Reflections On The Game by Jasmine Walker…


It’s my junior year and yet I feel as though I just graduated from North Brunswick high. My freshman year at Monmouth University went by quickly and was a big learning experience.  I learned things weren’t going to come easy for me and that no matter how successful I was in high school I needed to work three times as hard in order to make a statement in college.  So that’s what I intended to do my sophomore year. I worked hard enough to earn a starting spot and I was voted captain. However, our season did not go as expected and we only won 8 games. As captain it was my job to find a way to keep the team’s spirit high and continue to work hard regardless of what the outcome may be.

Going into the summer following my sophomore year, I wanted to become more independent. I started working two summer jobs, on top of having two summer classes and having summer workouts. It was extremely hard to balancing the three. I found myself burning myself out, which affected my summer training. But I managed to stick it out till August.  On August 10th my team and I embarked on our foreign tour.  We took a 9-hour (yes 9 hours!) flight to Rome and from there we took a small plane to Serbia.  Our first game in Serbia was against the Serbian National Team who destroyed us.  These women were no joke and we learned later on that some of them played with the best in the WNBA.  Hopefully some of guys watched the FIBA women’s basketball games last week and saw just how amazing these women were.  The second game we played was against the Serbian Club Team.  This was a team that had a mixed of high school seniors and college players.  It was still a challenged, but we pulled out a win.

After Serbia we landed in Montenegro.  It was so beautiful and we had a hotel right by the water.  The food was amazing, mostly seafood, which was my favorite.  I also went parasailing.  And our coach let us enjoy the nightlife, but we still had a curfew, unfortunately. We played our final game of the tour in Montenegro, which we were winning in the beginning, but lost our lead and couldn’t recover.  After Montenegro, we left for Rome.  Unfortunately, I came down with a fever and a headache in Rome and was not able to fully enjoy it.  One of the funniest and most memorable moments of the trip was when the natives would just be in awe of seeing the African American girls on our team, myself included.  Some people would just stare and point.  Others wanted to take a picture with us lol.  In the whole duration of the trip I think we took about 6 or 7 pictures with the natives because it was just so rare for them to see people of color.  One of the most annoying parts of the trip was not being able to contact anyone, or that it was blazing hot everyday, but dealing with the currency exchange.  I am so cheap that it was hard for me to even want to exchange money knowing that I was going to lose half of it.  Exchanging $ 100 would equal only about 55 Euros.  Lol so for those who wanted a souvenir from me… I’m sorry.  Overall, this trip was remarkable!  I feel like I became so much more open to things that I am not used to.  I even tried so many different types of food including CHEESE!  For those of you who know me I hated cheese.  Ultimately, once you travel abroad you begin to understand that not everyone lives like you or has the opportunity to.  And the things that you take for granted everyday is essential to someone else.  Hopefully, my team can use our experiences from last year and from this trip to create a better opportunity for us to succeed this upcoming season.

Being apart of the Defenders has taught me that success does not come to those who are the most skilled, but to those who work the hardest.  Throughout my AAU career, no player on my team had a phenomenal skill set.  We didn’t have players who were All Americans.  What set us apart was our effort on the court and playing with heart.  I now apply this lesson in college.  I know that there will also be players who can dribble and shoot better than me, but I take pride my effort especially on the defensive end.  I’ve done this so well that my teammates and coaches describe me as the hardest worker on the floor and best defender on the team.

My advice for players in the program is to instead of writing down goals, write down commitments.  Write down things that you are going to commit to everyday in order to reach your goals.  For example, one commit may be to make 100 three pointers everyday or work on ball handling for thirty minutes.  And this does not only apply to basketball, you can write down commits for school also.  By writing down your commitments it allows you to focus on the things that you can control rather than what you can’t.  We can’t control if we get playing time and we can’t control the grades we get in class, but we can control the work we put in.  Lastly, there will come a point in time where you are tired of basketball and no longer think it’s fun.  I know I hit that point and it’s frustrating because you do not know how to get back to enjoying the sport you love.  I recommend talking to one someone, especially a coach in the program.  I reached out to Coach Stone when I was feeling this way and he helped me understand that I just needed a break. So don’t be afraid to reach out when you feeling down and just know that the Defenders program is always there for you.


11 2014

Morgan Mitchell “MVP” of PA Hoops Big 60 Showcase 2014


The East Coast Index Report is up on website.

Morgan was MVP in one of her games as well as….”Congratulations! If you made the list, you are automatically invited to the“Cream of the Crop” Showcase. The talent was probably the best the “Big 60” has seen in recent events in terms of fast paced transition basketball. The pace was as fast as I’ve seen on the girl’s side in quite a while! My top point guards were Morgan Siani Mitchell from Notre Dame, NJ and Christina Ribaudo from Toms River North, NJ.”


