Summer Kickoff Makes Its Return to the 518: Notes & Standouts

It may not have felt like it, but looking back at the date receipts… it’s been a while.

For the first time since 2019’s Fall Showcase, Empire State Takeover brought a one-day event back into the home base of the Albany area. After a two-year hiatus from the 518 – none in 2020 due to the shutdown and a trip to the Utica area for 2021 – the 5th Annual EST Summer Kickoff took the Albany Academy courts. Two sold-out sessions that ended up with 89 event day participants, almost exclusively from the 2023-25 classes (a couple 2026s), went to work in front of nearly 30 coaches (with considerably more tapping into game film) and evaluators & media from New York and New England. Before standout time, a few general notes on the day:

  • It was a particularly intriguing mix of EST stalwarts & first-time event participants that established themselves between the two sessions. Longtime consistent faces like Ellie Cerf, Natasha Chudy, Bella Franchi, Natalie Fox, Taylor Holohan, Amya McLeod, Alex Moses, and Ava Pearson, all 2023s & 2024s that have been consistent presences since middle school events in their 7th grade year, came through once again & made their mark. However, there was plenty of room for EST first timers like Shea Canavan, Kelli Cieplicki, Alex Dembinsky, Peyton Guay, Emilie Kent, Elyse MacDonough, Hannah Polumbo, and Ashley Redd to do their thing & make their presences felt as well.
  • Part of this is just the circle of life & another part is the final tally of who showed up as well, but more so than any other time I can remember (barring the MS Combine), the 2025 class really showed well here. The aforementioned Shea Canavan, Peyton Guay, Emilie Kent, and Ashley Redd along with others like Kayleigh Ahern, Morgan Brewer, Brenna Ducatte, Emma Litchfield, Sydney Pleat, Kaitlyn Robbins, Ava Scaturro, Arianna Verardi, and Lily Wohlleber all came through & showed well. ‘The Future’ won at Academy.
  • Something that has always caught my eye in the evaluation process is how a player operates off the ball – do they understand spacing, are they a mover or a stander, what kind of feel do they have for the game, etc. After all, the heavy majority of players don’t have the ball in their hands most of the time, and it’s a criminally undertrained aspect of the game. This is far less of an indictment on players as it really is toward the adults teaching them, but I’d say 75-80% of players at my events don’t really know what they’re doing off the ball. If you do, it separates you from the pack, and it’ll always catch my eye. A few of those at this event included Karissa Antoine, Natalee Collins, Kelli Cieplicki, Alex Dembinsky, Bella Franchi, Taylor Holohan, Elyse MacDonough, Leah Middleton, and Kaitlyn Robbins, who all showed ability to be effective within the flow of an offense, facilitation for others by understanding how to play the game, and efficient production on their touches.
  • As always, this event incorporated a dose of both 3v3 & 5v5 play for everyone. This gives players different looks & settings to show what they bring to the table, and as usual, there were a few players that stood out in particular formats. 3v3 play brought out the best in a 2025 4-pack of Kayleigh Ahern, Morgan Brewer, Emma Litchfield, and Lily Wohlleber in the 5:00 session, and it was also the period of time that 2023 Elizabeth Aiossa and 2024s Natalie Fox & Kat McRobbie-Taru separated themselves. As far as 5v5 action went, 2024 Ellie Cerf was particularly electric in her team’s games and 2023s Natalee Collins & Meagan Schuermann also went to work in the early session. In the later session, full-court play was where 2024 Alex Dembinsky made her presence felt the most and 2025 Peyton Guay established herself most noticeably.
  • This was a pretty well-covered and evaluated event. I have to thank those that made the trip into Albany for this event, including Joe Fenelon (NYG Hoops Report) and Bash Hudson (Prep Girls Hoops), along with 30+ college coaches that attended in person (and even more that have tapped into game film). Along with that, a major thank you must go to Mark Williams & the entire Team Footprintz collective, who made the trip upstate for the second straight Friday (along with Joe, factoring in the previous week’s Middle School Combine) to run a high-level skill development session for all participants. Thank you to everyone!

