to stay completely engaged in the play until she saw the ball go through the net. On the defensive end, similarly to her play on the offensive end, Aly stood out with her hard-nosed, physical style of play as she moved girls off the block, defended the rim nicely, and simply wore post players out with her unmatched toughness.
2022 Taylor Henderson 5’10” SF Winston Salem Christian
So this young lady should change her name to little miss buckets! When I tell you every single time I looked up she was scoring, it was startling at times. Defenders closed out appropriately, but she still managed to blow by and score over the help. So the defense would sag off a bit, well she would just hit the three in their face. Henderson even managed to get some post touches and bully her way to some baskets there as well. She has a true knack and sense for scoring the ball from all over the floor. Take notice people, take notice.
2024 Ella Hobbs 6’3” SF J.M. Robinson, NC/FBC
Sometimes players can stand out without standing out. Ella Hobbs is one of those players. She ever so quietly snatched rebound after rebound before putting pretty much every single one back for a bucket. She went about her business very efficiently and effectively all day long. She gained great position on the block for easy baskets, caught and finished every pass thrown to her, and crashed the offensive glass repeatedly. This post player has all the size, talent, and potential to really be a dominant force wherever she goes for years to come.