Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Camara taking her time in recruiting

UConn already got one recruit from the 2013-14 Blair Academy team as Meriden native Sadie Edwards is one of four incoming freshmen for the Huskies.

Recently UConn has started to show an interest in Blair Academy rising senior Batouly Camara.

Camara, who is here in Colorado Springs trying out for the U-18 national team, admitted that she has a long way to go in figuring out her college of preference.

"It (UConn's interest) was a progression, being with USA (Basketball) and being able to talk to them, word gets around," Camara said. "I feel honored to be even considered by UConn and Geno (Auriemma).

"I probably should rush but I haven't narrowed my list yet. I am going to start taking officials in the fall and that is where I am right now."

When I went to watch Blair Academy play on Jan. 18 (the day before UConn played at Rutgers) Edwards didn't play but Camara was one of the most impressive players for Blair Academy. She displayed the ability to score both inside and out.

"That is something I will do whatever I can, if my teammates need me to shoot that game or be down low and bang inside, I will do that," Camara said.

Camara had nothing but good things to say about Edwards.

"She did great things down there and whatever she puts her mind to, the sky is the limit," Camara said. "She brings our practice to a different level, she always comes to the gym and has that high intensity."

While I have been highlighting how well Connecticut high school stars Kiah Gillespie (who is among the final 46 players at the U-17 trials) and Abby Laszewski (who was among the final 70 players at the U-17 camp). But in Colorado Springs there's plenty to celebrate as two kids from the city are among the final 46.

Kylee Shook was one of 39 invitees (only 37 showed up) while Oliana Squires is one of nine applicants to make it through the first three cuts.

Considering all the stories that could be told about players coming in from all areas of the country, I thought it was an interesting angle to see what it is like for a Colorado Springs kid to come to the trials.

"I am just 10 minutes away so I think it is special to be here in Colorado Springs," Shook said.

When she came to the U-16 trials in 2013, it was not her first trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

"I came here once just looking around touring (the facilities) and now I am back again," Shook said. "It is amazing seeing all the sports and the athletes, it is amazing especially with it being in my hometown.
It is nice because my dad just has to drive to come see me and it is good for him to support me and it would be great to play for my country."

Shook, a 6-foot-4 rising junior at Mesa Ridge High, and Oliana Squires, a 5-foot-9 rising junior at Sand Creek High, will be here until the final list of 12 is announced tomorrow morning.

 "I came in knowing what to expect but there is still competition here and there are more girls here, athletic girls, bigger, tougher," Shook said.

There was no lack of talented athletes on the grounds at the U.S. Olympic Training Center but it was the appearance of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson which created the most buzz.

Wilson, who led Seattle to the Super Bowl title, was here to watch his sister Anna (a Stanford commit) take part in the U-17 trials.

The folks at USA Basketball shot a video of Wilson which garnered more than 300,000 hits since it was posted on instagram.

After the morning practice session Anna Wilson spoke to Carl Adamec of the Manchester Journal Inquirer and I about her brother's visit as well as being able to watch the Super Bowl in person.

"Probably me (when asked who was more nervous at the Super Bowl)," Wilson said. "When it first started I don't think they would win by so much. I had faith that they were going to win but not by that much. Russ is never nervous.

"He is definitely my role model, both of my brothers are my role models but from athlete to athlete he is one of my biggest role models."


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