December 12, 2013 at 8:34 AM
You’ve got a great chance to see several top-notch prep basketball games Saturday at the Muscle Milk Preview at Highline Community College.
I’ll be there for the blockbuster girls game between top-ranked Lynnwood and No. 2 Mount Rainier at 3:30 p.m. I really struggled with which of these teams to put at No. 1, so the Rams and Stanford-bound Brittany McPhee now have a chance to prove me wrong.
The other girls game could be interesting, too, a 10:30 a.m. tipoff between Kentwood and Wilson. I started Kentwood at No. 8 in the 4A rankings this week — then the Conquerors went out and lost Tuesday to Kentridge (a team I plan to see Friday against a good Auburn Riverside squad). Wilson reached the 3A state semifinals last season, losing a tough one to Seattle Prep, and graduated several key players — but should still be tough this year.
December 10, 2013 at 4:20 PM
The easy part about putting together all-state teams at this point is that there are tons of great candidates to choose from.
And that’s the hard part, too. There are so many really good players to choose from. Even deciding where to draw the line, between the first and seconds, is agonzing.
When all is said and done, the final all-state selections will be based on the way each player performed. Kids can definitely play their way into — or out of – the top-10.
And the good news is that we ulimately pick 11 girls, including the Player Of The Year (plus five on first team and five on second). Not sure when or why we started that because The Times traditionally sticks with teams you can put on the court (our Star Times teams will include only five girls and five boys from our coverage area).
December 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM
It should be another great season of high-school girls basketball in the area, and state-wide.
I’ve devoted a ton of time trying to shape The Seattle Times’ preseason rankings for Class 4A, 3A and 2A. Am I satisfied? No, never. Because I’d love to be able to ask a dozen more coaches, at least.
But it’s time to make some tough cuts, and we all know the only real rankings that count are the ones at the end of the season, when the state tournaments are complete.
And I guess we’re fudging a bit by calling these preseason rankings, since most teams have already played. That actually helps the process some, but it’s also difficult sometimes to gauge the quality of wins and losses.
December 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM
Yes, we are well aware that the high-school basketball season is upon us.
Josh Liebeskind and I are anxious to dive into it, but with the football state championships this weekend at the Tacoma Dome, we haven’t skipped ahead just yet.
But we wanted to let you know that our state rankings, preseason all-state teams and previews are coming next week. I will once again be spearheading our girls basketball coverage, and Josh will be the point person for boys basketball.
A reminder please to coaches and/or ADs to please get us your rosters and schedules as soon as possible so we can get them up on our website. And be sure to get us your scores and details as soon as possible on game nights by either phone (206-464-2276) or e-mail (email@example.com).
November 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Taylor Farris of Renton has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
According to Renton coach Tim White, she is the school’s first player to earn a full Division I women’s basketball scholarship in at least 26 years.
Farris led the Indians to a third-place finish at the 2A state tournament last season — their best finish since 1987, when they were second to Garfield in the 4A tourney.
At UCSB, she will be joined by Makala Roper, currently a senior at Cleveland. We had the news about Roper’s college choice a couple of weeks ago.
You can read more about both players on the UCSB website in a press release here.
November 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM
The early signing period for high school basketball players opened today and several local players officially committed to a college by inking their name on a national letters of intent.
The group was headlined by Shaqquan Aaron’s commitment to Louisville. Aaron is a 6-foot-7 forward from Rainier Beach High School who is rated a four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. Scout.com ranks him the No. 11 overall small forward in the nation.
“Louisville’s a great program,” Aaron said. “Obviously, they’ve won a national title. Coach [Rick Pitino’s] a Hall of Fame coach. He’s going to get me ready to play at the next level. The fans are crazy, the arena’s one of the top arenas in the nation. I’m excited.”
Aaron said he had been getting calls from college coaches trying to change his decision up until Wednesday and was relieved to be done with the recruiting process.
