NJCAA Women's Basketball Showcase begins at NWF State
7/13/2012 – National JUCO showcase opens
By BRANDON WALKER 315-1476 | @BrandonWnwfdn email@example.com
On a weekend where 40 of the top junior college basketball players in the country will be on display, Northwest Florida State head coach Patrick Harrington will get a chance to watch a pair of new Raiders in action.
And he will get to do it in NWF State's backyard.
This afternoon, Harrington and NWF State will kick off the 2012 NJCAA Women's All-Star showcase, an annual event aimed at helping junior college players put their skills on display for more than three dozen college coaches. The event will be held in Niceville for the first time.
"This is just huge for these players," said Harrington. "It really helps to jump-start their recruiting, giving them a chance to play ball in front of D1 and D2 coaches from all over the place. And it also helps players get offers from smaller schools, teams that maybe don't have a chance to get out and recruit as heavily as the big programs but can still offer these girls a great opportunity."
For Harrington, today's showcase will present a unique opportunity, as the NWF State head coach can watch a pair of new signees that will each take part in the event. Tavarsha Scott, a 5-11 power forward that averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds as a freshman at Southern University-Shreveport, and Shae Nelson, a combo forward that played one year at Ole Miss, will both join the NWF State program this fall. But first, they will compete with 40 of the top players in the country this weekend.
"Both of those girls bring a lot of size and experience to the table," said Harrington. "We're anxious to see them out there against some great players."
The showcase will feature several layers of competition and instruction, including drills and scrimmages focused on individual and team play. This morning, the 40 players will be split into four teams and will then take part in skill work and individual drills, all in front of interested coaches at 4-year colleges and universities. Through the weekend, the four teams will compete against each other in scrimmages. Games are scheduled for 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.
The event is open to the public at a cost of $5 per day.
For NWF State, the weekend will be especially sweet, as the showcase will serve as a warmup for tonight's NJCAA Hall of Fame induction of former coach and athletic director Mickey Englett.
Englett, who worked at NWF State for 22 years before retiring in April, will be honored with a Hall of Fame banquet tonight. The banquet will be held at 6 p.m. at NWF State's student services center, and the cost of attending is $25.