There’s no singularly obvious reason for Courtney Ogden’s success. JWS’ 10th-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023, Ogden is confident, focused and patient. She values her coaches, mentors and teammates. She puts in a tremendous amount of work both on the court and in the classroom.

The Stanford-bound guard has everything it takes to become a franchise player at the college level and beyond.

Ogden’s basketball journey began in elementary school. As a third grader, she was the only girl to attend the annual Dell Curry Camp in Charlotte, N.C. In an interview with Jr. NBA’s Elevate Series, she said that, despite her best efforts at the camp, none of the boys would pass her the ball. Ogden’s parents, Christopher and Carla, and Dell Curry himself encouraged her to keep working. If she persisted, they said, she would improve.

The term “Basketball IQ” is regularly thrown around in today’s game to describe athletes who have an elite ability to see plays develop before they unfold and to adapt at a moment’s notice.

Courtney Ogden exemplifies Basketball IQ. As with her commitment to the game, she has polished and developed that skill over time.

One influential teacher in Ogden’s life is trainer Dorian Lee, the CEO of B’Ball 101 who specializes in player development at all levels. Ogden began working with Lee in elementary school. The talented guard is one of thousands of players who have trained with Lee, and his impact is evident in her adaptability on the court.

While training with Lee, Ogden also joined an AAU team before she entered fifth grade.

In the state of Georgia, there’s a clear choice for young girls looking to improve their game on the AAU circuit: Atlanta-based program, Finest Basketball Club. Creator and coach Alfred “Mo” Motton has helped catapult young basketball players to the next level for nearly two decades.

FBC teams have collected hundreds of wins over the years. To play for a program of that caliber, and to shine while doing so, attracts attention no matter how old you are.

So, in the sixth grade, just three years after nobody would pass her the ball at the Dell Curry Camp, Ogden picked up her first Division I offer from then-coach MaChelle Joseph at Georgia Tech.

That same year, she enrolled at the Westminster School in Atlanta, where she played for the JV team as an eighth grader and moved up to varsity as a freshman. That season, she averaged a double-double while shooting 42 percent from the field. As a sophomore, she increased her field goal percentage to nearly 50 percent.

Ogden also excels in her community and in the classroom, prioritizing her education off the court. In 2021, she earned her a spot on the inaugural Jr. NBA Court of Leaders, a youth leadership council that connects student-athletes with opportunities to develop. In school, the senior has studied Mandarin since around the same time she got that first DI offer.

When she gets to college next year, Ogden can continue to grow at one of the world’s top universities and on a team that excels at developing guards while regularly vying for titles.

“Courtney is, plain and simple, a pure and excellent scorer,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said after Ogden signed with the program. “She’s a very physical player on both sides of the ball, loves to look for her 3-point shot and can knock them down.”

Ogden committed to Stanford in December of her junior year of high school, just months after breaking her ankle during the summer. The injury required surgery, causing her to miss the beginning of the Westminster season. After making a full recovery, Ogden exceeded expectations, averaging 18.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game that season.

She was named a 2022 GHSA All-Georgia Honorable Mention and GHSA Class AAA First Team selection in addition to leading Westminster to the state semifinals.

Around the same time, she was also invited to her first USA Basketball roster tryout. Ogden earned a spot on the roster for the U18 Women’s Americas Championship in Argentina, despite being a year younger than most of the other players on the team.

Playing for Team USA is a unique learning experience due to the specific style of play the coaching staff demands. Those who make the roster must demonstrate their adaptability and talent to stick around.

U.S. U18 assistant coach DeLisha Milton-Jones, also currently the head coach at Old Dominion, describes Ogden as a skilled player with good size at the guard spot.

“Courtney is a triple-level scorer with good handles that allow her to penetrate the rim and finish through traffic,” she said.

Ogden and the U18 team, entering the Championship on a nine-tournament gold-medal streak, won gold again in Buenos Aires. Ogden averaged 2.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 14.5 minutes across five games as the U.S. went 6-0.

She returned to the States and wrapped up her club career this July at the GUAA U17 Championship, marking the culmination of more than a decade with FBC.

Though Ogden’s squad fell in the title game after four overtime periods, she and her teammates — including Alabama signee Essence Cody, UNC signee Reniya Kelly and 2024 standouts Jaloni Cambridge and Zamareya Jones — demonstrated just how effectively FBC prepares and develops its players for the next level.

Ogden continued to shine at the Elite 24 game in Chicago, where she put on a show alongside other dynamic five-star recruits.

She was also selected as one of nine athletes — and the only girls’ basketball player — to participate in UA Next’s The Workout. The Workout is an annual performance development weekend at Under Armour’s headquarters designed to push invited participants from a variety of sports through different workouts and activities, demonstrating what college athletics has in store.

And now, the 1,000-point scorer has begun her final season in a Westminster jersey as one of 10 student-athletes named to the 2022-23 Naismith Girls’ High School Player of the Year Preseason Watchlist.

The Westminster Wildcats have started the 2022-23 season 8-4 and resume play in the New Year. Ogden leads the team in scoring (21.3 points per game), rebounds (10.7) and steals (2.5).

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

The 2022-23 high school basketball season is officially underway, and varsity teams across the country are looking to make a name for themselves on a national stage.

At Just Women’s Sports, we’ve ranked the top 25 teams from coast to coast, each one of them poised to make waves in their home state and beyond.

1. Sierra Canyon (Calif.), 7-0

Head coach: Alicia Komaki

The Trailblazers finished last season as California state champions and ranked in the national top 5. They return 11 of 12 players from last year’s roster, including two Team USA gold medalists, 2023 USC signee JuJu Watkins and 2024 forward Mackenly Randolph. The team also boasts 2024 guard Izela Arenas and 2023 Northwestern signee Crystal Wang. This season, Sierra Canyon’s motto is “Good to Great,” as the Trailblazers look to follow up last year’s successful campaign with even more hardware.

2. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 4-0

Head coach: Tamika Dudley

The Quakers took care of business last season, going undefeated and capturing the SCI National Championship. In 2022-23, Sidwell Friends begins a new chapter after graduating top recruit and current UCLA freshman guard Kiki Rice. Led by seniors Jadyn Donovan (Duke signee) and Khia Miller (East Carolina signee) as well as juniors Kendall Dudley, Leah Harmon and Zania Socka-Nguemen, Sidwell Friends is a threat to win it all once more.

3. Etiwanda (Calif.), 9-0

Head coach: Stan Delus

There’s no shortage of elite basketball programs in the state of California, and Etiwanda is strong proof of that. The Eagles’ smallest margin of victory so far this season is 23 points, with eight of their nine wins coming on neutral courts. As a public school, Etiwanda has some of the nation’s top talent: Class of 2024 recruit Kennedy Smith and 2025 recruit Puff Morris are two of California’s most exciting players.

4. Montverde Academy (Fla.), 10-0

Head coach: Special Jennings

The reigning GEICO High School Nationals champion, Montverde carries a rich basketball tradition into the 2022-23 season. The Eagles are long, fast and talented, thanks to a highly touted roster that includes South Carolina signee Sahnya Jah, Mississippi State signee Mjracle Sheppard and 2024 paint powerhouse Lety Vasconcelos.

5. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.), 9-0

Head coach: Terri Bamford

Three names to remember: Breya Cunningham, Jada Williams and Tajianna Roberts. Williams and Cunningham won a gold medal in Hungary this summer as part of Team USA’s U17 squad and recently signed with Arizona as part of coach Adia Barnes’ 2023 freshman class. Roberts is a well-rounded 2024 recruit with her best basketball ahead of her.

6. Hopkins (Minn.), 5-0

Head coach: Tara Starks

Hopkins has won eight state championships since 2004, including in 2022, and is the alma mater of UConn star and 2021 National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers. This season, all eyes will be on Stanford signee Sunaja Agara and Michigan signee Taylor Woodson.