As a tall and athletic wing, Aaron is talented enough to create his own shot or be a playmaker off the dribble according to Rivals.com. One of the big knocks on Aaron is his lack of strength. But he said today that he put on 10 pounds over the summer and is not worried about his frame.
On a side note, Aaron was putting his shooting ability from outside on display before he signed his letter of intent. Mindlessly shooting with a teammate about 15 minutes before the ceremony, Aaron easily stroked around 10 3-pointers in street clothes. The teammate finally prodded him to shoot left-handed, and he almost made that one.
The full interview from Aaron is posted below, but first here is a quick look at other local players to sign collegiately.
Eugene Artison Jr. (Franklin): The 6-foot-8, 185-pound forward signed with Fresno State. A three-star recruit by Scout.com, Artison reportedly had interest from Cal and Oregon State. Artison had given his verbal commitment to Fresno State about a week before the signing period opened.
Josh Martin (Bothell): Martin signed with Minnesota after also considering Florida State and Pittsburgh. Martin was named to the KingCo 4A Second Team last season in his first year at Bothell after transferring from Seattel Prep. Martin is a 6-foot-8 forward. Here is a story from the Star Tribune after Martin gave his verbal commitment in September.
Tramaine Isabell (Garfield): Isabell is expected to sign with Washington State tomorrow. The 6-foot-1 guard will play his senior season at Garfield after transferring from Lakeside. He will enroll in prep school for a year after completing high school according to Cougfan.com. Isabell averaged 19 points, five assists, five rebounds and five steals per game last year.
Jason Todd (Jackson): The reigning Washington Gatorade Player of the Year signed with Portland today. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder averaged 21.5 points and 10.8 rebounds last season in leading Jackson to the state championship game. You can read Portland’s official release with more information about Todd here and our post last season after he won the Gatorade POY here.
Jacob Lampkin (O’Dea): Lampkin is one of two area players to sign with Pacific today. The 6-foot-8 forward/center averaged 15.2 points and 10.0 rebounds for O’Dea last season.
Kaleb Warner (Mercer Island): Warner will join Lampkin at Pacific. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward played on the same Emerald City Basketball Academy AAU team with Lampkin and averaged 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game a season ago for Mercer Island.
You can read about both Lampkin and Warner here in Pacific’s official release.
Will Ferris (Newport): Ferris signed to play with Eastern Washington. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard averaged 15.1 points per game as a junior and was named to the 4A KingCo second team. You can read more here.
A few local girls basketball players also signed with colleges today, headlined by Stanford-bound Brittany McPhee and UW signee Kelli Kingma.
Brittany McPhee (Mount Rainier): McPhee is the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Washington and was the state’s most coveted recruit. You can read about her decision to sign with Stanford in a blog post Sandy Ringer wrote here.
Kelli Kingma (Jackson): The younger sister of former UW star Kristi Kingma, the 5-foot-9 point guard is the 63rd-ranked player at her position in the nation according to ESPN. You can read about Kingma here.
Myzhanique Ladd (Cleveland): Ladd is one of two Cleveland players to sign collegiately today and will be playing at San Jose State.
Makala Roper (Cleveland): Roper signed on to play at UC Santa Barbara next year. Here is what ESPN has to say about Roper:
“Very solid guard player with a lot of strength. Nice pull-up jumper and will get to the rim and finish with both hands through contact. Sets up defenders well with change of pace and will continue to improve as she grows into her body.”
And finally, here is a transcript of our interview with Shaqquan Aaron after he signed his national letter of intent to play for Louisville.
On if it is nice to get the signing out of the way: “Relieved. I can focus on the season now. There won’t be any other coaches really trying to contact me now, trying to persuade me to go to their school. Now all focus is on this senior year. Trying to win another state title.’
On if he ever wavered after giving verbal: “Not really. When I chose Louisville last year, I chose them for a reason. I looked into it. I just didn’t pick a school because I thought it was cool. When I picked Louisville, Louisville was on their slump. They lost those four or five games in a row. At the time I thought about it and I thought it was a great decision.”