General note time over. There were many players that caught my eye & came through with solid showings, but it was a smaller number that really turned it up in their own ways within their environments. We’ll start with a 12-pack that showed out at the EST Summer Kickoff:

Hayley Beebe (Newark Valley/Twin Tier Elite 2023): In Hayley’s 3v3 session, she went off from a scoring standpoint. During 5v5 play, she only scored twice. She stood out within her environment in both settings, which shows the full package of what she can bring to the table. Her team looked particularly strong in their first 5v5 game, and she was a catalyst from the jump. She was active on D, got into opposing ballhandlers, pushed the pace on O and got others involved, and rewarded teammates for getting out in transition on several occasions with long advance passes that led to assists. The lefty guard showcased the range in 3v3 play with a few college range threes when given time & space. She might be a small guard at 5’3″, but athleticism, toughness, and energy level allow her to carry a presence beyond her size. When she plays within herself and consistently makes correct reads like she did here, she becomes a force that makes positive impact at both ends.

Natalee Collins (Waterville/Twin Tier Elite 2023)

Natalee Collins (Waterville/Twin Tier Elite 2023): Natalee also made her presence felt at the end of April at the WNY Warm-Up in Rochester, and she made the trip east to Albany & put together an even better showing. The 5’11” forward more than held her own in 5v5 play against strong post matchups, showing diversity to her game in the process. She was active offensively & did a good job making herself available, and although she’s more known as a crafty & skilled back-to-basket scorer, it was the added consistency & confidence in the perimeter J that stuck out to me. She stretched to the arc and went 3/4 from three in one 5v5 game, then added a couple midrange jumpers in the other. Even in 3v3 play, it was the range that stole the show offensively. As always, she was willing to be a physical presence around the rim defensively & on the glass. I’m not sure if I’d call Natalee’s performance “eye opening” to me because I know what she’s capable of, but how she played against some quality matchups should have turned some heads.

Amya McLeod (Rome Free Academy/I-90 Elite 2023; Youngstown St. commit): Throughout her high school days, although Amya has developed a great deal & added to her game along the way, the pressure she applies at both ends – downhill ferocity with constant paint touches & finishes, defensive game changer that dogs out opposing guards and wears on them over time – has been her calling card throughout. So when it was some other things that allowed her to stand out at this event, it caught my attention even more. She still was as explosive as anyone in the gym and seemed to get paint touches on demand, but in 5v5 play, she looked to create for others off those paint touches & showed exceptional court vision. The perimeter J has also come along over time and is as reliable as ever in its present form. When in rhythm, threes were either in or off the inside of the rim. In addition, even as a D1 commit that gets no recruiting ‘benefit’ from being there, not only was she in attendance, but she came through with a consistently high level of energy. That goes without saying for Amya, which says a lot about her as a competitor & person.

Leah Middleton (Auburn/I-90 Elite 2023)

Leah Middleton (Auburn/I-90 Elite 2023): I hope you’re not sick of me talking about Leah. If so, tell her to stop playing so well when I’m around. Another standout performance for the 5’11” wing whose game seems to be on an escalator that hasn’t stopped in a year. She was on a team that got the odd draw of playing their 5v5 games in the first & last rotations of the 5:00 session. After settling in through the first 5v5 game, she was exceptional in her team’s other 5v5 rotation and may have put together the best showing of the night in 3v3 play. The midrange game, which has become the ‘third level’ of scoring in today’s game that many don’t have in their arsenal, is a legitimate weapon for Leah. She’s able to work off the dribble in 1v1 situations, create separation, and rise up & connect consistently in the 15′-18′ area. She also knocked down the three with consistency & has college range already, and although she didn’t show it quite as much here, she flashed the ability to break defenders down & get all the way to the rim. 5’11” with length & a frame that will be built on at the collegiate level, fluid athleticism, advanced skill & three-level scoring package, some versatility on the defensive end, more room for continued growth… Le Moyne has recent history of winning with 315 talent that some D1s missed the boat on (think McKayla Roberts & Jenna Zimmerman). Among her recent handful of D2 offers (that include 2021-22 ECC champion Daemen along with fellow ECCs Roberts Wesleyan & St. Thomas Aquinas)… you guessed it. Not a coincidence for a player that’s on track for a big July.