7. South Grand Prairie (Texas), 10-4

Head coach: Brion Raven

While it might seem odd to place a team with four losses at No. 7, South Grand Prairie suffered those losses to Sierra Canyon (57-47), Sidwell Friends (61-49), Montverde Academy (45-42) and La Jolla Country Day (47-44). The Warriors have ranked wins over Conway (Ark.) and St. John’s College (D.C.) and more than a handful of double-digit victories. The losses might hurt now, but the Warriors will be all the better for it later.

8. St. John Vianney (N.J.), 0-0

Head Coach: Dawn Carpell

St. John Vianney will open its highly anticipated season on Dec. 17 against Bishop McNamara (Md.). This season, the Lady Lancers will start three players bound for Division I schools: Holy Cross signee Janie Bachmann, NC State signee Zoe Brooks and Bucknell signee Ashley Sofilkanich. After winning 32 games last season — and falling only once, to Sidwell Friends on a neutral court — St. John Vianney knows exactly what it takes to reach the top.

9. Incarnate Word Academy (Mo.), 5-0

Head coach: Dan Rolfes

The 12-time state champion Red Knights are experts at controlling the pace of a game, regardless of where they’re playing. Led by Nebraska signee Natalie Potts and Illinois State signee Brooke Coffey, they have already overwhelmed their opponents at home in St. Louis and at the recent ‘Iolani Classic tournament in Hawaii. No team in the nation has a longer winning streak than Incarnate Word, with 72 straight victories.

10. Conway (Ark.), 8-1

Head coach: Ashley Hutchcraft

Any time a roster boasts a Gatorade State Player of the Year, it’s safe to say they’re in good hands. The Wampus Cats have the gift of Stanford signee Chloe Clardy as they embark on a revenge tour of sorts after an upset loss brought their outstanding 2021-22 season to an end. Conway lost its undefeated status at the start of December in a 15-point loss to South Grand Prairie and ultimately finished the season 29-2.

11. Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.), 4-0

Head coach: Christina Raiti

Though the Crusaders are only a few games into the season, they have two of the most impressive wins so far — a close victory over Bishop McNamara (Md.) and a 30-point rout of IMG Academy (Fla.). On Saturday, Long Island Lutheran will look to pad its resume in another tough matchup against Paul VI (N.J.). Then in January, they’ll face both St. John Vianney and Montverde Academy. If the Crusaders, led by 2024 star guard Kayleigh Heckel and power forward Kate Koval, can win most (or all) of those games, they’ll have a case for being a top-5 team in the country.

12. South Bend Washington (Ind.), 12-0

Head coach: Steve Reynolds

Indiana’s top team remains undefeated after taking care of business against Michigan juggernaut West Bloomfield. South Bend Washington’s schedule is packed with fierce competition around the Midwest, and this squad is more than up to the task. The Panthers return two of their starters from last season’s state championship team in Purdue signee Rashunda Jones and Maryland signee Amiyah Reynolds, both of whom are sure to make waves next year in the Big Ten.

13. Sacred Heart (Ky.), 5-0

Head coach: Donna Moir

The Valkyries of Sacred Heart Academy are not only the best team in Kentucky, but are also guaranteed to put on a show. Top 2025 recruit and the reigning Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, ZaKiyah Johnson, is one of the most impressive players in the nation. This season, the Valkyries are already playing with patience and a high defensive IQ.

14. Lone Peak (Utah), 4-1

Head coach: Nancy Warner

Utah’s defending state champions suffered their sole loss so far this season in a 64-56 battle with Sierra Canyon — a matchup that will surely benefit both teams as their seasons progress. Lone Peak’s potential is through the roof as they return their entire roster from last season. Pay special attention to BYU signee Kailey Woolston and 2024 guard Shawnee Nordstrom, both of whom can impact games in big ways.

15. St. John’s College (D.C.), 6-1

Head coach: Jonathan Scribner

If you must lose a game, a tight one to South Grand Prairie (Texas) isn’t a bad way to do it. Duke signee Delaney Thomas leads a talented Cadets roster that also features 2024 standout guard Kyndal Walker. The gauntlet of a DMV high school basketball schedule is a tall order, but St. John’s College can count on depth and balanced scoring in the journey ahead.

16. Duncanville (Texas), 9-3

Head coach: LaJeanna Howard

One of two Texas 6A district teams on this list, Duncanville girls’ basketball is consistently one of the strongest programs in the country. Due to a three-year probation stemming from recruiting violations, the Pantherettes are unable to participate in postseason play. If not for that, the 11-time state champions would have a real shot at another title.

17. Hoover (Ala.), 12-0

Head coach: Krystle Johnson

The Lady Bucs have hoisted four state title trophies since 2017, and coach Krystle Johnson has won more than 92 percent of her 200-plus games at the helm. Thanks to its high-level discipline and impressive offense, Hoover will be a problem for any team on its schedule. North Carolina signee Reniya Kelly is a major key to their success, which already includes three separate wins over teams with a 5-star player.

18. Hazel Green (Ala.), 10-0

Head coach: Timothy Miller

The Trojans are nearing a 70-game win streak, and they’re ready for more. For half a decade now, Hazel Green has been one of Alabama’s best programs, collecting five consecutive Class 6A state titles. Four of the Trojans’ five starters return this year, including Class of 2024 forward Leah Brooks, so a sixth title may be in the cards.

19. DeSoto (Texas), 9-3

Head coach: Andrea Robinson

The other half of the dangerous Texas 6A district one-two punch, DeSoto has a young roster this season but a host of talented players in the Class of 2026. DeSoto’s three losses so far this season — against Duncanville, Montverde Academy and Summer Creek (Houston) — were all decided by single digits. After two consecutive Texas 6A state titles, the Eagles need to focus on building a strong foundation in this new era.

20. Centennial (Nev.), 1-1

Head coach: Karen Weitz

Centennial boasts seven consecutive state championships and one of the Class of 2023’s most skilled players in Montaya Dew. Her speed and ability to finish from anywhere on the court made her a highly coveted recruit prior to her choice to sign with Arizona. Throw 2024 guards Kaniya Boyd and Danae Powell into the equation, and the Bulldogs are well on their way to success despite losing their season opener to Lone Peak.

21. Paul VI (N.J.), 0-0

Head coach: Oscar Hidalgo

Paul VI has every reason to be confident about this season, including returning most of its roster from last year. Power forward Mikayla Young and Notre Dame signee Hannah Hidalgo, a top-5 recruit in the Class of 2023, are the lone seniors on an Eagles squad that could do some damage. Last season, Hidalgo averaged 21.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 5.4 steals per game and was named the Olympic Conference Player of the Year. The Eagles fell in last season’s state title game, but a shot at redemption seems likely.

22. Archbishop Mitty (Calif.), 6-1

Head coach: Sue Phillips

Not many coaches have experienced the height of success like Sue Phillips has. Her teams are well-rounded and prepared for whatever gets thrown their way. After winning a gold medal this past summer as the coach of the U.S. U17 team, Phillips returns to San Jose with a loaded roster — including first-time Team USA player Morgan Cheli — and a chance at the California state title.

23. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 7-1

Head coach: Al Honor

Division I coaches across the nation have their eyes on Central Florida-based Lake Highland Prep, and for good reason. After a nine-point loss to Example Academy Red (Ill.) in theirsecond game, the Highlanders have bounced back with notable wins over St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) and Miami Country Day (Fla.). Class of 2024 guards Lexi Blue and Jada Eads lead the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and 12.4 points per game, respectively, and 2023 guard Eleecia Carter (12.1 points per game) is not far behind.

