THE CLASSIC STANDOUTS 2023 (Part Three)
The Classic has become one of the premier GBB events during this live session and there was no shortage of talent at the Kentucky Expo Center this past weekend. With 48 different courts and 500+ teams, it’s impossible to see everyone play, but we did our best to catch a variety of different games throughout the tournament. Now it’s time to discuss some of the players that stood out to us in the games we got a chance to watch this past weekend. We covered the 2024 divisions Tuesday and the 2025 divisions yesterday, so now it’s time to take a look at some of the teams we caught in the 2026 divisions (plus one bonus 2027 team that we got to see).
Rise Up 2026
- Karlea Stanley (2028)
- Stanley can be extremely effective defensively. Very active hands and aggressive. Offensively, can do a little bit of everything. Knocked down 3’s, made aggressive drives, finished layups and floaters, got to the free throw line, handled the ball with pressure, solid passes.
- Kaylee Mills (2026)
- Mills is a high IQ player. She was always thinking a play ahead and ready to create for her teammates. Drove the gaps and finished some excellent floaters in the paint. Good outside shot as well, but always willing to make the extra pass. Forced defense to make a decision and was reading the defense well. Great job going after the ball on rebounds. Really solid floor general skills.
- Loralee Orazen (2027)
- Orazen was making things happen on both ends of the court and was just really solid overall. She showed an ability to knock down shots from deep range as well as an ability to drive to the basket. Handled the ball well and made good passes. Can really lockdown opponents defensively. Rebounded well.
- Elaine Purvis (2027)
- Purvis showed why she’s one of the top 2027 players around. Really tough player who can play on or off of the ball. Sprained ankle early Saturday and continued playing through the pain. Never hung her head and likely would’ve averaged 20+ PPG had she been healthy for all 4 games. Handles the ball well and is poised when being pressured. Sees the floor and makes good passes. Drives gaps to create for teammates or get to the rim. True 3-level scorer who can get her shot off quickly. Great defender as well – reads passing lanes to come up with steals.
- Baylee Warner (2027)
- Warner is a versatile player who can play inside or out. Uses length to score around or over defense around the basket. Good moves. Tough finishes. Doesn’t shy away from contact. Can knock down outside shots. Led team in PPG and RPG. Consistently ran the floor and crashed the boards strong. Great defensive positioning. Stayed ready to step over and help. Had some great blocks. 2027 class is very talented and she’s poised to end up as one of the top players in that class.
- Ava Hale (2026)
- Hale has a very quick release on her shot. Great form and catches ready to pull. Can knock them down from deep range. Also had some good drives. Didn’t play selfish at all and was a true team player. Made some great passes in transition and in half court sets. She’s got good strength and crashes the boards strong. Isn’t afraid of physicality.
- Carley Boyd (2027)
- Boyd is very long and versatile. Potential is through the roof. Can really stretch the floor with her ability to be effective inside and outside of the perimeter. Has deep range on her outside shot and can get shots off quickly. Handled the ball well and made good decisions. Great passes including making the extra pass when beneficial. Consistently crashed boards and came up with 4+ rebounds in all 4 games. Led the team in blocks as well.
2026 Kentucky Dream Rise
- Adeline Heatherly (2026)
- Defense was textbook and allowed her to stay in front of whoever she was guarding. She wasn’t afraid to pick up full court and would defend from one end of the court to the other if needed. She’s got a high basketball IQ and great floor vision. Made some great passes and moved to the ball when teammates were in trouble. Never have to question her effort and is a 3-level scorer. Strong drives and quick release on her shot.
- Shelbie Mills (2027)
- About as active and vocal as you’ll ever find a player. Very high energy and high effort PG. True floor general with strong handles. Really forced the defense to make decisions and recognized if they stepped over to help or not. She was aggressive on her drives to the rim and showed that she could get her shot off quickly. Applied a lot of pressure defensively as well.
- Jalayah Mayes (2026)
- Such an active defender. Long, active hands allow her to get a lot of steals and deflections. Has great form on her outside shot and can shoot from deep range. Was doing a great job of driving gaps and kicking the ball out if nothing was there.
