Girls basketball showcase draws top talent

New Orleans-- Some of the top girls basketball prospects in the Gulf Coast came to New Orleans on Sunday for the espnW x Elevate NEXT HoopGurlz Combine. The invite-only event hosted players in 6th through 11th grades as they went through drill stations and played in 5-on-5 games. College coaches as well as espnW scout and owner of The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, Dan Olson were on-hand to evaluate the participants.

"We decided to do an event to market the Louisiana girls and some of the Mississippi girls," said Elevate NEXT coach Ernest Watson. "Being down here in the lower map, they don't get recognized for what their talents can be so we decided to bring the best of the best. This is an invite only. Right now we've got the 6th-8th and later we've got the 9th-11th. We were able to bring-in Dan Olson that does the ESPN rankings and sees who deserves to be up there."

Olson handles all the grass roots scouting for espnW, including individual player rankings and the top 25 high school poll.

"It gets them on the radar," Olson said. "Radar meaning that schools around the country-- colleges and universities-- regardless of size, have an opportunity now to gain that information through my scouting service, by my evaluating them. By them being here today that gives them that chance. It kind of starts them on the fast-track of getting a potential college education through their athletic ability in basketball."

The last time Elevate NEXT had this event in 2016, they got three girls ranked nationally in the top 50 and 8 more on the watch list. The three ranked players are now playing at Florida State, Kansas and Baylor.