STORY & PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON
LAS VEGAS - Because Meadows Middle School here in Sin City didn't have anyone else who could play point guard, some college in three years is going to have themselves either a big wing or a forward who can step out and hit three-pointers.
For now, Dannielle Diamant is a 6-foot-3 prospect in the 2009 Class who will tantilize Division I programs with her developing perimeter game. If Diamant has her way, in two years, when the recruiting heat will be turned up for her, she will have a better handle to go with her already potent outside shot. She presently is working out with multiple trainers every day of the week, focusing on ballhandling.
"I'd rather be a three (small forward) or four (power forward)," said Diamant, who attends Bishop Gorman High School here. "Because I was a freshman on varsity, I didn't say anything when they threw me in with the posts. My coach told me next year she might let me play the three."
Diamant can thank her old select-team coach for her unusual combination of size, ballhandling and outside shooting. He insisted the entire Las Vegas G-Ballers team learn how to dribble. So even though she was the tallest player at Meadows, then Hyde Park, she was the best ballhandler and played the point. That position likely is not in her future, but 6-3 wings will have an abundance of choices when it comes to playing college ball.
Marisa Gobuty, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Israel, is spending the summer in the states to get exposed to American universities. They'll no doubt like what they see. She is a shifty, crafty ballhandler with a lot of shake in her game. She sees plays for teammates in traffic, gives up the ball at the right time on the break and can pull the trigger off the dribble. She utilizes a release from her shoulder taught by many coaches and can hit catch-and-shoot three-pointers. If Gobuty had a little more heft and upper-body strength, she'd probably be beating colleges off with a stick.
Andrea McGuirt, a 5-9 guard out of Lawrenceville, Ga., is a high-school teammate Drey Mingo, the hotly pursued 6-2 forward out of Marist High School. Like Mingo, McGuirt is a high-motor player and has a little better size than most guards here. She excels at breaking down defenders off the dribble, with quick crossovers, which she will combo with inside-out dribbles and spin moves. She goes at the rim hard and can finish left or right.
Darxia Morris, a 5-8 point guard out of Pasadena, Calif., gets the ball downcourt in a hurry, which is a great complement to her superb, in-your-face defense and quick hands. This girl is just tough as nails and communicates well with her teammates, which you like to see in a lead guard. Her shot is a bit flat off the dribble, but she makes things work on offense.
Chelsea Jones, a 6-4 post from Fort Smith, Ark., is a viable post prospect because of her build and accompanying coordination. She has good lower-body bulk which gives her good leverage on the post. She was matched against Mingo in scrimmages and held her own, keeping position in spite of a propensity to play a little too erect. Mingo outmatched her upper-body strength, which presumably will improve with age.
Macey Nortey, a 5-foot point guard out of Carson, Calif., should be nicknamed Mighty Mouse. She is very small, but makes her size work with great quickness and a featless approach. She has a compact build, which helps her withstand contact on penetrations and finish. She will be a more-adept finisher with a more-developed left hand.
Daphne Adebayo, out of Duluth, Ga., is 6-1 and long, will fight for position on the block and make second and third efforts on the offensive glass, but may be more exciting a prospect for her ability to hit from beyond the arc. She has kind of a push shot, but makes it work with strong calves and good leverage because of her length.
Drey Mingo of Atlanta
Darxia Morris of Pasadena, Calif.
Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached
the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girls basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle
Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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