There’s a new high school girls basketball team in Memphis called Tennessee Preparatory Academy aka TPA. TPA is actually 3 years old but this is the first year for the girls program.
The team is led by well-known Memphian, Rodney Newsom. He is no stranger to success on the boys/mens side of basketball. He was a member of a Hamilton High School squad that won a State Championship. He then took his talents to then Memphis State University were they had several trips to the NCAA tournament and went as far as the Elite Eight.
My first introduction to Coach Cliff Coleman was at his Inaugural Last Chance Evaluation event in 2016. I was very impressed with the amount of players in attendance for the skill development portion of the event, which was separate from the competition session. Coach Coleman is an AAU veteran and a popular trainer in the Nashville area. He has a unique training style that translates into his Power5BBall events. The format is fundamental intensive, game speed, and progressively competitive based.
The Showboat Fall Classic is the upperclassmen league. All high schoolers with a few 8th graders having the opportunity to participate.
As an 8th grader, it is quite an adjustment to play with high schoolers mentally and physically. However, three 8th graders did not get that memo. Unfortunately, it is rare in high school ball to see a player pull up for the short jumper. You either will see players shoot the 3 or attempt to go all the way to the basket. SG Alindsey Long (Colonial MS) is one of those players you will see pull up mid range with the prettiest shot and making a high percentage of them. Speaking of pretty shots. SG Kennedy Claybrooks (Arlington MS) is going to shock many with her offensive abilities.
You have probably heard that the 2021 class in the Memphis region will be a monster class. From what I saw at the Major Basketball League (and have been seeing all summer), the classes coming after 2021 will be just as talented and deep.
These younger players are not only talented and skilled. They are competitive, fast, athletic and energetic.
The Memphis Lady Mambas had a busy spring and summer of basketball. They haven’t slowed down either. If they aren’t in the gym doing skill development, they are hosting intrasquad scrimmages.
As the summer is winding down and school has begun, the team is in preparation mode for the Fall evaluation period. The 2018, 2019, and 2021 squads will be heading to Kenosha, Wisconsin for The Fall Finale Powered by Eastbay event….. Yes, WISCONSIN! Coach AW Massey says that he likes for each class to take a unique trip.