Next Level 2026 E40
- Anna Kelch (2026)
- High motor and all over the floor. Can score inside or out. Deep range on shot. Crafty finishes in the paint/around the basket. Very active and disruptive defensively. True 2-way player with a lot of potential.
- Haylie Webb (2026)
- Only listed as 5’9” but an excellent rim protector. Constantly ready to step over and help defensively. Strong rebounds and solid box outs. Really works hard in the paint on both ends of the floor. Good moves around the basket and can finish on both sides of the rim.
- Emma Holtzapfel (2026)
- Very active on both ends. Can knock down outside shots or score at the rim. Good cuts. Constantly moved well without the ball. Crashed the boards hard and secured a lot of rebounds.
2026 Louisville Lady Trojans
- Natalya Pitts (2026)
- Good job facilitating the offense. Really gets her teammates involved. Goes after rebounds strong and elevates to grab them off of the rim. Uses both sides of the court really well. Scored in a variety of ways including some tough finishes around the basket.
2026 Legends U S40
- Brooklyn Hall (2026)
- Good size and very solid skillset overall. Versatile – can guard all 5 positions and can play multiple positions offensively. Protected the rim well. Made strong drives to the basket and showed ability to knock down outside shots. Uses her body well to keep the ball away from defense on drives. Good ball handling skills.
- Heaven Sneed (2026)
- Strong and very active. Defensively, picks up immediately and applies a ton of pressure. Can get into the passing lanes for steals. Made some strong drives and had tough finishes on both sides of the rim. Also made strong cuts without the ball.
Kentucky Premier 15U Bre
- Taylor King (2026)
- King’s got good size and strength. She’s a triple threat with the ability to knock down shots, drive to the rim, or create for teammates. Keeps the dribble low. Shot and ball fakes were impressive.
- Haley Combs (2026)
- Quick handles and made fearless drives to the basket. She was taking the ball strong on those drives and didn’t shy away from contact. She finished some tough shots at the rim and handled defensive pressure with ease. Also has good form on her shot, so can score at all levels.
- Addyson Brissey (2026)
- When Brissey would drive to the basket, she was doing it with a purpose. She really showed the ability to finish in crafty ways.
- Gabby Karle (2026)
- Karle’s basketball IQ is what stood out the most. A true floor general. Can change up speeds, sees the floor, delivers great passes, crashes the boards, defends, etc.
2026 Kentucky Storm Elite – Kerns
- Kylee Steffen (2026)
- Loved that you never had to question Steffen’s effort. She plays hard, runs the floor, and is solid on both ends of the floor. Was defending well and blocking shots around the basket. On the other end, made some great, strong moves to finish in the paint or at the rim.
2026 Phee Elite – Olufson
- Nevaeh Lucious (2026)
- It’s hard not to notice her length first and foremost, but then you notice how well she moves and really see what a problem she is. She was finishing well on both sides of the rim. Kept the ball high to make it hard on the defense. Really was tough both defensively and offensively.
Arctic Rush 2026 Blue
- Emma Clinger (2026)
- Clinger has a long frame and runs the floor well. Crashes the boards well to get rebounds. Can finish around the basket and keeps the ball high to make it hard for the defense to block.
- Naomi Maynard (2026)
- Maynard has great size and strength for a PG. She’s very comfortable with the ball in her hands and makes strong, aggressive drives to get to the rim. She can finish on both sides of the basket and isn’t afraid of contact. Can score inside or out.
- Lilly Ashcraft (2026)
- Great finishes at the rim. Saw gaps and attacked. Handled the ball well and made good passes. Showed her deep range on outside shots. Didn’t need much space to get shot off because of her quick release.
- Haley Holcomb (2027)
- I was really watching what Holcomb was doing when she was on the court Saturday which allowed me to see how hard she truly plays. Does all of the little things that sometimes go unnoticed. Set good screens, movement/cuts without the ball, applied a lot of pressure and stayed moving defensively, got into passing lanes, etc.
