Author - Crossover Exposure

SGTC Flattens Georgia Highlands 65-63 in GCAA Championship Thriller

For the second year in a row, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 Women’s Championship was a show-off between Georgia Highlands and the South Georgia Tech Lady Jets.  Nationally ranked SGTC (28-4|13-1) trailed the Highlands (19-14|12-2) after the first quarter in a back and forth duel.  The Lady Jets dominated the Highlands in both regular season games, but with top scorers La’Deja James and Camille Coleman (ACL injury) gone for the rest of the season, the task of topping last year’s GCAA Champion Chargers was a tough task.

The Highlands led a see-saw game into the 3rd quarter before SGTC unleashed a barrage of timely 3 pointers by Freshmen Kanna Suzuki, Marina Balaguer and Sophmore Shaineequah Fluellyn.  Fluellyn was aggressive on offense constantly creating a shot for herself in the lane and sinking threes from deep.  She led all scorers with 30 points and has carried the Lady Jets as the main scorer since Coleman and James have been out.  All American Desiree Corbin, also recovering from a knee injury, put in quality minutes although she fouled out late in the 4th quarter along with other big Houlfat Mahouchiza, who hit a key jumper in the 4th quarter to ward off a run by Highlands.  Esther Adenike also came up with a big offensive rebound and put back late in the fourth quarter and Fluellyn and Kidd hit big free throws to cement the deal.

After last year’s nail biting loss to the Highlands, Head Coach James Frey was relieved to get over the hump and not repeat the misery of leading the GCAA all year only to miss the NJCAA tourney.  Prior to the game, the GCAA announced several awards for SGTC, with Coleman and Corbin making All Conference 1st Team, Fluellyn making All Conference 2nd Team and Kanna Suzuki bringing in the GCAA Freshman of the Year Award.  Coach Frey was also Co-Coach of the Year in the GCAA.

The Lady Jets now have a week to prepare for their next game on Saturday 3/11 versus Denmark Tech in District J at 2:00pm.

Suzuki holds form as SGTC Continues to Dominate GCAA

Atlanta/Americus

South Georgia Tech continues to impress with its clear hold as the number one team in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, zooming to 18-3 amid conference play in a lopsided 91-39 victory vs. Chattahoochee Tech.  A couple of losses earlier in the season bumped the once top 25 program from the rankings, but from the looks of things, Coach James Frey squad may be back in the top 25 next week.

Strong play from the team’s sophomores, Desiree Corbin, Camille Coleman and Dejia James has led to a experienced and balanced attack all year.  Corbin, an All American last season, continues to dominate as a defensive force, ranking #2 in the GCAA at 10.9RPG and #1 in at 56 total blocks.  She is also chipping in 8.9 PPG.  Sharpshooter Camille Coleman is currently leading the GCAA in 3PT% at a stellar 47.9% and chipping in 10PPG and 4.4RPG.  Repeat GCAA Player of the Week and top scorer La’Deja James is posting an impressive 14.5PPG, 6.1RPG and is #1 in the conference in steals and overall FG%.  She is also shooting a conference leading 82.9% from the charity line.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises thus far has been the play of Freshman PG Kanna Suzuki, from Hamamatsu, Japan.  Kanna has started all but 3 games in her push to lead the team to an NCAA tournament.  Last year’s loss to Georgia Highlands in the conference championship has left a bitter taste in the mouth of Coach Frey and Conyers.  Kanna’s story is interesting in that she didn’t even play her senior season due to injury.  She made a name for herself at Brandon Hall School in the GISA private school circuit as a junior, pushing her team to its first ever GISA state tournament and earning All State honors while averaging 24.5PPG.  Falling off the radar her senior year, Suzuki was discovered by Coach Conyers while playing AAU with the Georgia Red Storm in a last ditch effort to get noticed.  “I got information about Kanna while I was at the Battle of the Boro tourney and I knew that we needed to fill a PG position, so I checked her out.  I was impressed with her ability to stretch the floor, her vision and timing.  Considering that she had just recovered from an ACL injury, it was clear that she would get much better, so we took a chance with her.”

Suzuki has not let down the high expectations and has quickly made a name for herself thus far, leading the GCAA in 3PT made (39) along with total assists (94), while averaging 8.3PPG.  Sharing time with other freshman PG, Trakyra Kidd, has had its growing pains, but the two have been forced to grow up quickly and learn to minimize mistakes.  The Lady Jets look to extend their record to 19-3 next week as they journey to Atlanta to face Atlanta Metropolitan College on January 28.

