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Walnut Creek was the gathering place for some of NorCal’s top girls basketball talents   By MIKE YOUNG | SportStars    The Walnut Creek...

Walnut Creek was the gathering place for some of NorCal’s top girls basketball talents

  By MIKE YOUNG | SportStars 

  The Walnut Creek Rec Center played host to the second annual Pass Tha Ball Queens Court Skills Academy and Showcase that featured some of the top girls basketball talent in Northern California from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes. That talent included Cyndee Kinslow from Freedom High in Oakley and Alyssa Lorenzo from Valley Christian-Dublin. 

  “I think the level of competition that comes out here really pushes you,” Lorenzo said. “So when you have a girl that is already noticed and you’re going up against her, it really brings you up to her level.

  Kinslow, who is hoping to use the camp to introduce her to the top talent in the area, was eager to see what competition would be at the camp.

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  “I come from where there’s not a lot of broad talent and I went to the USA Olympic tryouts for the U17’s, and there was crazy talent there,” Kinslow said. “So I need to broaden my horizon. I need to expose myself, be up against the better players, and I’ve seen some great play here and I have to pick up a few things.”

  Coaches and camp scouts were lined up in the gym to watch the young ladies go through various skills work, and eventually got to witness the girls go head-to-head in open scrimmage for the last half of the camp. 

  Marissa Holbert, the founder of Pass The Ball Productions and organizer of the Queens Court event, was a collegiate player fo Div.-II Wooster College in Ohio. After college, Holbert moved out to the Bay Area with a camera in hopes to help young girls thrive in the sport she loves.

  “(I look to get) more exposure for the NorCal area in general, and to players who don’t get that chance because sometimes you play a team that is stacked and you cant get seen,” Holbert said. “It’s a showcase and we want to see what you got, and the girls defiantly did that.”

  The camp drew in talent from all over Northern California.

  “(The camp) pushes you to beat the top, to compete with the girls,” Kinslow said. “A lot of the time when you’re the best of where you’re from, you don’t really try and go harder. You stay at your level or go down a level. Here, where there are girls better than you, you have to play to their level or you’re going to get lost. … So you have to be able to bring something or you don’t.” 

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