The 2014 American Family Insurance ALL-USA high school girls basketball team was chosen by USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley in consultation with Jason Jordan of USA TODAY High School Sports, various high school coaches and recruiting analysts.
2014 AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE ALL-USA GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM
COACH OF THE YEAR:
CHAD HIBDON, Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Why him? Coached a team with only one senior to a 34-1 record and No. 1 spot in the Super 25 girls basketball rankings. His team defeated four state champions and two state runner-ups.
I had to overcome: Probably just maturing as a coach and you have to overcome the mistakes you make as a young teacher and coach. So many people have supported and guided me as a teacher and a coach.
Playing a tough schedule: Was by design. We didn’t know exactly where these teams would be ranked, but we knew we were trying to play quality teams, in state and out of state, to try to challenge us.
Favorite teacher: My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Fisher. We had her for everything. She was such a kind lady and kept me out of trouble. She made school interesting.
Coach speak: My players will probably say that I reference the phrase, “Give, grow, love and win.”
Go-to dance move: I don’t know if it has a name, but I do a little shoulder shake, back and forth.
Getting past Riverdale: Riverdale has been so good for so long. We had been finishing in second place. Beating them was a mental hump this year. We were happy and excited to be where we were, but in order to get to the next level, we had to beat them. Once that happened, our confidence grew.
Favorite musician: I like Jeremy Camp, but I like any kind of worship music, any kind of Christian music that is clean and holy.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
BRIANNA TURNER, Manvel (Texas), F, 6-3, senior
Why her? Notre Dame signee led her team to the 5A state title, averaging 20.8 points. 11.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3.9 blocks and 3.7 steals.
Favorite teacher: She’s not a teacher, but one of my favorites at school is Monica Jackson, our athletic trainer. She’s just always there for support and she’s really nice.
Favorite musician: Childish Gambino
Biggest thing I’ve overcome: Is not just settling. I have to keep working hard, not just going with what I have.
Go-to dance move: Beef It Up
People don’t know that I: Like to paint.
Family competition: The first time I beat someone in my family in one-on-one was against my dad, when I was 14. That was the end of our one-on-one games.
Needs work: Probably my long-range shooting and finding a consistent 3-point shot.
Best opponent: Breanna Stewart (now with Connecticut)
First car: A 2011 Toyota Camry.
Favorite dunk: I don’t have a favorite yet. I attempted one in our district tournament, but it rimmed out.
Academic accomplishment: I have an unweighted 3.71 GPA and this year I made all A’s.
Season highlight: Beating Duncanville (for the 5A state title). This time, we really attacked the basket and got a lot of their key players in foul trouble.
JORDIN CANADA, Windward (Los Angeles), G, 5-6, senior
Why her? UCLA signee averaged 16.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and had a 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.
Favorite nickname: I don’t have a favorite but a lot of people call me J.
Season highlight: Playing against Mater Dei in the (Southern Section) Open Division championship.
Favorite teacher: I don’t have a favorite teacher, but I really like Ray Friend, who teaches Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.
Favorite musician: Ne-Yo
The lyrics to “O Canada”: No, I don’t know all of them. I wish I did.
Need to work on: Being more of a leader is something you can always improve on. Also my jumper.
Go-to dance move: I don’t have a go-to dance move. I don’t really dance at random.
People don’t know that I: Can sing. I like to sing any kind of songs, though mostly R&B.
My first name: Was supposed to be Elizabeth Jordin, but my dad didn’t like the way it sounded, so my parents decided to go with Jordin.
Put the ball in my hands: My mom’s friend was a coach who was starting up a youth basketball program, the GBO Rebels. Nobody forced me to start playing basketball. I decided on my own to play.
Best opponent: Nirra Fields (a sophomore guard with UCLA)
Compared to: A lot of people say Chris Paul.
Career goal: I want to be a neonatal nurse after basketball. That’s my goal after I retire. I love children and I love babies. I love being around them. Whenever I get a chance, I like to baby-sit. I decided that looking at neonatal nursing was what I felt like I wanted to do.
Favorite meal: Pizza
Season disappointment: Losing to Etiwanda (in the Open Division regional semifinal) was really hard. My team fought really hard. Etiwanda deserved to win, but I’m a little disappointed that we lost.
ASIA DURR, St. Pius X (Atlanta), G, 5-10, junior
Why her? Led her team to a 30-3 record and its second consecutive Class AAA state title, averaging 24.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.5 steals a game.
Favorite nickname: Asia “Amazes Ya”
Season highlight: Definitely winning the state championship. I would say that was my finest game as well. We were down in the second quarter, but came out strong and then expanded the lead. I started the game going 0-for-6, but my dad has always told me, “If you’re not having a good game, keep on shooting, because eventually they’ll start falling.”
Favorite musicians: Nicki Minaj, Drake and Trey Songz
Need to work on: Getting stronger with the ball and protecting it. I’m constantly going to be playing stronger, quicker, faster players at the next level.
Go-to dance move: I try to do the Nae-Nae dance, but I’m not that good at it.
Put the ball in my hands: I did it myself. I was 3 years old. My big brother was working on his game and I just starting dribbling and shooting. I got frustrated at first, because I couldn’t make shots or go through my legs. A year later, he thought I had it down.
Best player I’ve played: Kelsey Mitchell (of Princeton High in Cincinnati). She dropped 31 on me in a game. She’s so quick.
Compared to: People compare me to Diamond DeShields (a freshman guard at North Carolina).
