Recap: LBInsider Jam Fest I

Recap: LBInsider Jam Fest I
Recap: LBInsider Jam Fest ITiara Murphy

'15 ELITE 25 point guard Tiara Murphy. *Photo by Haley Weit.
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The Lady Ballers Insider 2013 Jam Fest brought a July tournament feel to the first weekend of May. With teams from most of the Midwest states heading west of Detroit to Lincoln High School, the weekend was jam-packed with high profile matchups, both teams and individuals. The event was capped off with a double-overtime thriller between All-Ohio Black and Mac Irvin Lady Fire-Godfather. Here’ s our first look at some of the standouts.

Tiara Murphy (South Bend, Ind.) – Spiece Gym Rats - 2015

Murphy came to the Jam Fest with just four teammates as she and her coach, Danny Riego, tried to manage a benchless tournament. With the 5-foot-6 point guard playing outstanding basketball, both on and off the ball, the Gym Rats advanced to within a couple possessions of the championship game of the Elite bracket; a game they admittedly didn’t want to play because five players, five games in less than 48 hours was enough.

Murphy showed off her skills in a variety of ways. Despite having a slender build, the No. 24 prospect in the ELITE 25 is explosive. She has that rare athleticism in a compact build like 2014 point guard Taryn Griffey of Windermere, Fla. Both sky for rebounds from the point position and surprise the opposition with a blocked shot or two a game. What this shifty spark plug does is balance her scoring with her ability to distribute. She plays along side two other smaller guards with the Gym Rats and plays against bigger, stronger players but that doesn’t slow her down. And for the number of times she slips into the heart of the defense, she stays on her feet, showing the balance that makes her more than just an athlete, but a special player.

Kelsey Mitchell (Cincinnati, Ohio) – All Ohio Black - 2014

No. 1 junior Kelsey Mitchell.
*Photo by Haley Weit.

The No. 1 player in the ELITE 60 showed a lot of different sides to her game, culminating with her 30-point effort in the championship game against the Mac Irvin Fire, a double-overtime victory. She showed she could play through a less than stellar shooting performance and capitalize in the clutch, which she did by hitting a 26-foot 3-pointer to force the second overtime. But more impressive was her play as a distributor earlier in the tournament. As a celebrated scorer, she often gets cast as a gunner, but she showed she could get the ball into the post and use her scoring ability to set her teammates up too. She still wants the ball in big moments but her game continues to show growth and maturity as a leader.

Lashai Geeter (Detroit, Mich.) – Motor City Top Ten - 2015

There must be something in the water in the Midwest because there was an abundance of power guards on the scene this weekend. One of the standouts was Geeter, a 5-10 swing player, has a Kelsi Baker (Texas Tech) vibe about her, though the rising junior is more athletic at this stage. She is nearly impossible to stop on the move because of her strength and ability to elevate. Those two things make her a force in finishing after contact. As she improves at using those strengths in the halfcourt she could prove to be the sleeper pick in the region for 2015.

Meghan Waldron of Wheaton, Ill., has verbally committed to DePaul and this weekend the 2014 prospect showed why. She isn’t the quickest or fasted wing player but she has the Kelly Faris (Connecticut Sun) jack-of-all-trades ability. But the key to her success is her confidence combined with basketball smarts. She was really good this weekend.

♦ Folks looking for size and strength in the post should know the name Chardanae Hamilton. At 6-6 she grabs your attention right away and for a 2016 prospect who is really working on the court for the younger Lady Fire team, you can see the production and learning right before your eyes. She just finished her freshman year at De La Salle in Chicago.

Hansen is managing editor of and a McDonald’s All-American selection committee member. He was the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012. He can be reached at

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