24. Clovis West (Calif.), 11-0

Head coach: Craig Campbell

Clovis West has managed to win most of its 11 games comfortably so far this season. Until a single-point win over Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) on Dec. 8, Clovis West had defeated each of its opponents by a margin anywhere between 21 and 77 points. After its successful run at the recent East Coast tournament, Clovis West has put California programs on notice.

25. Bishop McNamara (Md.), 2-2

Head coach: Frank Oliver Jr.

Frank Oliver Jr. and the Mustangs will look to make their fourth-consecutive appearance in the Maryland state title game. After opening the season with a 25-point loss to Sidwell Friends, and then suffering a two-point heartbreaker to Long Island Lutheran, Bishop McNamara will need to focus on its long-term goals moving forward. In the cutthroat Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, it won’t get any easier.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Another NCAA early signing period has come to a close, and with it, a handful of women’s basketball programs stood above the rest in their pursuit of the nation’s top recruits in the Class of 2023.

Just Women’s Sports has compiled its list of the 15 best recruiting hauls from this year’s cycle. Click here to learn more about these individual signees, with our most recent list of the top 25 players in the Class of 2023.

1. LSU

Kim Mulkey’s name will forever be remembered among the game’s most successful coaches, and for good reason. Her capacity to not only develop but also recruit elite players has made her programs perennially relevant.

Last year — the first season in Mulkey’s tenure in Baton Rouge — LSU managed to have one of the most popular student sections in women’s college hoops. The community is fired up about the Tigers, a bonus for any potential commit.

With the Class of 2023, Mulkey brings in four more players to be excited about, including two in our top four: No. 1 overall recruit Mikaylah Williams, a 6-foot-1 guard, and No. 4 recruit Aalyah Del Rosario, a 6-foot-6 post player. Quick wing Janae Kent (Ill.) and 5-7 point guard Angelica Velez, a teammate of Del Rosario at The Webb School, round out what is truly the most impressive signing class in the country.

2. Arizona

Wildcats coach Adia Barnes has managed to sign three five-star recruits, all of whom eagerly await their opportunity to bring Arizona to the top of the PAC-12 and raise a banner or two.

Next fall, the Wildcats will welcome La Jolla Country Day’s Breya Cunningham, a 6-4 forward from California, 5-8 point guard Jada Williams (Calif.) and Montaya Dew, a 6-2 forward from Nevada. The West Coast consistently promises high-level talent, and Barnes bringing in a few of the region’s best bodes well for Arizona’s future.

3. South Carolina

Four little birdies have flown into the nest, and South Carolina keeps on rolling. After 2022’s national championship season, during which the Gamecocks held on to the top spot in the AP Top 25 from start to finish, it’s no surprise that South Carolina has cleaned up on the recruiting trail.

Coach Dawn Staley, whose ability to reload a roster has transformed the program over the last decade, doesn’t promise immediate minutes. In her transparency, she attracts players who understand and accept the Gamecocks’ culture — a five-star recruit may have to wait her turn at first but will eventually earn the opportunity to make an impact.

No. 11 overall recruit Chloe Kitts, a 6-2 forward from Florida, in-state point guard Milaysia Fulwiley, 5-10 guard Tessa Johnson (Minn.) and 6-1 wing Sahnya Jah (Fla.) are next up for South Carolina.


4. Notre Dame

If anyone understands the winning pride and tradition of Notre Dame women’s basketball, it’s coach Niele Ivey. A player on the 2001 national champion team and the associate head coach for the 2018 title team, Ivey understands how to elevate the Fighting Irish from every angle.

Look no further than a quick glance at the 2023 signing class, which boasts 5-7 point guard Hannah Hidalgo (N.J.), Canadian sensation Cassandre Prosper, a 6-2 forward, and dynamic guard Emma Risch (Fla.).

5. Duke

The Kara Lawson era of Duke women’s basketball is gaining steam. Coach Lawson secured the highest-ranked Duke signee in the modern recruiting era in Sidwell Friends’ Jadyn Donovan, a 6-foot guard from Washington, D.C. Donovan, who’s used to sharing the court with stars like Kiki Rice and Kendall Dudley, is the type of commitment the Blue Devils need to eventually make the waves in the ACC and beyond.

Add in 6-2 forward Delaney Thomas (D.C.) and 5-9 guard Oluchi Okananwa (Mass.), and Duke has put together an impressive recruiting class.

6. UConn

Playing for coach Geno Auriemma at UConn isn’t exactly a hard sell. His all-time record of 1,149 wins and 150 losses speaks for itself, with 22 Final Fours and 11 national championships over the course of 36 seasons. Rebecca Lobo, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart are among the alumni that Auriemma has produced, and his current roster includes names like Aaliyah Edwards, Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd.

So who’s next? Look no further than this year’s crop of 2023 signees — 5-10 point guard KK Arnold (Wis.), 5-10 guard Ashlynn Shade (Ind.) and 6-2 forward Qadence Samuels (Md.).

7. Stanford

Coach Tara VanDerveer has perfectly curated the Stanford standard, with players who lead the way both on the court and in the classroom and are bursting with basketball IQ and exhibit relentless work ethic. It’s a system that allows willing players to grow and thrive, evolving to reach their fullest potential.

Both 5-11 wing Courtney Ogden (Ga.) and 5-11 guard Sunaja Agara (Minn.) committed to the Cardinal in 2021. They were joined by Chloe Clardy, a 5-9 guard from Arkansas who gave her verbal commitment this year. In picking up three of the most intriguing players in the 2023 cycle, VanDerveer continues the long line of Stanford commits ready to raise the bar.

8. North Carolina

Coach Courtney Banghart appears to be exactly who the Tar Heels needed to lead the charge on their path to return to the Final Four, with three winning seasons under her belt already. North Carolina’s 2023 signing class reflects a continued desire to reach the top.

Ciera Toomey, a 6-3 post from Pennsylvania, and 5-5 point guard Reniya Kelly (Ala.) could prove to be a top-tier duo, thanks to Toomey’s graceful post navigation and Kelly’s court vision. Also joining the signing class are 6-3 post Rylee Grays (Tex.) and 6-1 forward Laila Hull (Ind.).

9. Maryland

Coach Brenda Frese recruited three creative, difficult-to-guard playmakers to join the Terrapin family. Each of the signees — 6-foot guard Amiyah Reynolds (Ind.), 6-foot wing Riley Nelson (Md.) and 6-1 wing Emily Fisher (Ill.) — can take care of the ball and find a way to score, even in high-pressure situations.

The Maryland faithful need some stability in what has become an uncertain period for the program. The signings of Reynolds, Nelson and Fisher should soothe some worries and reassure fans that, even in an increasingly competitive Big Ten, Maryland still looms large.

10. NC State

NC State coach Wes Moore doesn’t have a single freshman on the 2022-23 roster, so the Wolfpack were due for another impressive recruiting cycle. After four consecutive Sweet 16s, NC State fell just short in last season’s Elite Eight, falling to UConn in double overtime. While fans were surely disappointed, the positives were clear as day — there’s momentum in Raleigh.

Moore built upon that with a dynamic, four-piece signing class that possesses a high ceiling. The Wolfpack won big with signings from 6-3 post Mallory Collier (Tenn.), 5-11 guard Laci Steele (Okla.) and 6-2 forward Maddie Cox (Tex.). But few recruits in the Class of 2023 have stock rising as quickly as Zoe Brooks, a 5-10 guard from New Jersey. Her well-rounded skill set would provide efficiency to any roster, and NC State will be all the better with her contributions.

11. USC

The Trojans have never successfully recruited a player as highly touted as Sierra Canyon’s Juju Watkins (Calif.), the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2023. Just as a player like A’ja Wilson contributed to the now-red hot recruiting trail of South Carolina, Watkins’ talent has the potential to return USC to the juggernaut it once was.