Ava Pearson (Colonie/NY Havoc 2023): Starting your session off with a 5v5 game isn’t easy for most. Then there was Ava, who took it & ran with it, allowing a strong opening rotation to set the stage for a notable overall showing. She didn’t load her 5v5 games up with highlights, but what she did bring to the table was steady, strong play. She showed good overall floor game at the PG spot, directed traffic & facilitated for teammates in the half-court, fueled the break by rewarding runners in transition, and showed more consistency on the stroke with a few threes when given space. The added confidence with the J also showed itself in 3v3 play as it was a weapon for her throughout the session. As always with Ava, the competitive edge was very apparent, as it looked like she was ‘playing to win’ whenever she was on the court. That translated well, as her team was better with her on the floor. Strong performance for a player that’s turning into a “winner”.

Karissa Antoine (Schalmont/NY Havoc 2024)

Karissa Antoine (Schalmont/NY Havoc 2024): Endless. Energy. Sometimes, you’ll see the players at these events with Division I futures already secured just go through the motions. Luckily with Karissa, that’s never even a thought. The 518 standout, one of upstate NY’s finest in a pretty top heavy 2024 class, came through for the late session and turned the energy up a few notches. After settling in through her team’s first 5v5 game, she turned it up during 3v3 play and dominated upon her return to 5v5 play. The most intriguing thing about that series of rotations was that Karissa, a 5’11” known for her elite athleticism, showed moments of expansion to her game as a three-level scorer. She knocked down a couple threes, attacked off the dribble & showed the in-between game, exploded to the rim in the half-court and in transition, and added a left-handed take & finish in traffic for good measure. Above the talent though, it was undoubtedly her energy & effort that stole the show. In a session that was vocal as a whole, her voice could be heard over everyone, and it was easy for eyes to gravitate toward her buzzing around the floor. I’ve thought of her as an ‘alpha’ for years now, but those qualities allowed her to not only be a leader for her team, but for the entire session. Several D1 offers in hand & more than likely many more to come in the Karissa sweepstakes.

Ellie Cerf (Bethlehem/Albany Capitals 2024): Back to the 5:00 session for Ellie, who was as big of a standout in 5v5 play as anyone throughout the night. At the time of this event, Ellie was about a month into action after missing nearly 3 months due to injury, and this was clearly the most comfortable she looked since she was cleared. She set the tone for her 5v5 team with her energy, engagement, and ability to both score & facilitate at the PG spot. She fueled them in transition and helped force a more open style of play that she thrives in by pushing everything and hitting ahead to streaking teammates in transition. When the defense didn’t sprint back, it almost always turned into an easy two because of her willingness to get it out of her hands quickly and precision long-range passing, including a couple dimes with the off hand. In the process of all that, she was one of the most potent scorers on the court, mixing deep range & a consistent lefty shooting stroke with the ability to create for herself in 1v1 situations. In 3v3 play, Ellie transformed into a P&R PG that utilized ball screens, made correct reads, and took advantage of however the defense played it. From front to back, it was a great showing for Ellie, who looks to be rounding back into full form in time for July.

Alex Dembinsky (Wallkill/Athenas Basketball 2024): In many cases, players performing well at EST events just reaffirms my previous thoughts of what they could do. In Alex’s case, it was taking her game to another level and showing some things I hadn’t seen as much of from her in a very strong late session showing. The 5’8″ wing shined in 5v5 play where she was able to utilize her speed & athleticism in a 94×50 setting, and her team’s uptempo style served her well in that regard. What was particularly eye-catching though was the range, as she stretched the D & knocked down around a half-dozen threes on the night either off the catch or a rhythm dribble. She also flashed the ability to play off the shot & knife into the lane a couple times. Not only was it a strong performance for Alex, the current combo of physical tools and skill set show both a style of play translatable to higher levels and considerable upside. Looking forward to watching Alex continue to develop.