On what was attractive about Louisville: “Louisville’s a great program. Obviously, they’ve won a national title. Coach [Rick Pitino’s] a Hall of Fame coach. He’s going to get me ready to play at the next level. The fans are crazy, the arena’s one of the top arenas in the nation. I’m excited.”
On if the local ties of Peyton Siva and Terrence Williams played a role in decision: “Pey is considered, Pey is like family to me now. His dad, I’m really close with him. All those Somoans, they’re all cool with me. We’re all like family now. T-Will, obviously went to Rainier Beach, he comes up here and says what’s up to us sometimes, so I’m cool with him. Other than that, I’m proud to be part of the family. I’m really close with a lot of the guys up there already.”
On what he needs to improve upon before getting to Louisville: “Really what I need to improve upon was gaining weight, but that’s not really a factor anymore because I’ve been gaining weight. Really what Coach P told me, I have all the skills, just keep working on those skills, keep producing them and I’ll be … that next stage, I’ll be ready to step in, playing at the next level. Other than that, that’s pretty much it.”
October 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Makala Roper and MyMy Ladd, who helped Cleveland win the Class 3A state girls basketball title as juniors last season, have made oral commitments to play at the next level, according to coach Stephenie Wheeler-Smith.
Roper, who was named the tourney MVP, chose the University of California, Santa Barbara, while Ladd will be heading to San Jose State.
Wheeler-Smith said both are ecstatic about their commitments, especially since they are heading to sunny California.
The coach had this to say about Roper:
“She has realized her dream of playing D1 and is walking around on Cloud 9 about her decision. Coach (Carlene) Mitchell, a protégé of C. Vivian Stringer, will put Makala’s shooting skills to work immediately.”
And this to say about Ladd:
“She’s worked hard….As our leader on the team, she will be missed, but coach (Jamie) Craighead is getting an amazing kid and athlete.”
October 10, 2013 at 6:50 AM
Mary Ann Santucci, a three-sport standout at Seattle Prep, has made an oral commitment to play basketball at Yale, according to Prep coach Michelle Hall.
Santucci was all-Metro first-team selection in soccer and basketball as a junior and also played tennis for the Panthers. She helped lead the basketball team to the state-championship game, which they narrowly lost to Cleveland. Seatttle Prep placed sixth in 2011 and 2012.
Here’s what coach Hall had to say about her in an e-mail:
“Mary Ann Santucci has been a great student athlete. Our program has competed at the highest level in girls basketball in the state, with her at the helm. She works hard both on and off the court. She will only get better under the coaching leadership of Chris Gobrecht at Yale. The best is yet to come for her.”
September 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM
Beverly Verdiun of Ballard has made an oral commitment to play basketball at Central Washington.
Here is the press release from Ballard coach Sara Wetstone:
Beverly Verduin, a 5’8″ senior guard at Ballard High School, this morning committed to Central Washington University, a NCAA Division 2 school in Ellensburg, WA. Verduin, a second team All-KingCo selection her junior year, averaged 12.3 points per game and was a Seattle Times Prep Star of the Week after hitting 8 of 10 from the 3pt line in a game against Roosevelt High School. Coach Wetstone states, “Bev has dreamed of playing college ball since she was young and she has worked hard on the court and in the classroom to get there. It’s exciting to see her hard work pay off. I have no doubt that Bev will make a big impact at Central.”
August 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM
In one breath, she called it one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make.
In another, she called it a “no-brainer.”
So, for now, Kathy Gibson has stepped down as head girls basketball coach at Issaquah after 15 seasons.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be back someday,” she said. “Right now, this is what I’m going to do. I don’t think my career is over by any means, but I’ve got to take a break.”
Gibson’s reasons are simple – she wants to be able to watch her two oldest children play basketball. She coached daughter Quincey the last four seasons at Issaquah. Quincey is now at Linfield College in Oregon, where she hopes to play – and Kathy wants to be able to be in the stands. (more…)
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