Coach Lindsay Gottlieb, now in her second season, appears to be steering the Trojans in the right direction. Also committed to USC is 5-6 point guard Malia Samuels, the top recruit in the state of Washington.

12. Texas

In his first two seasons with the Longhorns, coach Vic Schaefer has delivered Texas to its first back-to-back Elite Eight appearances since the 1980s. A proven recruiter from his time with Texas A&M (2003-12) and Mississippi State (2012-20), Schaefer now bears the weight of taking Texas to the next level and adding another National Championship to the trophy case. What has not been accomplished since Jody Conradt’s 1985-86 roster seems within reach.

By signing in-state guards Madison Booker and Gisella Maul and bolstering the post with another in-state prospect in Abbie Boutilier — the tallest player in Texas women’s basketball history at 6-9 — Schaefer keeps his eyes on the prize.

13. Iowa State

After last year’s Sweet Sixteen run, Iowa State continues to rear its head as a contender for the Big 12 title. Longtime coach Bill Fennelly can rest easy knowing the future is bright in Ames, Iowa as he embarks on his 26th season with the Cyclones.

Iowa State picked up signings from outstanding passer Addy Brown, a 6-2 wing from Kansas, 6-2 forward Jalynn Bristow (Texas) and 6-3 post Audi Crooks (Iowa) — all three of whom are fierce competitors fresh off impressive summers on the AAU circuit.

14. Oregon

There’s something special about Oregon women’s basketball — coach Kelly Graves finds big personalities with even bigger talent and allows them to shine together in Eugene.

Once again, the Ducks have plenty to look forward to in this year’s group of signees. In-state product Sofia Bell, a 6-1 wing, Sammie Wagner (Texas), another 6-1 wing who flipped from Texas, and 6-3 forward Sarah Rambus round out the 2023 recruiting class.

15. Alabama

Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry is building something unprecedented in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Last season, the Crimson Tide made their first NCAA tournament appearance — and subsequent Round of 32 — of the century.

Her 2022-23 roster is made up almost entirely of upperclassmen and graduate transfers, so Alabama needed a few signees to continue recent upward momentum. In this 2023 cycle, Curry secured reliable frontcourt depth in 6-3 post Essence Cody (Ga.) and in-state product Naomi Jones, while also bringing in 6-foot guard Reychel Douglas (N.C.) to solidify the backcourt.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Editor’s note: This is the last in a five-part series previewing the top five girls basketball players in the Class of 2023 before the start of the 2022-23 high school season. Click here to see the latest rankings from the Class of 2023. Counting down: No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo | No. 4 Aalyah Del Rosario | No. 3 Jadyn Donovan | No. 2 Juju Watkins | No. 1 Mikaylah Williams.

Leadership, superior guard skills, unmatched discipline, a genuine passion for the game of basketball — Mikaylah Williams has anything and everything a college coaching staff could want.

For years now, Williams has set herself apart from other members of the Class of 2023 with an ever-rising ceiling of potential.

She’s a three-time gold medalist with Team USA, the reigning Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year and the lone junior to be named a 2022 Naismith Player of the Year finalist.

Last year, the 6-foot Williams averaged 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, leading Parkway High School (La.) to a first-place finish in Class 5A District 1. The Panthers ended the year with a 34-3 mark and lost in the state championship, but they return Williams and a host of others and will surely threaten to make another run.

Coach’s analysis

Parkway coach Gloria Williams, who has led the Panthers since 2016, has admired her star guard’s character in every aspect of life and the way it translates into her play on the basketball court.

“Her mindset sets her apart,” Gloria said. “Her discipline sets her apart when it comes to training. In the classroom, it sets her apart — she’s a 4.0 student — and her work ethic just sets her apart from everyone else.

“She’s a top-notch kid raised by great parents, and it’s bred in her. She communicates with her teammates on and off the court. She’s just that kid.”

It’s typical for Williams to appear as the calmest player on the floor, regardless of the score, situation or opponent. Her coach has seen that mentality rub off on her teammates and foster a culture of resilience and success.

“That’s her. Her demeanor doesn’t change,” Gloria said. “It’s always something positive, and she’s the calm to the team. It’s nothing that necessarily has been taught or something that’s learned. I think it’s just in her.

“Great leaders lead, but there are servant leaders. That’s how I see Mikaylah.”

Gloria cited Williams’ defensive improvement as the biggest key to her growth as a player. The guard she was in last season’s title game is not the same one who will take the court for Parkway in 2022-23.

“I am a defensive-minded coach, so I was extremely pleased with that,” Gloria said. “I’ve told her from the beginning, ‘You can score with the best of them,’ and to sit and stay in front of people and defend, that’s the portion that I am most proud of for her at this stage.

“We’ll see what she brings to the table for this season because I know it’s gonna be something.”

Catching up

This summer, Williams earned her second and third gold medals with Team USA — first, in Debrecen, Hungary with the U17 team, followed by her return to the 3×3 squad in August. Williams was once again named MVP of the 3×3 tournament.

She also wrapped up her AAU career with Mavs Elite and played in the Under Armour Next Elite 24 game.

Williams recently signed her National Letter of Intent with LSU, where she leads one of the most impressive classes of the 2023 cycle, alongside Aalyah Del Rosario and Angelica Velez of The Webb School (Tenn.) and Janae Kent of Oak Forest (Ill.)

“I believe she’s going to carry everything she’s learned with her to LSU,” Gloria said. “And I think she’s going to build on that. That’s one thing about her I can say: Every year she has brought something to the game of basketball here for us.

“Defensively, she stepped up last year, she can go to the basket any time that she wants to, and she has the frame of a college player already. When she gets to LSU, she’s just going to turn it up another notch because that’s her dream school. That’s where she wants to be. So, she’s going to give it everything that she has.”

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series previewing the top five girls basketball players in the Class of 2023. The series counts down to No. 1 and aligns with the start of the 2022-23 high school season. Click here to see the latest rankings from the Class of 2023. Counting down: No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo | No. 4 Aalyah Del Rosario | No. 3 Jadyn Donovan | No. 2 Juju Watkins | No. 1 Mikaylah Williams.

Juju Watkins has earned every second of her time in the spotlight. The 17-year-old’s skill set is still unfolding, but what she’s already revealed has been impressive enough to attract attention from the nation’s top college basketball programs and beyond.

As a junior, in her first season with California juggernaut Sierra Canyon, Watkins averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.

Most transfers would need more time to get acclimated to a new culture, but Watkins credits Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki and the rest of her teammates for easing that transition process.

“Coach Komaki and the team made it easy for me,” Watkins said. “I think that type of environment made it easier for me to adapt. They made me feel very welcome and supported, and that’s the type of environment I strive in the most.”

The 6-foot-2 guard has started each of the 13 games she’s played in a Team USA jersey while averaging double figures in scoring across two gold-medal summers. And in the early days of NIL rights at the NCAA level, Watkins has managed to stand out in a sea of high school and college athletes looking to curate their brands.

Juju Watkins has already been recognized as the 2022 Los Angeles Times Player of the Year, Gatorade California Girls Basketball Player of the Year and California Ms. Basketball, but she’s only getting started.

Coach’s analysis

Each year, Komaki chooses a team motto. This year, it’s “good to great” — reflective of the Sierra Canyon mentality.

Last year, Sierra Canyon finished as not only the top program in the state of California but also a top-five program in the country, and yet the team has accepted that they were simply good, not great.

Watkins has spent only one season on the court for Sierra Canyon, but she wasted no time embedding herself in the team culture. According to Komaki, many of those traits were already inherent to Watkins.

“We’re a very big cultural program,” Komaki said. “One of the reasons we forget [she’s not been here all four years] is she came in and quickly adapted to everything that we do. We get kids as freshmen, and it usually takes three to four years; a lot of our leadership usually comes from the seniors and the juniors.

