EXCEL PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Excel Heart of Texas Classic 2016-Austin

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PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: CHRIS HARRIS JR , CORTEZ IVIE JR, WILL AGNEW, CHRIS COLTER, GRACE DOLLARHIDE, JON JON SALAZAR, ZAVANNAH RODRIGUEZ, NAOMI WHITFIELD

Chris Harris Jr.- Texas Hustle-Junior Varsity Boys. Very strong guard that with range and the size and quickness to beat his defender and get to the cup.  As the #33 ranked 9th Grader in the country, you can see how easy the game seems to Harris.  In Saturday’s Semi Finals VS Round Rock Rimrockers he seemed to be coasting with only 5 pts but when the game was on the line he dropped 15 late points including two-deep 3 balls to help his Hustle team advance.  In a championship showdown with fellow guard protege Cortez Ivie (K Town All Stars), Harris showed why he is so highly regarded on the national scene.  Final Saturday stats for the South Garland (Dallas) product: 19 ppg, 11.3 apg, 7.4 rpg

Cortez Ivie Jr.- Killeen K Town All Stars-Junior Varsity Boys.  C.J. makes up for being undersized with hard work and the biggest heart on the floor but lets not underappreciated the young man.  His skill set also makes him a monster to guard.  He’s already the fastest man on the court every game but his long rang along with the sickest handles make him near unstoppable. No wonder his name has been getting a lot of love on the national scene.  John Lucas’s camp has rated him as one of the point guards in the state for his age. His showdown with fellow star Chris Harris Saturday night was epic as he scorched the nets with 28 pts to keep his boys close in the championship. Final Saturday stats for the Killeen High product: 21 ppg, 7.1 apg, 2.6 stp.

Will Agnew- Austin Rain-7th Grade Boys. Will being the middle child in the Agnew family has a lot of pressure to deal with. Older brother Heath is busy playing college ball out of state. His father is a legendary high school coach in Austin. His sister is a stand-out volleyball star. WIll doesn’t live in shadows though, instead he has created his own identity as a player.  Comparing his to his brother Heath is like comparing Apples and Oranges.  Heath is an athletic above the rim slasher with a lot of range.  Will is a true guard with court sense like nobody else in the gym Saturday.  He was the only player i saw Saturday that made the correct basketball play in every opportunity.  His shooting and handles are far superior to other 7th graders and he is naturally blessed with the Agnew size that allows him to see over defenders to be so effective. Final Stats: 11.4 ppg, 10 apg.

Chris Colter- Manor Falcons-4th Grade Boys. Most of you have probably seen Chris on the circuit with Ray Jackson’s Rising Stars but now Chris is teaming up with Chris Sr. and staring for his dads Manor Falcons.  Chris might be the best 4th grade player I have seen in a while.  Playing since he was five years old the young man can do almost anything on the floor. Blessed with his dad’s length and height, Colter is a constant pest of passing lanes and a aggressive rim attacker.  He put up some real big number Saturday: 15.6 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.9 spg 4.2 rpg.

Grace Dollarside- Unite Skills Academy- Junior Varsity Girls. Grace is the total player. She is the player diving on loose balls. When coach needs a basket she is the one he goes to. When coach needs a stop she is the one guarding the opposing teams best player.  Lets throw in the fact that she is a deadly shooter with unlimited range. Well then we have as close to perfection as we can get.  Grace’s ability to effect the game in so many ways makes her as important or you might so more important to a coach.  Saturday Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.5 apg, 5.2 rpg and 54% from arc.

Jon Jon Salazar-Next Level Raiders Elite- Varsity Boys. Jon Jon is the exact player coaches love. He plays hard and hates to lose more than anything.  This passion for the game has made Salazar as complete of a big man as you can find. Very capable of controlling the paint, he wows you with his consistent range from all parts of the floor.  This makes Salazar a near impossible offensive player to guard.  When you crowd his shot, he breezes by you to finish at the cup.  In Sunday’s showcase Varsity boys division Salazar out on an offensive show scoring from all over the floor. Coach Harrison has a true jewel in this very talented varsity squad. Look for a big Spring and Summer.  Sunday Stats: 17.9 ppg, 11.2 rbg.

Zavannah Rodriguez-Texas Hustle- 5th/6th Grade Girls. Rodriguez is a well balanced guard.  She has the ability to make her teammates much better with amazing passing skills.  In the championship game she showed she can score when her teammates need it the most. In Saturday’s very talented 5th/6th Grade girls division she seemed so much more advanced then most of the guards she faced. Coach Harris is doing an outstanding job developing his Texas Hustle players. Saturday’s Stats 8.1 ppg, 6.3 apg

Noami Whitfield-Killeen Lady Assassins-Junior Varsity Girls.  Whitfield has been playing with Excel Tournaments along with her Lady Assassins teammates since they were in middle school and it has been a true joy to see her and her teammates develop into the powerhouse that they have become.  Noami is the anchor of this very talented group.  Her length makes her a dominant rebounder and shot blocker.  No opponent offensive possession is easy with Whitfield on the floor. Sunday’s Stats: 8.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg.

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