Taylor Holohan (Averill Park/NY Havoc 2024)

Taylor Holohan (Averill Park/NY Havoc 2024): Although it’s very tough to single this out, if you were to tell me that you thought Taylor was the standout of the 7:00 session, it’s certainly not something I would argue. The versatile 6 footer started on a tear and was exceptional throughout the event. She played as both a post and a wing during 5v5 play and excelled at both, showing the ability to attack & finish at the rim while also flashing the midrange game with some pull-up jumper work. She added the perimeter J in 3v3 play, stepping out & knocking down a couple threes. For as much as she showed offensively, as usual with Taylor, she was also a defensive standout. Even among a group of players with similar size & athleticism, she blocked everything – something that just comes with the territory at this point. Athleticism & ability to move well laterally, timing, length, utilizing either hand to block shots – she’s the best rim protector I’ve covered in my near-decade of upstate NY girls’ basketball, and she sent a lot of shots packing again. Taylor’s been making the MAAC tour in recent weeks and has the offer sheet building to match – at this rate, it’s only a sign of things to come.

Shea Canavan (Queensbury/Saratoga Sparks 2025)

Shea Canavan (Queensbury/Saratoga Sparks 2025): The high school program at Queensbury has been strong in recent years with some talented players along the way, but Shea… she’s just different. This was a heck of a coming-out party for her to anyone that wasn’t familiar already. She’s listed at 5’6″ but plays a little bigger with strength & deceptively explosive athleticism, and she’s got a little ‘dog’ in her with an extra shot of toughness & competitive edge. Like many others on this list, she stood out in the back half of play after settling in through her team’s first 5v5 game. That ‘deceptive’ explosive athleticism allows her to be a weapon going toward the rim – quick first step, will initiate contact and doesn’t get bumped off her line easily, sneaky good bounce & hangs in the air, and she can finish through contact or around bodies. When she got into a rhythm, she started banging perimeter Js as well, including a bomb from several feet beyond the line to start their last 5v5 game. Shea brought the same energy on D as well, utilizing quick & active hands to be a pest and disrupt ballhandlers. At the end of the day, even against a couple well-established D1 bound matchups, Canavan’s court presence was palpable and impact was consistently felt at both ends. As long as her development path continues, there’s no question that Shea is on track to be a scholarship level player in the 2025 class.

Ashley Redd (Saddle River Day (NJ)/Jersey Gemz 2025)

Ashley Redd (Saddle River Day (NJ)/Jersey Gemz 2025): Let me run back the ‘endless energy’ talk for Ashley. For her first time at an EST event, she stepped in & not only looked comfortable from the jump, but she also showed some ‘alpha’ characteristics as a vocal leader during game play, on the bench, and in drills. That plus her physical tools & current skill package makes her one of the highest level prospects in attendance. At 5’10” with a build that screams more ‘rising college sophomore’ than rising HS soph, she passes the eye test in the layup line. Unlike many, Ashley uses that physique & strength to its fullest advantage and was one of the most physical presences in the gym. She showed the ability to attack from the wing to get to a defender’s hip & put them in her pocket straight to the rim, and she even drove to initiate post-ups on a few occasions. She flashed the jumper as well, but as far as skill package goes, it was her ability to create off the dribble, get downhill, and finish around the rim that was the star of the show, and when she did so under control, she was a force. Certainly a future at the D1 level given this continued path of development.