Camille Coleman

La’Deja James

Desiree Corbin

Photos Courtesy of South Georgia Tech College

Mato Drgon is picked up by University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado has officially committed to overseas standout Mato Drgon, bringing their international player count to four.  Mato, originally from Hamuliakovo, Slovak Republic, is a 6’9 stretch forward who plays inside out.  He is an efficient scorer inside and is also known for his 3 point shooting and his ability to stretch the floor.

Drgon is a two-time Slovakian National Team member with notable international experience.  He drove his team to a third place finish in the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championships, averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Crossover Exposure lead scout, Jerone Dodd Jr, had the unique chance to meet and evaluate Mato this summer in Luxembourg at the LBBA (Luxembourg Basketball Association) Combine, where he competed with players from all over Europe.  “I really like Mato and think he has a tons of upside.  Anytime a big can shoot like he does and still be able to mix it up down low, it brings an asset to any team.  He comes from a good family and we were super excited to hear the good news of him joining UNC.  We anticipate that he will be able to adjust to the speed and physicality of American basketball and thrive in a program like UNC.”

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UNC Bears Link

Akama and Kaida Contribute as Huntington Prep Blue goes to 2-0

The inaugural season for Huntington Prep Blue has been surrounded with a fair amount of anticipation for the organization to court a 2nd competitive team.  Opening on Friday night versus Alice Lloyd College, HPB didn’t hold any punches, cruising to an 83-62 win in front of a home crowd at St. Joseph’s High School.  The team exhibited an even scoring attack, with Alley leading all scorers with 22, Dekoninck dropping 19 and big man Okpomo with 10.  The two Japanese sophmores from Osaka, Japan, Kota Akama and Rintaro Kaida, also contributed solid performances in their first game, posting 9 and 8 points respectively.  Akama started at the point guard position and had a nice floor game, getting other teammates involved.  Rintaro Kaida was not far behind, showing flashes of his sharp shooting and scoring ability.

The second game  at Wesley Christian Red in Allen, KY, was much closer, going down to the last 2 minutes of a neck and neck game.  Huntington was eventually able to pull out an 8 point victory, 64 – 56.  Coach Aholode stressed the importance for all of his players to continue to develop individually and as a team.  “I told Rintaro that he is on of a few guys who have the ‘green light’.  We know he can shoot, so we just want him to be ready to take the shot with confidence and things will start to pick up for him.”  Kaida scored 5 points in the second game and Akama put 3 on the board in limited time.  Alley led all scorers for the second consecutive game at 22 points and Warden followed him with 13 points.

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All Photos by Alicia Anderson

Suzuki has Impressive Performance in South GA Tech Opener

The South Georgia Tech Lady Jets started their season with an opening home game thriller, topping Chattahoochie Valley Community College on November 1st.  With only one returning player and two freshman point guards, South GA Tech used timely defensive pressure and key scores in the 4th quarter to overcome a seesaw battle in front of a full crowd.

Down by 5 points with less than 2 minutes remaining, Kanna Suzuki hit a big three pointer to pull South GA Tech to within 2 points.  Kanna was soon fouled thereafter and converted the first free throw before missing the 2nd.  Fortunately for South GA Tech, Ester Adenike, one of the 5 international players on South GA Tech’s roster, was able to slide in for an offensive rebound and the put-back to lift the Lady Jets by 1 point.   The Lady Jets were able to hold on and post a 68-63 win over CVCC.

Starting at Point Guard, Suzuki ended as the high scorer for the Lady Jets, tallying 16 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.  Head Coach James Frey noted in a pre game interview that Kanna has brought a certain calm to the team and provided a good example on and off the court.  The Lady Jets take on IMG in the Lady Jets Tipoff Classic on November 5th and look to keep their winning ways going.

Links:

Lady Jets Site

Harrell Sisters Bring Success to their New Teams

Jada and Sade Harrell grew up in Toledo, Ohio where they got their early start in basketball.  After relocating to Atlanta, GA last year, they both quickly became standout players on their teams, soliciting attention from NCAA teams across the country.

Jada Harrell.  Jada, a senior at South Atlanta High School, is a 5’10 PG with strong ball-handling and play-making ability.  She is also considered a defensive stopper and very athletic.  Before coming to Atlanta, Jada made a name for herself in Ohio, playing at  Rogers HS and with the Toledo Lady Ballers AAU team.  Last season, Jada was a member of Heritage HS in Conyers, GA.  Although the team finished the season at 13-14 for the 2015-16 season, it was leaps and bounds above the previous two seasons where they finished 4-19 (2014-15) and a dismal 1-25 (2013-14).  Jada’s impact was well known as she excited crowds with coast to coast plays.  With a new season and new school, Jada looks to continue the success of South Atlanta HS.

