The 2021 New Jersey high basketball season is set to tip-off soon, and New York could be following suit on February, 1st, per multiple reports.
With that being said, I am taking a look at five gifted sophomore NJ/NYC hoopsters to watch this coming campaign.
Morris Catholic’s Tyonna Bailey is a sight to behold when she hits the hardwood. And college hoop programs are taking notice of her tremendous court skills. Bailey holds offers from schools the likes of Fordham, Oklahoma, Howard, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Georgetown, San Jose State, Tulsa, University of Michigan, Seton Hall, among other colleges
The 5-foot-10 Newark, N.J., native dropped in team-highs in points with 470, steals with 58, and assists with 127 last year. Plus, she was second on the Lady Crusaders in rebounds with 284.
After transferring from Arthur L. Johnson High School (NJ), where she led her team with 295 points and finished in second in rebounds with 239, Katie Ledden is primed to have a fantastic sophomore year at Rutgers Prep.
Her new coach, Mary Klinger, believes Ledden will be a valuable addition to the Lady Argonauts (NJ) this campaign.
“She’s a wonderful young lady who is very talented,” Klinger said. “She works extremely hard and is fitting in nicely. I look forward to coaching her this season.”
Nicole Melious is one of the hottest commodities on NYC’s PSAL’s basketball scene.
She enjoyed a tremendous freshman year with Susan Wagner, averaging a little under 28 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists per game for the 24-3 Lady Falcons.
Plus, Melious drained 39 points in a PSAL Class A playoff win versus Midwood.
The 5-foot-8 guard continued her success over the summer, especially in Indianapolis, where she poured in 52 points in a game and was held under 30 only twice in 13 contests while playing with NY Hoopers.
Additionally, Melious averaged an impressive 32.5 points per game, to go along with 7.5 assists and 5.4 rebounds in the Pittsburgh Shootout with the NY Hoopers.
What makes Melious a nightmare to defend is that she can drain a three-pointer from just about anywhere on the court, even 8-10 feet behind the arc. Guard her up close, and the Staten Island native will blow by an opponent as if she is standing still.
Recinto, a wing/post player at Cherokee High School (NJ), endured two partially torn ligaments in her right ankle in mid-January of last year, forcing her to miss 13 games. But she managed to score 103 points, grab 10 rebounds, and dish out five assists in 16 contests.
Now healthy and stronger, with more highly competitive hoops experience, courtesy of AAU Exodus NYC, Recinto, an accomplished martial artist, is ready to break out and be a force on the court.
Broughton used her grit and rough-and-tumble nature to surmount nagging injuries to average 10.2 rebounds, 8.3 points, and 1.3 thefts per contest for Jackson Liberty High School (NJ) last year.
Shaking off her maladies, Broughton, a forward, should be an even better player after a strong showing on the AAU courts over the summer and fall. Thusly, making her a player to watch in her area.
— Jerry Del Priore