Kaitlyn Robbins (Bethlehem/Albany Capitals 2025): There’s something to be said about mastering the basics; people have earned scholarships, made a lot of money, and even created hall of fame careers off being elite at the ‘simple’ stuff. Even at her young age, Kaitlyn is one of the most fundamentally sound players I cover, and it allowed her to be one of the event’s standouts. At 5’10”, her skill level & comfort zone is more so at the forward spot (and at the 4 in particular), but she brings some versatility with back-to-basket, face-up, and stretch play – a prototypical ‘modern-day’ forward. She has great hands and catches pretty much everything within reach, partially because she positions herself well to make herself available, and she finishes well with either hand. The 94×50 mobility is what stuck out the most during 5v5 play, as she ran the floor hard & added a few transition buckets by beating her matchup up the floor. During 3v3, it was her ability to operate in P&R situations and move off the ball that played a starring role. She put herself in advantageous decisions by making reads & reestablishing herself appropriately, and she scored at a high rate with efficiency. From a ‘highlight’ standpoint, Kaitlyn may not have stuffed minutes of film into a videographer’s camera. From an effectiveness standpoint, she made the sort of positive impact through efficient & solid play that coaches die for. Another day at the office for one of the 518’s finest up & comers.

They were far from alone though. Some notes on other players that showed well throughout the night:

Molly Boek (Saugerties/NY Havoc 2023): Molly’s never seen an EST event that she doesn’t show well in, so no surprise that she performed here… 6 footer that can play at the wing or as a face-up 4 type… exceptional offensively during 3v3 play, where she got hot & rolled with it… was in attack mode looking to get downhill, and when she got to her right, she finished well & at a variety of different angles… showed the pull-up midrange game on several occasions as well… works well in space & open court scenarios… as usual, activity level separated her from others on the court.

Natasha Chudy (Saratoga Springs/Elevate NYBC 2023; Lafayette commit): As one of upstate NY’s most refined & potent post scorers, it was Tash’s court vision and passing ability out of the high/low post that was most notable here… drew extra attention on the block and made the right read, hitting cutters or open shooters… also played some ‘point forward’ and pushed it herself in transition on defensive rebounds, generally making the right play off that as well… has the potential to be a true force down the road in the Patriot League.

Bella Franchi (Colonie/NY Havoc 2023): A stellar spring continued here for Bella, as she stacked another good showing on top of months of consistently strong play… good size & general physical tools at the wing and is adept at making plays with or without the ball in her hands… style, movements, feel, presence – just carries herself like a hooper… got a lot of her stuff going toward the rim either by working off the dribble herself or making precise cuts at the right time… true utility type performance as she did a little of everything at both ends… just picked up her first D2 offer from St. Michael’s, and I hope the whole NE-10 is paying attention.

Sydney Hart (South Glens Falls/I-90 Elite 2023)

Sydney Hart (South Glens Falls/I-90 Elite 2023): Solid overall showing for one of the 518’s most recognizable faces at this point… steady during 5v5, showed ability to play at the point or the wing at 5’9″… maybe owns as many EST jerseys as anyone in the 5:00 session through her consistent presence for years and acted like it, taking on the feel of a leader with the early group… knockdown perimeter shooter by trade that ended up getting more of her production going toward the rim… scholarship level prospect that’s seen traction at the D1 level from, among others, some Ivy schools, service academies, and other high academics.

Delaney More (Ichabod Crane/Albany Capitals 2023): In a size/length/athleticism heavy session that was loaded with frontcourt talent, it took a strong showing for a forward to be noticed. Delaney played off others, kept it simple, and did just that… strong 5’11” presence that embraces physicality & is more than willing to battle around the rim… stepped out on numerous occasions and showed more consistency with the J and range to the three… scored efficiently through most of the event… a familiar face that showed she’s perhaps taking ‘the next step’ in her development.

Meagan Schuermann (Wilbraham & Monson (MA)/NY Havoc 2023): Schuermann consistently showed the activity, energy, and athleticism that made her noticeable as far back as the middle school days, but especially as her session progressed, skill development & added diversity to her game made itself apparent as well… impact ‘off-ball’ player offensively that moves well in the half-court, runs the floor hard in transition, and must be accounted for at all times… on-ball progression showed most loudly in her team’s second 5v5 game, where she looked to probe more with the ball in her hands & also added 3 threes… exceptional athlete that translates across the board on a basketball court… potential for continued growth & development in her college years.