11 2014

Player’s Choice Basketball At the Beach Report 2014

Amanda Carney

The FBC Defenders participated in a well organized, well operated, college exposure event over Father’s Day weekend and got some very good looks from college coaches and scouts. Amanda Carney, Freshman Sensation, has just started her aau career with the Defenders but is turning heads like the legendary “Alexis Scott” did a few years back. Amanda is long, athletic, skilled, and completely unafraid when playing the game. Click Here to read what scouts are saying about this exciting young player…


06 2014

FBC Defenders @ PreSeason Challenge Tournament Richmond, VA

Day 1

All of lady basketball elite players, and teams ascended on the Greater Richmond County Convention Center for the annual phenomena that is, the Blue Chip Invitational. In their first contest, the FBC Defendes – (Stone) relied upon blistering red hot perimeter shooting performance in the first half led by Jackie (J-Rod) Rodriguez who connected on 5 triples on her way to a game high, 22 points performance. Signature swarming defense from the entire team, and timely contributions from Shaunna Randolph, and Elise Brown who each finished with 8 points, helped the Defenders create an unsurmountable deficit in the first half. The Defenders never looked back on their way to a 60-39 win.

After a 4 hour recess between games, the Defenders squared off against a feisty, Lehigh Valley Heat team that was able to match their trademark energetic play. The Defenders struggled to rebound on both ends of the floor, and relied too heavily on perimeter shooting, and eventually fell to the Heat. Jackie Rodriguez continued to lead the way with consistent scoring with 23 points. Ahsley Opitz scored 8, and Kyra Fox contributed with 7 points in a losing effort.

Day 2

In the second day of competition, FBC Defenders (Stone) was matched with the sharp shooting, Lower Buck Lightning of Pennsylvania. In the early game with a 9:10 start. Paced by Morgan Mitchell and Ashley Opitz who led the team in scoring with 9 points each, the Defenders battled throughout the game but failed to win the rebounding contest, as the Lightning’s prowess on the offensive boards gave them more than double the Defenders’ opportunities. The Defenders fought back in the second half but, fell short losing 48 – 45. Amanda Carney showed offensive promise for the Defenders with a solid 7 points contribution.

In game 2, the Defenders met an experienced Warriors squad who struggled to score, and only managed 10 points in the first half. The Defenders continued to build on their 28-10 lead in the second half with scoring contributions from 10 of the 12 players on their roster. The Defenders enjoyed a comfortable lead throughout this contest with a balance scoring attack, and signature swarming defense. Shaunna Randolph led all scorers with 11 points, while Jackie Rodriguez scored 9, Amanda Carney had 5, Kadijah Matthews, Morgan Mitchell and Camille Duncan had 4.


06 2014

FBC Defenders @ Player’s Choice Tournament East Stroudsburg, PA

Sunday, May 18, 2014
The Defenders (Coach Stone) split a pair of games at Player’s Choice in East Stroudsburg, PA on Sunday afternoon. In the first game, the Defenders used a balanced scoring attack, and their signature, trademark tenacious defense to keep the Lehigh Valley Outcast at bay. The Defenders used a breakout performance from freshman sensation, Amanda Carney, who scored 16 of her 19 points in the second half to quench Lehigh Valley’s comeback attempt. Kyra Fox contributed 9 points, and Evangela Morris poured in 8 points. Defenders win 56-48!

In the second game the Defenders squared off against the Keystone Karma, and failed to capitalize on Ahsley Opitz’ 13 points, 4 rebound performance. . A seemingly fatigued, Defenders squad failed to duplicate the defensive intensity they displayed in the first game of the day, and succumbed to several scoring droughts in the second half. Coach Stone was visibly upset with his team’s lack of defensive intensity, and failure to win on the offensive glass, and was speechless after the loss. No other Defenders scored more than 4 points in a forgettable performance.


06 2014

Concussions: When In Doubt, Sit Them Out!


04 2014

Jackie Rodgrigues – Home News Tribune 2014 All-Area Girls Basketball Team!







Jackie Rodriguez, Sr., Sayreville High School

Sayreville’s go-to scorer poured in 71 3-pointers and averaged 19.4 points per night, all while doing the majority of the ball-handling and being the main focus of the opposition’s defense. Rodriguez finished her career with 1,147 points. Click Here To READ ARTICLE…


03 2014

As One: Devils Make History With Perfect Season

Box Score
Postgame Press Conference
Postgame Notes
Championship Video

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — The FDU-Florham Devils are National Champions, after completing a perfect 33-0 season by defeating Whitman College 80-72 on Saturday night at the Quandt Fieldhouse.

Kyra Dayon (Trenton, N.J./Trenton) received Tournament MVP honors for her performance over the weekend and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior point guard Jalessa Lewis (Irvington, N.J./Mount St. Dominic). Lewis led the way for FDU-Florham with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds on the night.