“It’s an attribution to her and who she is that she’s been able to be a leader on our team despite only being here for a year. It’s actually very impressive that she can grasp a lot of our values and concepts we teach. That’s what we breed here. This is a character-driven culture. We breed great teammates. All the things we preach on a daily basis, she just kind of fit right in.”

It’s Watkins’ unique brand of competitiveness that most impresses Komaki.

“I don’t think there’s anybody like her,” Komaki said. “I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I’ve been fortunate to coach some of the best players, but also coach against some of the best players throughout the nation. She is as high as it gets. She brings her competitiveness to everything. She ups that factor of competing on a daily basis, which again, is a big staple of our program.

“But I think she accelerated the type of competitiveness that you really need to compete at a high level.”

The Sierra Canyon coaching staff — and any coaching staff that’s had to plan for Watkins — is never sure what to expect from Watkins.

“There’s a lot of really talented, skilled athletes out there who just play the same way all the time, and they’re great. But with Juju, you don’t know what you’re getting that day,” Komaki said. “She might make seven 3s that day. She might score 40 points in the paint that day. She might get to the free-throw line 20 times that day.

“You just don’t know because she reads defenses and she does whatever she needs to do to score.”

Catching up

Watkins is one of 11 returners for Sierra Canyon. She believes in the team’s ability to win another state title but understands the difficulty in doing so.

“We want to be a great team this year,” Watkins said. “We want to focus on all the small details that are going to be crucial for us to win another championship. I do feel like it’s going to be harder to win a championship this year.”

On an individual level, Watkins is proud of the work she’s done to improve her game.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better with my passing,” Watkins said. “That’s something I’m definitely looking forward to this season, to take some of the attention off me offensively and get my teammates more involved.”

In July, Watkins was named the MVP at the FIBA U17 World Cup after averaging 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game for Team USA in Debrecen, Hungary.

“USA always helps me to be more independent,” Watkins said. “That’s an opportunity for me to lock in on basketball. You’re responsible for yourself in a lot of ways, and that’s something I’ve gotten used to the second time around. It’s taught me how to play with 10 other All-Americans — just guarding them every day and getting better on defense and them guarding me every day and getting better on offense.

“I’ve learned a lot from coach Sue [Phillips] and from my peers. They’ve pushed me to get better. I do the same for them. It’s a summer where you can completely get better, learn new things and raise your IQ.”

Watkins is expected to make her college choice during the early signing period, which begins Wednesday and lasts one week, according to the L.A. Times. She’s narrowed her choice down to three schools but has declined to specify which programs.

Off the court, Watkins has made national headlines for recent brand deals with Nike and Lids, and she’s signed with Klutch Sports Group for NIL representation.

“NIL is a big blessing,” Watkins said. “It’s something I’ll never take for granted. I’m just happy I’m here in this moment in time; if I was a couple of years older, I wouldn’t be able to experience generating income off my name and how I perform on the court. I’m blessed to be in this position.”

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Editor’s note: This is the third in a five-part series previewing the top five girls basketball players in the Class of 2023. The series counts down to No. 1 and aligns with the start of the 2022-23 high school season. Click here to see the latest rankings from the Class of 2023. Counting down: No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo | No. 4 Aalyah Del Rosario | No. 3 Jadyn Donovan | No. 2 Juju Watkins | No. 1 Mikaylah Williams.

The prospect of leadership can be daunting.

At a girls’ basketball program like Sidwell Friends School (Washington, D.C.), the reigning SCI national champion, the standard is high. The Quakers earned the title of the nation’s best team during last year’s undefeated campaign led by Kiki Rice, the reigning JWS high school basketball Player of the Year and Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year.

Some athletes might rely solely on their court performances to guide their teams to victory, when stepping into the shoes of star players before you requires so much more.

But that isn’t the type of player Sidwell Friends produces. That isn’t Jadyn Donovan.

The two-time gold medalist uses her length, athleticism and red-hot shot to keep any matchup competitive. As a junior at Sidwell Friends, Donovan averaged 15.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. She’s a vocal leader with an understanding of what her team needs from her on and off the court.

Donovan, a 6-foot guard, has already made her mark at Sidwell Friends, and she has one final season at the high school level to build upon her legacy.

Coach’s analysis

Tamika Dudley, the reigning Naismith High School Coach of the Year, leads the charge for the Quakers as they look to reach similar heights this season with Donovan as the centerpiece.

“Her athletic ability is unmatched,” Dudley said. “There’s not a girl in the country right now — I don’t care what class — that’s as athletic as she is. Her ability to finish around the rim and her mid-range shot, it’s remarkable.”

Sidwell Friends returns four starters, all of whom are ranked in the top-100 in their respective classes, but a repeat of last year’s historic success isn’t promised.

“It’s about how the team comes together and how we can get them to buy into the rules,” Dudley said. “Hopefully, [Donovan] will pick up where Kiki left off, in terms of leading by example, helping our young kids assimilate to our culture and our way of doing things.

“I think Jadyn leads in her own way. We’re not looking for the same thing; we’re just looking for leadership to affirm or reassure who we are.”

When she arrived at Sidwell Friends, Donovan was used to playing in the post. Dudley and her coaching staff worked to shift Donovan’s position to where she felt most natural, which was on the perimeter.

“In our program, she was a unicorn,” Dudley said. “We were able to get her to focus on playing the game the right way and get her out of her comfort zone. We evolved her to the perimeter. We focused on putting her in those uncomfortable positions on offense.

“Just getting her to be more disciplined and refined was one of the focuses of her development.”

Catching up

Donovan spent her second consecutive gold-medal summer with Team USA, this year starting five of seven games for the U17 national team in Debrecen, Hungary. While averaging just over 19 minutes per game, she contributed 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

Nobody on the team shot better than Donovan, who was 32 of 53 from the field throughout the tournament.

In August, Donovan announced her commitment to play for coach Kara Lawson at Duke, where she will remain close to home and pursue a degree from one of the nation’s top universities. The first recruit in Duke’s 2023 class, she chose the Blue Devils over Notre Dame. She is also the highest-ranked Duke recruit since the hiring of Lawson, who spent her freshman year of high school playing for the Quakers.

Donovan will continue to build her brand after signing with agency SIG Sports in early October.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series previewing the top five girls basketball players in the Class of 2023. The series counts down to No. 1 and aligns with the start of the 2022-23 high school season. Click here to see the latest rankings from the Class of 2023. Counting down: No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo | No. 4 Aalyah Del Rosario | No. 3 Jadyn Donovan | No. 2 Juju Watkins | No. 1 Mikaylah Williams.

There’s a common misconception in basketball that bigs are one-dimensional. That they’re effective in the post but limited to it. That they’re slower than most and don’t have the handles to take defenders one-on-one.

Perhaps that’s why everyone loves a big guard — it’s exciting to see a player defy the norm.

Aalyah Del Rosario, whose game has notes of Candace Parker’s, is high school basketball’s best reminder of what a post player can be with her strong court vision, elite rebounding abilities and calm confidence when double- or even triple-teamed.

After spending two years at Trenton Catholic (N.J.), it didn’t take long for Del Rosario to transition to a successful career at The Webb School (Tenn.).

She’s averaged double figures in each of her three high school seasons thus far. As a junior last year, she helped lead Webb to a state championship while collecting regional MVP honors, earning a selection to the all-tournament team and being named a 2022 TSSAA Division II-A Miss Basketball finalist.

Coach’s analysis

This season, Del Rosario and her Webb teammates have the opportunity to earn back-to-back-to-back state titles under head coach Matt Shewmake.

