Forty of the top 7th-9th grade girls basketball prospects in the Mid-Atlantic region, settled upon the campus of St Johns College High School in DC to participate in the 5th annual Rites of Passage Showcase. Coming into the event there was an incredible buzz around the DC area due to the elite talent that would be on hand. The event didn't disappoint at all. Led by the deep 2019 class which is being touted as the best class in the region in over a decade, the girls competed and left it all out there for all who were in attendance to see. As usual, despite every player showcasing talent that will have them playing at the next level and possibly beyond, a few separated themselves from pack and should be watched closely as they progress in their respective high school careers. Here they are...........
Samantha Brunelle (Far Right) - 6'3/2019/ William Monroe (VA)/ Boo Williams
The best overall prospect at the event due to her combination of size, skill and IQ. Brunelle dominated. She is effective on the block, a very good shot blocker, a willing and precise passer and has college 3-point range on her jumper already. It's scary how good she will be when she graduates in 2019 from high school.
Excellanxt Greer - 5'5/2019/ Bishop McNamara (MD)/ Team Assist 16/17
Dangerous guard who is comfortable in both roles when it comes to setting up her teammates for baskets or getting them on her own. While not fully healthy, Greer still was able to finish consistently at the basket and be a pest on defense. A fully healthy Greer is easily one of the top guards in the 2019 class.
Shanell Haskins - 5'7/2019/ Riverdale Baptist (MD)/ Havoc City
Haskins was one of the most versatile players at the showcase with the ability to play AND defend all wing positions. Although she can hit jumpers, her strength is in her ability to attack the basket and make plays for her others. With her quick first step and speed she was a handful in transition. An intriguing player to watch grow.
Teisha Hyman - 5'9/ 2019/ Woodlands (NY)/ Westchester Hoopstars
Hyman jumps out at you due to her flair as a ball handler where she represents her New York roots to the fullest. Fearless is how I can best describe her game. Deadly in the open court, top notch ball handling, court vision and IQ, at 5'9 she is the prototypical point guard for high school and beyond. Once she develops a consistent jumper and add some strength, she will be close to impossible to guard.
Faith Masonius - 6'1/2019/ Manasaquan (NJ)/ Exodus Wildcats
A big POINT guard that will have high school opponents shaking their head and college programs coveting her. Masonius was the most complete guard at the showcase and it wasn't close. Fundamentally sound handle, high IQ, physical, can shoot, rebound, pass and finish with the best of them, a legit triple double threat every time she steps on the floor.
Ashley Owusu - 5'10/ 2019/ Westminster School (VA)/ PSPA 15U Marshall
A inside/outside threat, the most polished player on the block at the showcase. Her moves in the paint left defenders out of position the entire showcase. What jumped out was her abiliy to hit open jumpers and break defenders down off the dribble that complimented her work in the post. Complete package offensively.
Mariah Perez - 6'3/2019/ Rise Academy Charter School (NJ)/ New Jersey Sparks
A promising talent, a bit raw but full of potential. High energy center who shines in doing the dirty work to help her team win. Good shot blocker, rebounder and finisher around the basket, once she improves her ball skills, she will become one of the best all around players in her class.
Nisani Santiago - 5'4/2019/ Gill St Bernard (NJ)/ NJ Demons
Explosive point guard who is instant offense. Can light it up from all three levels on offense. Also a capable passer who with a little work can become a elite defender.
Malu Tshitenge (In Purple)- 6'3/2019/ Bullis (MD)/ Takeover
The top prospect at the event physically. No player could match Tshitenge's combination of size and athleticism. A ferocious rebounder and shot blocker which is to be expected being the niece of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutumbo. The thing is she has a soft touch around the basket, which combined with her relentless offensive rebounding, helps her pile up points in a hurry. The future is bright.
Honorable Mention -
Jenna Alam - 5'6/2019/ Lord Botetourt High (VA)/ Boo Williams
Promise Cunningham - 5'10/2019/ St Vincent Pallotti(MD)/ Ballers Nation
Aliyah Matharu - 5'3/2019/ Washington School For Girls (DC)/ Havoc City
Angel Reese - 5'10/ 2020/ Deer Park Middle Magnet School (MD) Team Maryland Adidas
Jakia Brown-Turner - 6'0/2019/ Bishop McNamara (MD)/ Takeover