Recap: Chicago Nike NIT Upperclass

Recap: Chicago Nike NIT Upperclass
Recap: Chicago Nike NIT UpperclassArike Ogunbowale

Eternati Willock is arguably the top player in Canada and played well for A-Game. *Photo by Chris Hansen.

CHICAGO – The 46-court facility that housed the Nike Invitational Tournament provided a terrific venue for players to get exposure. Here is a look of the rising seniors from both the NIT as well as the EYBL action on hand.


Eternati Willock (Scarborough, Ont.), A-Game T-Dot – 2015

Willock showcased her great passing ability and skilled post play against a talented opponent in Jeannie Boehm of Winnetka, Ill., in their matchup Saturday afternoon. She is being heavily recruited by colleges all around the country already and was playing in front of a packed coaches crowd all week. The 6-0 forward has a lot to offer with her understanding for the game and smart play. Offensively, she passes well out of the double team and finds her teammates. With a one-on-one match-up, she reverts back to her face-up game. Her athleticism and strength to get by defenders in the post is incredible considering the short amount of space from the short corner to the rim. Her experience extends further than AAU ball, having been selected to play on several Canada Basketball junior national teams. Defensively, she is solid and uses her size and athletic ability to be a presence in the paint. Willock plays for the A Game TDOT program, which is known for bringing Toronto-area players down to get looks in the states. Her upside is huge and has a real opportunity to be special. Its no wonder she is one of the top prospects in Canada.

SPOTLIGHT PLAYERS

Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wisc.), North Tartan – 2015

Just a day before she announced her top five schools – Louisvile, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA and Wisconsin – the 5-9 guard was electric for her North Tartan team in Chicago. While some of the players who won gold with USA U17’s in the Czech Republic needed some time adjusting to being back with their club teams, Ogunbowale looked as if she never left. She was explosive at the point and what was most impressive was her sense of when her team needed her to make a big play instead of dominating the ball the entire game. She chose her spots and really makes North Tartan one of the favorites in the

Te’a Cooper (Powder Springs, Ga.), Central Florida Elite – 2015

Cooper made her presence felt in the EYBL league this past week. The 2015 guard is a dynamic playmaker and scorer that can do everything on the floor. She is so physically gifted that staying in front of her is a difficult task for any defender. She showcased her ability to knock down her pull-up, attack the lane with pure intent and take over games. Her play this week continues to remind everyone why she is the top ranked point guard in the 2015 class.

AROUND THE RIM

Martine Fortune of Philadelphia, Pa., returned to the Epiphany Prince Elite lineup, providing the defense and rebounding the team was missing in April. She should be able to bring both of those elements to Georgia Tech.

♦ North Tartan guard Madison Guebert of Apple Valley, Minn., was terrific in helping her team to a perfect record in Nike EYBL league play. The South Dakota State commit has a solid build and is lethal if you go under the ball screen.

Marina Mabrey continues to impress with her ability to score the ball despite everyone in the gym knowing she’s the leading scorer. Her knack for drawing contact and getting low leverage and exploiting it.

Andee Velasco, an LMU commit, pushed Team Taurasi from the point. She’s so strong and can make long lead passes but has become a guard who can score on the wings as well, creating for herself.

♦ The Nike Nationals field is official. All Iowa Attack, Boo Williams, Cal Sparks, Cal Stars, Cal Swish, Carolina Flames, Central Florida Elite, Cy-Fair Shock, DFW T-Jack, Essence, Fairfax Stars, Georgia Pistols, Kentucky Premier, Miami Suns, Midwest Elite, New Jersey Sparks, New York Gauchos, North Tartan, Philly Belles, Spiece Gym Rats, Team Taurasi, Tennessee Flight, Texas United and Tree of Hope all qualified for the field of 24.


Wetmore joined ProspectsNation.com in the summer of 2014 after graduating from the University of Washington with a Communications degree. She left Washington as the all-time leader in games played and also played with the softball team in the College World Series. She was the Gatorade State Player of the Year her senior year in high school capping off a career which included three state titles. She can be reached at mercedes@prospectsnation.com.


Hansen is managing editor of ProspectsNation.com and a McDonald’s All-American selection committee member. He was the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012. He is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase. He can be reached at chris@prospectsnation.com.

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