2026 Illinois Lady Lightning Bambule
- Kenedi Bradley (2026)
- Bradley was all over the court. Very high motor. Hustles and has really strong PG skills.
- Emily Currey (2026)
- Currey is a high energy player. Really solid skillset. Long and made great drives to get to the rim. Finished in a variety of ways.
2026 Indiana’s Best Court Queens
- Maya Layton (2026)
- Layton is a high energy player. She has good court vision and can throw some really solid passes. Made some strong drives to the rim.
- Violet Hall (2026)
- Hall is impossible to not notice when she’s on the floor because she’s all over the place. Very high energy player who consistently gives 110% effort. Very active rebounder.
- Elise Coleman (2026)
- The lefty has excellent size and strength for a PG. She has strong handles and made good decisions with the ball. Has a variety of passes in her arsenal. Great court vision and can make passes down the floor in transition. Can also knock down shots quickly.
- Lillie Graves (2027)
- Graves has good length and made some excellent drives. Strong and aggressive.
- Maryrose Felling (2026)
- Huge offensive threat. Knockdown shooter from deep. Long range, quick release, and catches ready to pull. Can shot fake and get to the rim. Had some tough finishes. Strong and good handles. Really just solid overall.
Dana Evans Elite 2026
- Ava Wheeler (2026)
- Wheeler is strong and has good size. She has great defensive positioning – stays low, slides feet, wide base. If she does get beat off the dribble or when she’s in help, she can use her length to get blocks. She made excellent drives to the basket and showed that she can finish through contact. Also was willing to make the extra pass when help stepped over.
- Ashlinn James (2026)
- Quick, crafty guard who’s really tough to defend. It seems like she can get a step on any defender. Strong handles. 3 level scorer. Playmaker. Creates so well for teammates and is far from a selfish player. High IQ. Really elite skills overall.
- Kelis Dansby (2026)
- Dansby is a really solid PG. Handles the ball well and has a high basketball IQ. Was really showing her court vision and ability to deliver passes through traffic. She moved to the ball when teammates were in trouble. Can finish strong at the rim or knock down jumpers. Was really solid overall.
Mac Irvin S40 2026
- Arianna Garcia-Evans (2026)
- Garcia-Evans has all of the skills you need to be a great floor general. Really smart, high IQ player. Great ball handler and passer who keeps her eyes up and sees the floor. Made some really good passes and was very solid defensively.
- Jane Manecke (2026)
- Manecke isn’t going to let opponents get anything easy around the basket. She is an excellent shot blocker. Really long and has a strong frame. Strong on the boards and can finish on both sides of the rim.
- Mikaia Litza (2026)
- Crafty and quick. Really smart and smooth player. Very good at changing speeds. Comfortable with the ball in her hands. Created for herself and her teammates. Finished some tough shots.
- Avery Blue (2026)
- Knockdown shooter. If you let her get hot from 3, it’s game over. Her ball handling skills allow her to play any guard position effectively. Handled pressure well.
Kentucky Premier 14U Perry
- Lyla Packer (2027)
- While Packer has to be one of the top forwards/centers in the 2027 class, she has potential to be one of the best in the state (regardless of class). You can’t teach her length, but she’s also got good strength to go along with that length. She can finish well on both sides of the rim. She makes great decisions on when to score versus when to kick it back out. She keeps the ball high and really goes after the ball on rebounds. Really good shot blocking skills as well and stays in good help position in case her teammates get beat.
- Makiyia Wheeler (2027)
- Wheeler wants to be the best and is going to put in whatever work it takes to get herself there. Instead of asking what she did well, she asked what I felt she could improve on, which further proved she wants to work on anything that can be seen as a weakness in her game. She’s a very quick and crafty PG. She recognized opportunities to beat everyone down the floor and was aggressive on her drives. Finished some tough shots through contact.
- Mia Adkins (2027)
- Adkins has a high basketball IQ and was making good decisions with the ball. She is a good ball handler and can push the pace for her team. Whenever she gets the ball, she immediately gets her head up to see the floor. She was knocking down shots with deep range and showed the ability to pull-up straight off of the dribble. Made some solid passes.