With two years of New Jersey high school basketball underneath their belts, and more AAU playing time to their credit, these 2023s are turning more heads with each passing game.
Here is a look at five standout players with promising basketball futures.
Meghan Lamanna — New Providence/NJ Demons
Lamanna is a fast guard, with the ability to stop-and-pop at a moment’s notice.
She can connect from the middle of the key–bang. She can hit from the left side of three-point land–bang. She can drain it from the right side beyond the arc–bang. Defensives will be hard-pressed to stop the scoring-machine as she continues to grow her game, both physically and cerebrally.
Lamanna had scored 595 points across her first two years at New Providence. The guard added 150 rebounds, 77 helpers, and 76 steals in 46 games. She is well on her way to hitting, and surpassing, the 1000-point scoring milestone.
She also plays AAU hoops for the NJ Demons, coached by the well-regarded Rich Leary, who prepares his girls thoroughly for court combat.
Rylyn Orlando — Manasquan/NJ Belles
Orlando came into Manasquan with not much hype. Sure, a few high school hoop insiders saw the talent, but she worked hard with her AAU team, the NJ Belles, and with other avenues to improve every day. Now, the cats out of the proverbially bag, but do not count on her slowing down.
Quick, courageous, and competitive, Orlando dropped in a modest 69 points, collected 22 rebounds, and blocked and stole seven and seven, respectively, in 15 tilts in 2020-21.
Ariana Broughton — Liberty Jackson/NJ Belles
A rebounding force, Broughton is one of those tough, young ladies that comes prepared for an outright dogfight. Woof.
A left-handed to-the-basket shooter, the forward recorded 117 points, snatched 117 rebounds, and made 21 steals in 15 tilts this past season for Liberty Jackson, displaying a complete game indeed.
But it is her intense mettle that helps her standout while earning the respect of her high school basketball peers.
“I actually got the chance to play Ari during the (last) summer and she is such a fierce competitor on the court,” Gabby Recinto of Cherokee High School and AAU Exodos NYC said. “But off (the court), she’s just a great person to be around. She is so kind and so friendly, I really respect her as a player. I can’t wait to meet up with her again and hopefully we will get the opportunity to train together in the future.”
Broughton also suits up for the AAU NJ Belles – Truhan 2023.
Riley Allen — Chatham/NJ Demons
Allen missed her freshman season due to an ACL injury, but has been working hard to return to form and beyond. She registered solid overall numbers for the Cougars: 125 points, 37 boards, 12 dimes, and 10 steals in 12 contests this past year.
Allen is a very good rebounder, shooter, and defensive-minded, as well as a smart player. The physical aspects to her game should all improve as she is now 100 percent healthy and putting in the necessary effort to reach the next level, per source.
Futhermore, with the knee aliment behind her, Allen is benefitting from playing top competition on the AAU scene with the NJ Demons.
Elizabeth Archer — Oak Knoll/NJ Demons
Archer owns a strong, lean 6-foot frame and continues to work diligently to improve her overall skillset.
When she is in a groove, the guard can score, especially with a formidable three-point jumper, rebound, and block shots with the best in Union County, where Oak Knoll is located.
In last year’s truncated high school campaign, Archer posted 86 points in seven games, good for a 12.3 average pg.
As a freshman, she put up 117 points and grabbed six boards in 20 contests. Archer also plays hoops for the NJ Demons.
Let’s not forget that Archer is high academic student.
— Jerry Del Priore