Katie Boyd (Red Hook/NY Havoc 2024): Katie scored a little bit, but it was the non-scoring attributes that separated her at this event, something that’s a constant with her… never-ending energy and enthusiasm helped elevate the temperature in the late session… defensive effort was game changing in her team’s first 5v5 game & helped get them running… worked well with forwards throughout the event, both in P&R action and by creating angles for post entry passes… played the facilitating PG role that allowed teammates to eat.

Kelli Cieplicki (Rice (VT)/Lone Wolf Athletics 2024)

Kelli Cieplicki (Rice (VT)/Lone Wolf Athletics 2024): EST event first-timer came through from Burlington and put forth a solid overall showing… good size & frame at the wing at 5’9″… can play the slasher role but also adept at making plays with the ball in her hands… heavily tapped into the potent midrange game & hit several stepback/sidestep 15-18 footers going both right & left… capable & effective finisher at the rim with either hand and deceptively athletic with decent bounce & ability to hang in the air… pretty high basketball IQ and feel… showed flashes in both 3v3 & 5v5 play… on track to be a scholarship player.

Natalie Fox (Millbrook/Hoopers NY 2024): Another player that probably has enough EST jerseys in the closet to supply a team at this point, Natalie came through & performed once again… 6’2″ forward with back-to-basket & face-up abilities… really stood out more in 3v3 play here, as she worked well in space and took full advantage of 1v1 situations in the post… crafty finisher with good footwork 15′ & in and showed it with tough finishes from different angles with each hand… several D1 offers already from a wide-ranging collection of programs, and physical tools plus skill make it apparent as to why that’s the case.

Gabby Martin (Colonie/NY Havoc 2024): Fresh off a campus visit at NJIT, Gabby came straight out of the car and was another catalyst that brought the energy in the late session… athletic 5’10” 2024 continues to show progression from a ‘tweener’ skill set to one of a more natural wing… showed flashes on O, but impact was most felt on D during 5v5, where she defended multiple positions and showed the ability to stay in front & harass ballhandlers in a 94×50 setting… showed some improvement on the perimeter J with a few threes… another scholarship player in the 2024 class that’s putting it together.

Elyse MacDonough (Rice (VT)/Lone Wolf Athletics 2024): Another EST event first-timer, the 2021-22 Vermont Gatorade POY made the trip from Burlington and put together a nice overall showing… can play on or off the ball, but value shines brightest running the show at the PG spot… high IQ player that looked to make the ‘right’ play, even in a setting that sometimes brings out desire to make the highlight play… was a ‘thermostat’ that changed the temperature of her 3v3 team after a sluggish start by getting paint touches & creating for others… scholarship player that’s stirring up plenty of attention at the D1 & D2 levels.

Kat McRobbie-Taru (Cicero-North Syracuse/I-90 Elite 2024)

Kat McRobbie-Taru (Cicero-North Syracuse/I-90 Elite 2024): 5’10” lefty with intriguing versatility on the offensive end… can play with her back to the basket, face up, stretch to the perimeter, and even take some ballhandling duties in a ‘point forward’ sort of role… put it all together in time for her 3v3 session at the end of the event, where she canned 4 threes and flashed mid-post face up & back-to-basket work… willing to mix it up around the rim & battle on the glass… one of the 315’s best 2024s and worth keeping track of her development.

Alex Moses (Duanesburg/NY Havoc 2024): Not a ‘highlight’ night, but a solid front-to-back showing for one of the 518’s steadiest & most consistent players… didn’t score during 5v5 play but till made her presence felt thanks to facilitating efforts & the ability to create for others… fundamentally sound, plays under control, and has very good positional size in the backcourt at 5’9″-5’10″… future D1 player that already holds offers.

Hannah Polumbo (Marlboro/Hoopers NY 2024): I’ve been familiar with Hannah for years by now, but this was her first time at an EST event and she made the most of those two hours… 6 footer that embraces post play… fundamentally sound with her back to the basket – presents herself well, seals & holds position, footwork is solid – the process is correct… made 1v1 post moves & scored on a handful of occasions… flashed more of the face-up game as the event progressed & showed the jumper out to 18 feet… particularly potent turning over her left shoulder in the post and will attack either direction when facing up… cool with physicality… intriguing traditional frontcourt prospect that will more than likely continue to develop through her college years.