“Aalyah is a generational-type player,” Shewmake said. “She’s 6-foot-6, she moves well, she’s all the tangible measurables that any college coach or professional coach is going to get excited about. Nobody has one of her.

“She requires a lot of defensive attention and has earned that.”

Webb’s roster boasts multiple Power 5 commits. There’s no shortage of talent, which has fostered a mutual understanding that, in some games, others might shine brighter. Del Rosario is more than capable of dropping a 20- or 30-piece, but her enthusiasm for sharing the success is indicative of both her character and her ability to thrive at the next level.

“Aalyah’s got a great team around her,” Shewmake said. “She can really find some comfort and confidence in that. She’s completely bought into that, into understanding that she’s got great players around her that pick up the load, and she hopes that they double her because that means one of her very talented teammates is wide open.”

The coaching staff recognizes Del Rosario as a source of stability for Webb.

“She’s a great person. She’s a great teammate,” Shewmake said. “Her teammates love her, no distractions there. She is what she is. She’s solid every day — the same person, the same smile, always giving out hugs.

“She’s an easy teammate to have and an easy person to coach.”

Catching up

Del Rosario is the newest member of LSU’s 2023 recruiting class. She chose the Tigers on Oct. 25 over North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. In Baton Rouge, she’ll develop under head coach Kim Mulkey, who has recruited and produced 11 first-round WNBA Draft picks.

Webb will also send starting point guard Angelica Velez to LSU next year.

“That’s a win-win there,” Shewmake said. “Kim’s getting a very talented player, and Aalyah’s getting to be coached by one of the most talented and most successful coaches in the history of our game who’s developed pros, who’s developed post players, whether it was Lauren Cox, or Kalani Brown or [Brittney] Griner. There’s a long list of post players that have gone to Kim Mulkey and gotten better and went on to have fruitful professional careers.

“If Aalyah will put in the work and be coached and submit to being coached by Kim, which I have no reason to think that she wouldn’t, she’ll be another one on that list.”

LSU is assembling one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in the 2023 cycle. Del Rosario is the second top-10 recruit in the Tigers’ class, following the commitment of No. 1 overall recruit Mikaylah Williams. Also committed are Velez and wing Janae Kent, the top prospect in Illinois.

Over the summer, Del Rosario, who has dual-citizenship in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, won gold with the United States U18 national team. Across six games in the tournament, she averaged 7.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.

At the end of October, she signed with SIG Sports and agent Boris Lelchitski, who represents more than 30 WNBA players and Olympians.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a five-part series previewing the top five girls basketball players in the Class of 2023. The series counts down to No. 1 and aligns with the start of the 2022-23 high school season. Click here to see the latest rankings from the Class of 2023. Counting down: No. 5 Hannah Hidalgo | No. 4 Aalyah Del Rosario | No. 3 Jadyn Donovan | No. 2 Juju Watkins | No. 1 Mikaylah Williams.

Hannah Hidalgo is one of the most focused players in the nation.

At just 5-foot-7, the point guard has relied on her grit, tenacity and experience to develop into a unique leader for the Paul VI girls’ basketball team.

The senior from Merchantville, N.J. has averaged 21.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 5.4 steals per game over the course of her high school career, including three years as a varsity starter. Following her junior season, Hidalgo was named both the Courier Post South Jersey Player of the Year and the Olympic Conference Player of the Year.

After a loss in the 2022 South Jersey Non-Public A title game, Hidalgo and her teammates have high expectations for the season ahead.

“I’m locked in because of last season,” Hidalgo said. “We’re trying to win a state championship, so I’m locked in, my teammates are locked in. And I’m just excited for what’s to come.”

Coach’s analysis

At Paul VI, Hidalgo is coached by her father, Orlando, who’s seen a tremendous amount of growth in his daughter both on and off the court.

“Hannah brings so much to the game, so much to the team,” Orlando said. “Her freshman year, she wasn’t as vocal. But she knew that she had to be a team leader later on, and the past few years she’s been the team captain.”

The Paul VI star has transformed from a quiet freshman to a senior who can command the room. She’s the first person in the gym, leading everybody through stretches and starting running drills with her team before the coaching staff even steps foot in the gym.

“The team understands how competitive she is and that she’s not going to say something that she’s not going to do,” Orlando said. “Her leadership, her competitiveness brings the best out of all the players. And that’s pretty special for me, as a dad and a coach, to see her lead the team. She’s taken to leadership very well, and we’re proud of her.”

While Hidalgo’s character development has helped set her apart, she has also refined her skills on the court. Since her freshman season in 2019, Paul VI has gone 61-9.

“She’s a player that works out every time after practice,” Orlando said. “After practice, she stays for about a half hour or so and works on her shooting or her handling. Her first two years, that’s something she didn’t do. She wants to be great, so she spends extra time doing the little things.”

Hidalgo also sets an example in the classroom, taking pride in her schoolwork as an honor roll student.

Catching up

Hidalgo has had quite the summer, loading up on opportunities to face top competition around the world. One of those opportunities took her to Debrecen, Hungary, where she played with the United States U17 national team. Hidalgo and her U.S. teammates dominated the international competition, going on an undefeated run to win gold.

Hidalgo averaged 7.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 steals across seven games.

“It was a great experience playing with the best girls in the country,” she said. “I really built good connections. They pushed you, and everyone got better.”

She then took her skills to the Under Armour Next Elite 24 game and the SLAM Summer Classic.

Hidalgo also recently signed a one-year deal with sports agency Seven1 to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities. She has yet to make a college decision, but in early August, she announced on Instagram that she had narrowed her choices down to six: UCF, Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Prospects in the Class of 2024 are set to embark on a new chapter of high school basketball as they enter their junior seasons.

Coaches from the nation’s top programs have had an eye on these recruits for quite some time. Just Women’s Sports presents the first round of recruiting rankings for the 2024 girls basketball prospects, a mere two seasons away from joining the college ranks.

Click here to see the latest top-25 rankings from the Class of 2023.

1 | Joyce Edwards, Camden (S.C.)
6-foot-2 forward

Edwards is the reigning USA TODAY HSSA Girls Rising Star of the Year and is a fixture on the court for both Camden and AAU powerhouse FBC United. Edwards can navigate her way around the rim better than any member of her class. During this summer’s Under Armour Association Finals, she ensured that FBC United advanced to the championship by standing out in a crowd of many of the most elite players in the high school ranks.

2 | Olivia Olson, Benilde Saint Margaret (Minn.)
6-foot point guard

Olson is the only player on this list with a verbal commitment. Sold on Kim Barnes-Arico’s vision after a Labor Day visit, Olson is one of the highest-ranking commits in Michigan women’s basketball history. She chose the Wolverines over UConn, Duke, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

3 | Jaloni Cambridge, The Ensworth School (Tenn.)
5-6 point guard

Another FBC United standout, Cambridge was named National Sophomore of the Year by MaxPreps after averaging 17.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Cambridge started every game this summer for the U17 national team, leading the squad with 16 points and nine assists in the gold-medal game.

4 | Kendall Dudley, Sidwell Friends School (District of Columbia)
6-1 wing

Kiki Rice, Jadyn Donovan and now Dudley. A member of this summer’s inaugural Team Durant Girls 17U roster, Dudley is among the star upperclassmen for Sidwell’s powerhouse program. Those who followed the Quakers’ undefeated run will remember her 18-point, eight-rebound performance at the inaugural State Champions Invitational in April. She also served on this past year’s Jr. NBA Court of Leaders.

5 | Taliyah Parker, South Grand Prairie (Texas)
6-1 guard

Parker is a new addition to South Grand Prairie this year after transferring from Putnam City West (Okla.). One of the most versatile guards in her class, she has offers from 30 schools around the country, including from each of the Power 5 conferences.