The game began with a fast pace that set the tone for the entire first half. Whitman junior guard Heather Johns consistently pushed the ball up the floor for the Missionaries and they held an 11-4 lead five minutes into action. Johns led all scorers with 25 points and left it all on the floor for the Missionaries in defeat.

Kyra Dayon scored the Devils first 10 points of the game to keep FDU-Florham within striking distance. Kara Dayon (Trenton, N.J./Trenton) converted a layup off of an on-point outlet pass from Alyssa McDonough (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville) to cut the Missionaries lead to 15-12. Shortly after, Kyra Dayon capped a 12-5 scoring run by the Devils with a layup to knot the game up at 16-16. Dayon led all scorers at the break with 15 points on 5-for-9 from the floor. The junior drained a long three-pointer to give the Devils their first lead of the contest, 21-18 with 8:58 to play in the opening half.

However, the Missionaries responded and continued to push the tempo, which resulted in 20 points in the paint and a 33-32 lead at the break. Johns led the Missionaries with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists at intermission.

The second half started as a see-saw battle, Shalette Brown nailed a  jumper but Traver countered with back-to-back three-pointers to give Whitman a 41-37 lead with 17:18 to play

A steal and a jumper by Johns gave Whitman 45-39 lead but Kyra Dayon retaliated with a trey to bring the Devils back within three points with 15:53 to go. After the media timeout, Coach Mitchell’s team executed to perfection, which led to a game-tying three-pointer by Leigh-Ann Lively (Bangor, Pa./Notre Dame).

Johns answered with another bucket to put the Missionaries in front 47-45, but Alyssa McDonough (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville) reclaimed the lead for the Devils by converting an and-one opportunity with 14:33 to play in regulation.

With 8:51 to play, Traver drilled another three-pointer to put the Missionaries back on top 59-57 but after a Whitman free-throw, Lively knocked down her own three-pointer to even the score at 60-60 with 8:03 remaining in the contest.

Kyra Dayon found Delisha Thompson (East Orange, N.J./East Orange Campus) for a back-door layup, which put the Devils ahead 64-62 with 6:24 to go. Two minutes later, Lewis gashed the Whitman defense for the basket and a foul, and after knocking down the free throw the Devils led 69-62.

The Devils held a 74-68 lead with 1:16 to play, when Lewis hit Groom for an easy layup, which built the FDU-Florham lead to eight. With 48 ticks to go, Lewis iced the game with two free throws to complete the historic season.

FDU-Florham is the first NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion in New Jersey history and the first team to claim a hoops championship in the state since 1996.

Read More About FDU-Florham’s Amazing Run To NCAA Division III Title by clicking here…


03 2014

Tough enough: FDU advances past Jumbos

March 21, 2014

Tough enough: FDU advances past Jumbos

More news about: FDU-Florham
Kyra Dayon carried the load for FDU-Florham which is the first Freedom Conference team to play for a women’s basketball national championship.
Photo by Steve Frommell,

FDU-Florham was held to its lowest offensive output of the season, but scratched together enough scoring to beat Tufts, 42-39 and advance to the national championship.

The Devils improved to 32-0 and will play the winner of Whitman and UW-Whitewater at 7 pm CT tomorrow.

In a game where both teams struggled to score, FDU-Florham put together the only run of the game, scoring on four consecutive possessions to build a 35-28 lead.

Tufts rallied back within two points and had four chances to tie or take the lead, but came away empty each time. After the last miss, Shalette Brown made a short jump shot for FDU-Florham to extend its lead to four.

Tufts’ Michaela North made one of two free throws to trim the Devils’ lead to 42-39, but the Jumbos did not score again. FDU-Florham had two chances to extend the lead from the free throw line and missed both shots. Tufts had one more chance to tie the game when Emma Roberson stole the FDU-Florham inbounds pass with 14 seconds left. After a timeout, the Jumbos could not get an open look and Hannah Foley missed an off balance desperation shot as time expired.March 21, 2014

Click Here To Read Full Story


03 2014

Breaking News! Look what Brown can do for FDU!










MADISON, N.J. — In the summer of 2012, FDU-Florham head coach Marc Mitchell went to an AAU basketball game somewhere in New Jersey to watch a point guard he was recruiting, Alyssa McDonough.  While he was watching McDonough, he noticed a forward named Shalette Brown. Mitchell asked Brown if she had plans for college, hoping she was a rising senior in high school, like McDonough.

Brown was a year ahead of McDonough in school and she was playing in her last AAU tournament. She told Mitchell that she had already committed to Montclair State. She had offers from some Division I and II schools, but picked Karin Harvey’s program. Brown explains, “They were the most consistent with calling, emailing and everything” during the recruiting process.


03 2014