Bella Vincent (Albany Academy/Albany Lady Stars 2024): 5’9″ with dynamic athleticism and a fully engaged motor, so she plays bigger than her listing… showed two-way versatility at this event… dominated for long stretches in the first half of her session… runs the floor hard, scored in transition several times on the back end of rim runs… showed the ability to stretch out to the perimeter, hitting a couple threes and attacking downhill off the bounce with ferocity… presence on the glass that kept several possessions alive for her team… upside & room for growth in coming years is there.

Brenna Ducatte (Saranac/NY Havoc 2025)

Brenna Ducatte (Saranac/NY Havoc 2025): No one I cover has made such rapid progression in the last 8-12 months, and Brenna showed the development & expansion to her game here… good length so she plays taller than her 5’7″ listing, and she has a great basketball frame… has quickly morphed from more of a true forward type to a wing and made the transition more successfully and in less time than anyone I’ve covered in recent memory… getting more confident with the jumper, both midrange & perimeter, and canned a handful of threes on the night… scrappy, tough, competes on the defensive end… the strides she’s made in the last year make me even more intrigued as to what the next year will bring… one of northern New York’s top players, definite collegiate future that easily could be at the scholarship level with continued development.

Peyton Guay (West Rutland (VT)/Team Fredette 2025): Not the first time I’ve watched Peyton, but her showing in the late session was perhaps the most noteworthy I’ve seen so far… decent size in the backcourt at 5’7″ and a good natural basketball frame… can play on or off the ball and saw a decent amount of time at the PG here… capable perimeter shooter with deep range already, knocked down a couple from 23’+… showed some craftiness & skill in transition and with space in the half-court… stepped up as the event progressed – on track to be one of Vermont’s best players in her class.

Emilie Kent (Red Hook/NY Havoc 2025)

Emilie Kent (Red Hook/NY Havoc 2025): Young & rapidly developing 6 footer wasted no time in making her presence felt, standing out from the tip of the first session… well-trained around the rim – footwork is solid, everything is high (releases & finishes, keeps it up on rebounds, etc.) – the ‘process’ is correct and can see the foundation being built… good mobility at height & age, runs the floor well… showed flashes of expansion with the face-up package, including a middle drive left into a made floater… with continued development, both skill & physically, she could end up as one of upstate NY’s better 2025s… on track to be a scholarship player.

Sydney Pleat (Colonie/Saratoga Sparks 2025): 5’8″ guard that’s showing signs of being next up in a recent string of wiry backcourt scorers in the 518… long & lanky frame, looks like she might still be growing… knockdown shooter with a pure stroke & pretty deep range… does a good job manufacturing points in different ways both in half-court & transition; collected a couple right place/right time buckets as well, which speaks to general feel for the game… got hot during 3v3 play and showed three-level scoring ability along with progression in making plays off the bounce… upside is there and with continued progression & physical development, I see her being one of the 518’s better players in the 2025 class when all is said & done.

Lily Wohlleber (Averill Park/Albany Capitals 2025): Intriguing 5’10” forward that showed signs of taking the next step in her game in a solid first EST event showing… kind of an unorthodox game, though in a good way, and functional facing up or with her back to the basket… finishes efficiently with either hand and can play the role of a catch & finish forward as well… pretty good mobility, whether it’s block-to-block, cuts & post dives, or running the floor… flashed the midrange J as well… comes from a great HS program that builds tough players as well, so meaningful development is constant – keep an eye on Lily, as the potential is there for her to develop in leaps & bounds over time.

What’s Next?

It’s Summer Run time through the end of August. The next one-day high school event is the original one, the 8th Annual EST Fall Showcase. More details to come soon, but anticipated date is Sun, October 2 with plans to run it back at Riverfront Sports in Scranton, PA. Confirmation & info to come as summer comes to a close!

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