6 | Kiyomi McMiller, Life Center Academy (N.J.)
5-7 point guard

Originally from the talent-packed DMV area, McMiller has an unmatched handle as a rising junior. During her sophomore season, she backed it up with 27.1 points per game. Her speed and ball awareness are already advanced, and wherever she lands at the next level will be able to use her unique skill set right away. McMiller’s creativity as a guard separates her from competitors and high-level recruits alike.

7 | Sarah Strong, Grace Academy (N.C.)
6-2 forward

What a year it’s been for Strong, who won a Class 1A state title with Grace Academy in the 2021-22 season. During that campaign, she averaged a double-double with 25.5 points and 17.6 rebounds per game while shooting 42 percent from the 3-point line. The daughter of Danny Strong, the former NC State star and international player, and Allison Feaster — who played in the WNBA for the Charlotte Sting, Los Angeles Sparks and Indiana Fever — is having a tremendous 2022, having also won a gold medal with the Team USA U18 3×3 squad in August.

8 | Adhel Tac, South Grand Prairie (Texas)
6-5 post

Another formidable member on the South Grand Prairie roster, Tac is the total package — her height is only a fraction of what makes her an intriguing prospect. On both ends of the court, the paint belongs to her. In Tac’s sophomore season, she averaged 14.1 points per game on 63.4 percent shooting.

9 | Blanca Thomas, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.)
6-5 post

Thomas possesses both size and skill. As a sophomore, she averaged a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. Her hustle and dominance beneath the rim have earned her plenty of attention, but in late August, she narrowed her list of schools to 10: Duke, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

10 | Britt Prince, Elkhorn North (Neb.)
5-11 point guard

Prince also runs on the cross country and track and field teams, excelling in both sports. Countless athletes benefit from playing multiple sports, but endurance goes a long way on the basketball court. In 2021-22, Prince helped lead Elkhorn North to its second straight state title, averaging 24.1 points, seven rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.4 steals per game and shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc and 83.7 percent from the charity stripe. Oh, and she also picked up a state title in the 800m with a time of 2 minutes, 17.43 seconds.

11 | Allie Ziebell, Neenah (Wis.)
5-10 guard

This summer, AAU team Wisconsin Flight Elite took home the 17U Nike Girls EYBL Louisville title after Ziebell dropped a 30-piece on 10-of-12 shooting. Ziebell is a pure shooter, unafraid of tough defenders. During her sophomore season, no girls’ basketball player in the entire state of Wisconsin averaged as many points as she did (30.2 points per game).

12 | Jordan Lee, Saint Mary’s (Calif.)
6-3 forward

Lee is often first in line to celebrate with her teammates, but there’s a lot to appreciate about her game. She’s one of the best players California has to offer, and last season she averaged 18.1 points and seven rebounds per game. A multi-sport athlete, Lee also holds her school’s track and field records in the 800m (2:17.03) and the 1600m (5:02.75).

13 | Kennedy Smith, Etiwanda (Calif.)
6-2 wing

Etiwanda consistently develops top talent with its emphasis on work ethic and embracing tough competition, and Smith exemplifies that. When she was younger, Smith operated in the post. However, as she’s expanded her skill set over the first half of her high school career, she’s adjusted. She can succeed anywhere her team needs her. Smith demonstrated that last year when she averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks per game as Etiwanda went 29-1.

14 | Mikayla Blakes, Rutgers Prep (N.J.)
5-9 guard

Named to the Skyland Conference’s 2021 All-Division First Team in cross country, Blakes will give any player on the East Coast a run for their money, and she’ll most likely outrun them, too. On the court for Rutgers Prep, Blakes averaged more than 18 points and four rebounds over 32 games in her sophomore season. Guard skills run in the family, as she’s the younger sister of Duke guard Jaylen Blakes.

15 | Maddy McDaniel, Bishop McNamara (Md.)
5-8 point guard

An honorable mention to The Washington Post’s 2021-22 Winter All-Met Team, the deft McDaniel impacts games with her ability to facilitate against even the stiffest of competition in the DMV region. After she received an invitation to participate in Steph Curry’s summer camp and the UA Next Elite 24 game, it’s obvious that McDaniel is on the rise.

16 | Liv McGill, Hopkins (Minn.)
5-7 point guard

McGill is the next elite point guard to step up for Hopkins, and she’s equipped with all the necessary skills. A vocal leader with a relentless defensive motor, McGill runs the game with a level of enthusiasm that goes above and beyond most.

17 | Toby Lee Fournier, Crestwood Secondary (Ontario, Canada)
6-2 forward

In Team Canada’s U17 World Cup game against Korea, Fournier turned in a double-double of 32 points and 17 rebounds. She also had five assists, three steals and two blocks, not to mention a now-viral dunk after one of those steals. Fournier was a consistent contributor to the eventual fourth-place team.

18 | Katie Fiso, Garfield (Wash.)
5-10 point guard

Fiso handles business on defense and leads the charge at the point. She always seems to be one step ahead of her competition. As a sophomore, Fiso led Garfield to a Class 3A state championship.

19 | Mackenly Randolph, Sierra Canyon (Calif.)
6-1 forward

During her time with this summer’s Team USA U17 gold-medal team, Randolph finished with a team-high 60 percent three-point shooting percentage. She averaged 9.3 points and 5.6 rebounds across seven games for the national team. Randolph is also the daughter of two-time NBA All-Star Zach Randolph, who spent 18 years in the league. A true student of the Southern California basketball scene, Randolph played for Team Mamba, which was coached by the late Kobe Bryant.

20 | Justice Carlton, Seven Lakes (Texas)
6-2 forward

Carlton is truly a well-rounded forward. In her sophomore season for Seven Lakes, Carlton averaged 25.5 points and 2.9 blocks per game. She’s an effective scorer from all over the court, whether she’s behind the arc or driving into traffic beneath the rim.

21 | Kennedy Ume, McDonogh School (Md.)
6-4 forward

Ume was named a finalist for the U16 Team in 2021 but didn’t ultimately make a national team roster until this summer, when she won gold in Hungary after averaging 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game with the U17 team. She also totaled 10 steals across seven games.

22 | Kate Koval, Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.)
6-5 post

Born in Kyiv, Koval helped Ukraine’s U18 3×3 team to the quarterfinals this summer. Koval is a strong, physical big with a high ceiling. Last season, she averaged a double-double with 18.7 points and 12 rebounds for Long Island Lutheran.

23 | Morgan Cheli, Archbishop Mitty (Calif.)
6-2 guard

Cheli is a disruptive guard who’s managed to make a name for herself both in Northern California at the storied Archbishop Mitty High School and on the global stage. In July, she joined her high school coach, Sue Phillips, and led the gold-medal U17 national team in steals, averaging 3 per game.

24 | Zamareya Jones, North Pitt (N.C.)
5-7 point guard

The third FBC United star in this round of recruiting rankings, Jones is a bold shooter who happens to score on most of her attempts. During her sophomore season at North Pitt, she averaged 24.3 points per game while shooting 61 percent from the field. Her social media bios all read “Heart over Height,” and those who have seen her play can attest to that fact.

25 | Tajianna Roberts, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)
5-10 guard

A standout guard for hoops powerhouse La Jolla Country Day, Roberts is used to playing against high-level players. She averaged 14 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while sharing the spotlight with 2023 standouts Breya Cunningham and Jada Williams. Roberts is a focused defender with a smooth shot and a high basketball IQ. She’s also the only player on this list to have delivered a TED Talk.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also writes about college basketball for Blue Ribbon Sports and covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.

Yet another summer of AAU basketball has come to a close.

As the players in the Class of 2023 prepare to enter their final seasons of high school basketball, Just Women’s Sports is here to provide updated recruiting rankings that indicate where the top 25 players stack up against one another. (You can check out the previous rankings here.)