KATIE LOU SAMUELSON, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), F, 6-3, junior
Why her? Led her team to a 28-3 record while averaging 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Has not chosen a college and is looking at Stanford, Notre Dame, Connecticut, UCLA and Kentucky. Her two older sisters, Karlie and Bonnie, are respectively, a freshman guard and a junior forward, at Stanford. Her father, Jon, played professionally in England.
Favorite nickname: Lou
Season highlight: Playing in the Tournament of Champions in Phoenix with my team. We won it and it was a fun time.
Favorite teacher: One of my favorites is my Spanish teacher, Mr. (Lewis) Francis. I’ve had him for two years. He has a great sense of humor and makes it fun to learn.
Favorite musician: I really like the band Queen. My dad listens to them and my sisters got me into them.
Need to work on: Becoming a better defender and getting stronger so I can post more on offense.
Go-to dance move: I just try to move with the music.
People don’t know that I: Can play the piano. I just do it for fun, to relax.
Put the ball in my hands: My dad.
Best player I’ve played: My sister, Karlie.
Compared to: The best compliment I’ve ever gotten is I play like Kevin Durant.
Career goal: I am into media stuff and making music videos. My grandfather and my uncle were in the music business.
Favorite basketball drill: I don’t like drills. I just like playing or scrimmaging.
Favorite meal: Steak and mashed potatoes.
Biggest disappointment: Definitely losing to Long Beach Poly (in the CIF Open Division regional semifinal).
Advantage of being the youngest sister: I like to use their clothes. We kind of all wear the same size.
USA Basketball taught me: How hard everyone there works every day. It was good to go back and bring that to my team, to show how they should be working.
A’JA WILSON, Heathwood Hall Episcopal (Columbia, S.C.), C, 6-5, senior
Why her? Led her team to the state independent schools Class AAA title, averaging 34.4 points, 14.5 rebounds, 5.4 blocks and 3.2 steals a game. She scored 37 points, had 14 rebounds and eight blocks and hit a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime in her team’s 66-58 defeat of Northwood Academy (North Charleston) in the championship.
Favorite teacher: My fourth-grade teacher, Mr. (Rick) Shirley. He was my first male teacher. He has this deep voice. It was scary at first, but once you got used to that, he was a great teacher.
Favorite musicians: Drake is my No. 1 and a little bit Justin Bieber.
Working on: There’s so much you can learn about the game of basketball. I am working on staying poised and mentally preparing myself to stay in the game at all times. Sometimes my mind gets clogged with a lot of things. I also need to work on my upper-body strength.
Put the ball in my hands: My dad (Roscoe, who played at Benedict College and professionally in Europe). At first, I didn’t want to play basketball. I hated the sport, or probably I hated the girls that I knew were playing basketball. But my dad talked with my AAU coach. At that age, I was of average height. No one in my family saw my height coming, except for my dad.
Best I’ve played against: Breanna Stewart. I mean, she’s Breanna Stewart. When I played on the USA U-19 team, playing with those girls really helped my game a lot. They were a year older and they had been through everything I’m going through this year. I like talking with them off the court.
Biggest disappointment: Last year, when we didn’t win state. It was the first year we got past the semifinals.
After basketball: In college, I would like to major in psychology so I could become a sports psychologist and stay involved in sports. I love the way the mind works. I took a course in psychology my sophomore year and on one of my unofficial visits I monitored a course in psychology.
Biggest accomplishment: We won state this year, and it was everything I could ask for. The way we won it was amazing. When I hit a 3-pointer to send it to overtime, they told me “Asia, we need a three.” When the buzzer went off, I thought it was the end of the third quarter. Then I found out the shot meant we were going to overtime. That made it 10 times better.
Drive to dunk: I have never dunked in a game. In practice, I can knock it out. At McDonald’s (All American Games), I knocked out two easy one-handed dunks, but we used old practice balls I could grip. When we went to the actual thing they used slippery, brand-new balls.
Ariel Atkins, G, 5-11, Duncanville (Texas): Texas signee led team to a 105-game winning streak, averaging 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 3.9 assists.
Sierra Calhoun, W, 6-0, Christ the King (Queens, N.Y.): Duke signee averaged 24.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists.
Kelsey Mitchell, G, 5-8. Princeton (Cincinnati): Ohio State signee led team to state Division I title, averaging 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.1 steals. Her twin, Chelsea, has also signed with Ohio State.
Jatarie White, C, 6-4, Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.): South Carolina signee averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals to lead team to 3A independent schools title.
Jaime Nared, W, 6-1. Westview (Portland, Ore.): Tennessee signee averaged 28.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.1 steals. She is the three-time Portland Metro Player of the Year.
Tyra Buss, G, 5-7, Mount Carmel (Ill.): Indiana signee averaged 45.8 points and 6.7 steals a game and made 137 3-pointers. She set state records for most points in a season (1,466) and career points (4,897).
Taylor Rooks, G, 6-0, Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.): Stanford signee averaged 23.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.8 assists and 1.9 blocked shots per game.
Alyssa Rice, C, 6-3, Reynoldsburg (Ohio): Kentucky signee averaged 19.1 points. 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 blocks a game.
Alexa Middleton, G, 5-8, Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn): Tennessee signee averaged 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Shakayla Thomas, F, 5-11. Sylacauga (Ala.): Florida State signee led team to 5A runner-up finish, averaging 32.7 points, 12 rebounds and six steals a game. She also set the state record for career rebounds.