In a landscape littered with self-promotional All-American line-ups, ingratiated recognition and traffic motivated name dropping, Mike Flynn and Blue Star Media go a different direction with the tip-off of the 2017 – 18 high school season looming.
Post season honors are generally based on actual performance oriented statistics, team accomplishments as well as the perception of play versus higher tier competition. Conversely, the pre-season only carries hopes, dreams and expectations based on play in previous years as well basketball resumes built over the course of the club season. In that light, the Godfather offers up his pre-season “projections” of those players poised for what just might turn out to be a special season. Nobody has the experience, background and history in the game as Mike Flynn. He’s seen so called “can’t miss” players sit the bench at the next level and he’s watched “sleepers” evolve into All-Americans.
However, just like the stock market where “Past performance may not be indicative of future results”, anything an athlete has done previously carries little relevance when she takes the floor again in the upcoming season. We’ve used the word “projections” for these selections just as the networks do on November political election nights and we’re all too familiar with the minimal correlation between “projection” and actual performance in office. But just like election night, we’re always filled with hope as each season dawns.
No, parents and coaches, this absolutely is not another social media moment or opportunity to solicit congratulations for something your favorite player has yet to do. In reality, it’s a challenge. Consider it more of an invitation to live up to the promise that comes with being mentioned among the elite in the scholastic game. So rather than taking a bow before breaking a sweat, we’re looking for even more evidence of legitimacy. And if these players go to work with higher expectations of themselves than those of us watching have for them…it will be a tough time sorting out some special seasons when all is said and done this spring.- Mark Lewis
For the 2018 class 60 players are included with the first 30 ranked (see first team in order below) among three 10 player teams. Three more senior teams of 10 are listed alphabetically.
Charli Collier – 6-5 – C – Barbers HS – TX
Christyn Williams – 5-10 – G – Central Arkansas Christian – AR
Izabella Nicoletti – 5-10 – W – Neuse Baptist Christian Academy – NC
Aquira Decosta – 6-2 – F – Stockton St. Mary’s – CA
Olivia Nelson-Odada – 6-5 – C – Winder-Barrow – GA
Sedona Prince – 6-7 – C Liberty Hill – TX
Destanni Henderson – 5-7 – G – Fort Myers – FL
NaLyssa Smith – 6-4 – C – East Central – TX
Zarielle Green, 6-1 – F – Duncanville – TX
Shakira Austin – 6-3 – C – Riverdale Baptist – MD
The junior class projects 30 athletes with two ranked teams of 10 and a third listed in alphabetical order. In the 2020 class the first team is ranked and 20 more are listed alphabetically on two additional teams. The freshmen have five players ranked followed by 10 more in alpha order. And looking way down the road, Mike has included five 2022’s in a very early ranked list.