1 | Mikaylah Williams, Parkway (La.)
6-foot-1 guard
Committed to LSU

Williams remains at the top of the mountain, and for good reason. Since committing to LSU at the end of June, she’s picked up two more gold medals — one with Team USA’s U17 squad and another at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup. But what sets her apart? Her stifling defense.

2 | Juju Watkins, Sierra Canyon (Calif.)
6-2 guard

To label Juju Watkins “elite” would be an understatement. She’s the total package — she’s confident and competitive, and she can generate success beneath the rim and beyond the arc, regardless of who has possession of the ball. Over the summer, Watkins was named the Most Valuable Player at the U17 World Cup.

3 | Jadyn Donovan, Sidwell Friends School (District of Columbia)
6-foot guard
Committed to Duke

The Kara Lawson era of Duke women’s basketball got a whole lot more exciting when Donovan verbally committed at the end of August. The elite guard is the highest-ranked Blue Devils recruit since Lawson took over the program.

4 | Aalyah Del Rosario, Trenton Catholic (N.J.)
6-6 post

Del Rosario combines towering height and impressive body control, possessing a skill set not often seen at the college level, let alone high school. She’s declared a final four of potential college destinations — LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

5 | Hannah Hidalgo, Paul VI (N.J.)
5-7 point guard

Hidalgo is perhaps the most exceptional guard in a deeply competitive New Jersey basketball scene. Her guard skills and elite speed position her as one of the most exciting prospects in this class.

6 | Breya Cunningham, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)
6-4 forward
Committed to Arizona

One of the most sought-after players in her class, Cunningham committed to Adia Barnes’ program at the end of June. She’ll fit in nicely with an Arizona squad that seems poised to make another run at a national title in the coming years.

7 | Ciera Toomey, Dunmore (Pa.)
6-4 post
Committed to North Carolina

There’s a reason so many of the country’s top programs offered this dynamic post player — she can transform an offense. Toomey surpassed 1,000 career points by the end of her junior season by being a dynamic shot creator.

8 | KK Arnold, Germantown (Wis.)
5-10 point guard
Committed to UConn

Another midwestern, five-star point guard for UConn, Arnold picked up her second gold medal at the end of August as a member of USA’s 3×3 U18 World Cup squad. In 2021, she claimed gold on the U16 national team.

9 | Ashlynn Shade, La Lumiere (Ind.)
5-10 guard
Committed to UConn

After a dominant year with Class 4A state champion Noblesville, Shade will complete her high school career at La Lumiere Prep. There’s little doubt that her eye-popping stat lines will carry through her senior season.

10 | Courtney Ogden, Westminster School (Ga.)
5-11 wing
Committed to Stanford

This is exactly the type of player Tara VanDerveer can count on to thrive at Stanford. Wherever she takes the court, Ogden continues to demonstrate that she’s one of the fiercest competitors in her class. Ogden possesses a true winner’s mentality and an elite on-court IQ to back it up.

11 | Chloe Kitts, Faith Christian Academy (Fla.)
6-2 forward

In July, Kitts narrowed down her list to five schools — Arizona, Duke, NC State, Oklahoma and South Carolina. She’s a tough defender with strong footwork and would be a major addition to whichever program she picks due to her versatility.

12 | Cassandre Prosper, Cairine Wilson Secondary School (Ontario, Canada)
6-2 forward

Prosper did not participate in this summer’s U17 World Cup, but she will be suiting up for Canada’s senior national team during training camp alongside WNBA players Natalie Achonwa (Minnesota Lynx), Bridget Carleton (Lynx) and Kia Nurse (Phoenix Mercury). Prosper is part of the future of Canadian basketball.

13 | Jada Williams, La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)
5-8 point guard
Committed to Arizona

Originally committed to UCLA, Williams flipped to Arizona at the beginning of August. Williams is a perfect fit for Adia Barnes’ roster and, as of right now, the only verbal PG commit in the Wildcats’ Class of 2023. Earlier this month, she was featured in Whistle Sports’ “No Days Off” series.

14 | Madison Booker, Germantown (Miss.)
6-1 wing

Booker started all seven games during the U17 national team’s journey to gold at this summer’s U17 World Cup. She’s reliable all over the floor, including from the free-throw line, where she led the decorated roster with a 91.7 percent free-throw percentage.

15 | Milaysia Fulwiley, W.J. Keenan (S.C.)
5-7 point guard

It’s no surprise that Fulwiley, the highest-ranked prospect in the state of South Carolina, included the reigning national champion Gamecocks in her final five. What may come as a surprise is that she’s held an offer from the program since she was in seventh grade. The human highlight-reel has amassed more than 2,000 career points at Keenan and is also considering Florida, Louisville, Miami and Ole Miss.

16 | Reniya Kelly, Hoover (Ala.)
5-5 point guard
Committed to North Carolina

Kelly managed to shine on a supremely talented FBC United roster this summer at the Girls Under Armour Association Championships. She isn’t a player opponents want to leave open because she’ll take advantage of the situation every time.

17 | Montaya Dew, Centennial (N.V.)
6-2 forward
Committed to Arizona

Looking for an underrated prospect in this bunch? Look no further than Dew, the first domino in what is shaping up to be an impressive recruiting class for Arizona. Dew thrives in high-pressure situations and is an assist machine.

18 | Kymora Johnson, Saint Annes-Belfield (Va.)
5-7 guard

The textbook definition of a “floor general,” Johnson made a tremendous difference in the West Virginia Thunder’s GUAA U17 championship run in July. Her leadership is noticeable no matter where she is on the floor, as is her toughness.

19 | Taliah Scott, Saint John’s Country Day (Fla.)
5-9 guard
Committed to Arkansas

Committed to Arkansas since last September, Scott is sure to make an instant impact when she takes the floor as a freshman. Recently, she claimed the 3-point shooting crowns at this summer’s Curry Camp, UA Elite 24 and SLAM Summer Classic, Vol. 4.

20 | Essence Cody, Valdosta (Ga.)
6-3 post
Committed to Alabama

Cody, named the MVP of the UA Elite 24 game, has a high ceiling. Her ability to dominate inside the paint and control the pace of play can change the momentum of any matchup.

21 | Delaney Thomas, St. John’s (D.C.)
6-2 forward

Because St. John’s remains a powerhouse in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, Thomas is familiar with going up against high-level competition. Her experience and creativity will serve her well at the next level.

22 | S’mya Nichols, Shawnee Mission West (Kan.)
6-foot wing

While unfortunately unable to take the floor for Team USA at this year’s U18 World Cup due to COVID-19, Nichols has intangibles that allow her to shine regardless of who she plays alongside. She possesses the rare combination of efficiency and effectiveness.

23 | Amiyah Reynolds, South Bend Washington (Ind.)
6-foot guard
Committed to Maryland

Reynolds is a team player with a real shot at winning Indiana Miss Basketball as a high school senior. Brenda Frese knew exactly what she was doing when she recruited Reynolds to a Maryland program in need of a fresh start.

24 | Chloe Clardy, Conway (Ark.)
5-9 guard
Committed to Stanford

There’s really nothing like a dynamic combo guard, especially one like Clardy, a three-level scorer who’s been named all-state each year of her high school career.

25 | Riley Nelson, Clarksburg (Md.)
6-1 guard
Committed to Maryland

Nelson is extremely difficult to guard and will often score against even the most elite defenders. She was perhaps at her best during her final season of AAU ball with the Fairfax Stars this summer, helping lead the team to a third-place finish at Nike Nationals.

Caroline Makauskas is a contributing writer for Just Women’s Sports. She also writes about college basketball for Blue Ribbon Sports and covers a variety of sports on her TikTok @cmakauskas. Follow her on Twitter @cmakauskas.