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Sade Harrell.  At only 13 years old in the 8th grade, Sade is considered Jada’s little big sister, standing eye to eye at 5’10.  In her last year at General Ray Davis Middle School, Sade has already accumulated plenty of accolades to turn the heads of the top schools in the country.   A straight A student in gifted classes, Sade was the  MVP of the team last year, which was the runner up in the Newrock Championship Game.  The team was undefeated all year only to lose by 1 point in the championship. Sade was also nominated for (NYLF) Explore STEM. Her AAU team, the Georgia PEARLS won 13U States, Battle of the Bayou and Under Armour Nationals in 2016.

CX and Gymrats partner to Bring Japan Team to 2017 AAU Int’l Championships

Shizuoka, Japan

The growth of AAU has truly reached a global scale and Crossover Exposure has partnered with the Gymrats to hold tryouts for an U14 Japanese boys team to compete in the 2017 AAU International Championships. The Gymrats organization is comprised of the Shizuoka Gymrats, a Japanese ABA franchise, along with a school, which hosts events, camps and tours to the United States. Takuya Okada is the founder of the Gymrats and former teammate with UPG CEO, Jerone Dodd Jr. Dodd commented, “We have a ton of synergy with the Gymrats and we saw the time was prime to organize an ongoing and official presence with the groups they organize and AAU. We look forward to the exposure these kids will get, because there are not many opportunities to jump into a competition pool of this sort in the states as an international player.”

The location and dates of the tryouts will be announced. To reserve your spot now or receive updates, Click Here.

Crossover Prep Opens its Doors

Atlanta, GA

Crossover Prep, also known as Crossover ASA Prep has opened its doors with its first Postgraduate Program in the Atlanta area. Through a partnership with Action Sports Academy, Luxembourg Basketball Academy and other international partners, the academy brings substantial collective experience and success to the court in helping young post high school graduates receive the exposure and guidance needed to secure scholarships and college opportunities. The program boasts two programs, as well as a joint program with LBBA.

Headed by longtime overseas professionals/college standouts, David Harrison (Head Coach), Markeal King (Managing Director), Phillip Harper (Recruiting Director) and Jerone Dodd Jr. (UPG CEO), the program brings considerable access to its participants. The vision of the Academy’s business model is franchise based, with an outlook to expand throughout the Southeast, West Coast and Midwest within the next 2 to 3 years. “We have already secured about 2 teams for this upcoming season,” noted Head Coach Harrison, “and we are excited about the potential of increasing our brand power, but more importantly, delivering a quality product that our clients will walk away happy with.

“ASA brought some pieces to the puzzle that were compatible with what we already have, so it was an easy decision to partner up and provide more depth to all of our activities,” added Dodd.

Ewing Makes Leap to Huntington Prep

Huntington, WV.

Elijah Ewing, cousin of NBA Legend, Patrick Ewing and Overseas Pro Patrick Ewing Jr, has inked a deal to attend Huntington Prep Academy for the 2016-17 and 17-18 seasons.   A sharp shooter from Atlanta, GA, Ewing made a name for himself early, starting varsity as a freshman and achieving All-State honors as a sophomore.  With the expansion of the Huntington Prep program, Ewing finds himself matched up with some of the top talent in the country.  “We definitely believe that Elijah can play on this level and we are excited to help him develop his game.  He is dedicated and has shown a good work ethic,” said Head Coach Arkell Bruce.  Ewing is a 6’3 combo guard who has efficient middle range and three point shooting abilities.

Kanna Suzuki signs with South Georgia Tech

Americus, GA

After an arduous and difficult road, Kanna Suzuki has officially signed with South Georgia Technical College, a D1 JUCO in the GCAA.  The Jets have had notable success over the last several years, with a 27-6 record for the 2015-16 season and milestones of reaching the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in the last 3 years.  Head Coach James Frey noted the excitement in bringing Zoom, as she is known, on board.  Kanna missed her entire senior year with an unfortunate ACL injury, but has returned amid uncertainty and landed a full scholarship with SGT.  She was a GISA All-State player for Brandon Hall School in Dunwoody, GA, where she averaged 24.3ppg and set school records in points, field goals, 3 point field goals and steals in a season.  Suzuki is a shifty PG who can shoot from anywhere inside half court and has excellent vision and IQ.