Originally created 07/30/00

Area players get exposure at tournament



Laney High's Sheena Freeman often glances into the stands at her varsity basketball games, but rarely does she ever spot more than one college recruiter at a time.

That's why the junior shooting guard, who was a member of The Augusta Chronicle's third team all-area squad as a sophomore, marveled at the 16 recruiters at the second annual She Got Game basketball tournament Saturday at North Augusta's Riverview Park.

"It helps a lot because it gives you more exposure," said Freeman, who averaged 13 points a contest for the Lady Wildcats last season. "It's competitive too, and you know you won't get that many college coaches at one high school game. So you have to play at your best. Every good play counts toward your chances of competing in college."

Nine teams were expected to compete in the two-day tourney, but a bus carrying five teams from Jacksonville broke down Thursday night en route to Augusta, narrowing the competition to just four squads.

Tournament coordinator Gregory Williams, who got the idea of holding the event from a player off his Augusta 2000 AAU team, threw out the playoff brackets and went to a seven-game format for each squad plus an all-star game to conclude the weekend. The four squads were composed of mostly athletes from the Augusta and Savannah area.

In Saturday's all-star game, the White squad defeated the Blue team 41-39.

"This is basically a camp for the young ladies who won't get a chance to compete in the bigger summer venues for whatever reasons," Williams said.

Each coach was given a complete profile packet of the 26 athletes. Georgia Southern, Florida A&M, Bethune Cookman, West Georgia, South Carolina State and Paine were among the 16 colleges represented. They watched players such as Evans' Shawnica Hill, who has already signed to play at Georgia Southern this year. And others, who are still looking for scholarships such as Adrienne Walker (T.W. Josey), Kelly Tiller (Greenbrier), Nicole Bennett (Lakeside) and Shamika Sheriffe (Hephzibah).

But not all of the action took place on the hardwood. A series of workshops took place in addition to the games. The list of speakers was highlighted by Karen Lockhart, who is a national detective for cellular fraud. Karen Davis, a physician's assistant at the Milledgeville Correctional Facilities, also held a workshop along with Jameca Hawes, a student-athlete at Paine College.

"The basis for the workshops was to try to expose the girls to other women that are successful outside of the basketball court," Williams said.