Some of the best girls’ AAU basketball teams in Nebraska were at Speedway Sports Complex in Lincoln on Thursday for a July afternoon of jamboree scrimmages.
This is the third year this jamboree has been played. Teams from Nebraska Lasers Supreme, Team Factory, Omaha Supreme, Cornhusker Shooting Stars and Omaha Sports Academy were all in attendance.
The place was jam-packed with talented players. Here are a just few that stood out:
2022 Hastings St. Cecilia guard Bailey Kissinger
She was one of, if not the best players on the courts Thursday. Kissinger, who led her Hawkettes team to a runner-up finish at the Class C-1 state tournament last March, is a coach on the court for Team Factory. She called out switches on screens well before they happened, and drained layup after layup while getting fouled. The senior-to-be was especially impressive at the high post, where, once she got the ball, scanned how the defense reacted to a dribble handoff and went to work. At one point against Omaha Supreme, she scored the first nine points for Team Factory. Kissinger averaged 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game as a junior. Here are just a couple of her plays from Thursday:
2023 Lincoln Pius X guard Adison Markowski
Her big sister Alexis was named the Gatorade Nebraska girls basketball player of the year and is a Husker basketball signee. But Adison can ball, too, and she showed it Thursday while playing for Nebraska Lasers Supreme. She was aggressive on drives to the hoop, had a good handle and stretched the defense with a few 3-pointers, a shot she made 32 percent (32 of 99) of the time as a sophomore. Markowski will have a larger role during the 2021-22 season and is primed for a big junior campaign. Here’s an example of Markowski bullying her way to the bucket:
2022 Lincoln East guard Matalynn Campbell
The Lincoln East senior-to-be flashed an impressive handle at the point for the Cornhusker Shooting Stars Bison on Thursday, probably the best of anyone competing. She didn’t attempt many jump shots, but she did weave through traffic multiple times and finish strong in the paint while taking contact at times. Her most clever play may have been when she was inbounding the ball under the hoop. She lightly tossed the ball against the back of her defender, quickly recovered the loose ball, and sank the easy layup. Smart play. Campbell averaged 11 points, five rebounds and 3.4 assists per game as a junior. Here are a couple of Campbell’s nifty plays:
2024 Omaha Burke guard Kara Stricklin
Stricklin very well could’ve been the quickest player on the court Thursday. Oh, and she has a devastating crossover that she used to explode past her defender a few times. She won’t be confused for the tallest player on the court, but once Stricklin got past her defender, she showed great touch around the hoop for Team Factory. As a freshman at Burke, she averaged 3.9 points and 2.1 boards per game — those numbers will go up. Here’s an example of Stricklin’s crossover:
2023 Lincoln Pius X forward Makenna Lesiak
When she got a head of steam, not many defenders kept Lesiak from getting to the basket on Thursday. Lesiak, who suited up for the Lasers, didn’t attempt many jumpers, but she slashed into the paint very well and used her long arms to keep layups from getting blocked. With three of the four top scorers from two-time defending state champ Pius X graduated, Lesiak will have a larger role once the season rolls around. Here’s how Lesiak made a living on Thursday:
2023 Bellevue East guard Mya Skoff
Stud. It was fun watching Skoff turn the corner on her defender and sink layup after layup on Thursday. At 5-foot-11, Skoff has the handle and determination that makes her a nightmare to guard and shoot against. While most of her time on Thursday was spent getting to the rim for Team Factory, she did show off some range with a top-of-the-arc 3. Skoff averaged 17.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Here’s a play where she showed strength getting a shot up through contact: