NAPHEESA COLLIER is a 6’1″ Forward from St.Louis , MO ( Incarnate Word Academy ) . She played AAU with the Missouri Phenom. The UCONN pledge is considered one of the Top 10 players in the 2015 class, and is an even more Impressive overall young lady . Last season as a Junior, Napheesa was named MISSOURI’s Gatorade player of the year & MaxPreps All-American first team after averaging 24.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.5 blocks and leading IWA to the state Championship. She shot 77 percent from the foul line and 71 percent from the floor. Napheesa had been Recruited since before she started H.S. games. She only took two 3-pointers (she made one ) but that was mostly because few players could stop her from getting to the rim. There was really no need to take 3s.
Reggie Middlebrook, who was her AAU coach on the star-studded Missouri Phenom, said he knew Collier would be special when she was in seventh grade. “She has a desire to be great more than anyone else I have ever been around,” he said.
Dan Rolfes, her high school coach, raves about her defensive ability to guard anyone and her offensive ability to play inside or on the perimeter. “She shoots the ball extremely well,” Rolfes said. “She’s done a lot to improve her range.”
“Napheesa was great, She’s relentless. She plays hard all of the time, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a game or if it’s practice. She sets the tone for how the game should be played. She sets a great example for others.” said Dawn Staley (Head Coach of the U18 USA Team ). “She’s probably one of the most efficient players on both of the sides of the ball” . “She made stuff happen. She’s a magnet for the ball, a great offensive rebounder that can knock down open shots from inside and outside the 3-point line. She picked up things well and was a pleasure to work with.”
Basketball is just part of Collier’s rich backstory. Her paternal grandfather was an ambassador who helped Sierra Leone gain its independence from Great Britain — there is a photo of him in the Collier home with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. In addition, Napheesa has a connection to WNBA star Maya Moore . Collier played her freshman season at Jefferson City (Mo.), which is where she met Moore. The two basketball players share the same hometown. Unfortunately for Jefferson City, both of their families moved out of town. Moore’s family moved to Georgia when she was in fifth grade. And Napheesa has many interesting hobbies . She takes yoga classes to help with her flexibility. And she has started taking boxing lessons from her father , (who had five pro fights in his younger days ) to sharpen her footwork. “My dad has taught me and my brother the basics,” Collier said. “I can’t wait to spar.” “She’s a tough, hard-nosed kid,” Rolfes said.
Napheesa, whose name means “precious one” or “princess” is a very Outgoing, Intelligent, high character, well spoken and Humble young lady. She also is Impressive in the classroom, with a 4.0 GPA . Geno Auriemma and the Huskies are not only getting a Versatile , potential Impact player on the court… they are getting a young lady who reminds me of being similar to a young Derek Jeter ( female version ) with her overall Athletic & Personal intangibles.
Hi my name is Napheesa
I’m a senior this year at Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in St. Louis, Missouri and last spring I committed to play at the University of Connecticut for basketball! So this is a blog about my amazing journey so far and what is to come. A little bit about myself is that I am the middle child. I have an older sister named Wanza who lives in London England, and a younger brother named Kai who is a junior this year. My dad’s name is Gamal and he grew up in Sierra Leone West Africa. My mom’s name is Sarah and she grew up in a small town on a dairy farm. Total opposites I know!
I am so excited to be going to UCONN next year! I’m also super happy that the recruiting process is over because boy was it stressful! When the recruiting process first started I thought trying to decide where I was going to spend the next chapter in my life would be the hardest thing I had ever done. Especially since I have trouble even deciding where I want to eat after school. But it actually wasn’t as hard as I had predicted. Visiting all the different schools was an awesome experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And finally finding a school that is a perfect fit for me was amazing. After I visited UCONN and got to tour the school, meet the girls, and spend some time with the coaches, I instantly knew that was was the right place for me.
This summer I tried out for both the USA U18 5v5 women’s team and the USA 3v3 women’s team. The tryouts were both in June and on back to back weekends. I felt super honored to even be with those selected but when I got there and saw all the elite players I was a little worried about not making the team. There were only about 28-30 girls who were invited to try out for the 5×5 team. You would think that with all those good players in one place and us being girls, there would be some tension and or drama going on but surprisingly there wasn’t. We all got along wonderfully, it was like we had known each other our whole lives.
It was super nerve wracking waiting to find out who made the team as they had all of us in one room and you had to wait to hear the names of the 12 girls who would make the team and compete in the U18 FIBA World Championships.
The wait was excruciating but I finally heard my name and I was SOOO excited! I couldn’t wait to tell my friends and family.
Next time I will talk about my 3×3 experience and what an incredible time I had in China.
Na eem dat oh!
(That’s all I got folks in krio)
Follow Napheesa on Twitter: @PHEEsespieces
NAPHEESA = # 46
@KeilMoorePSB Napheesa Collier is the best player I’ve seen in this class. Wouldn’t surprise me if she becomes #1 in the end. #UConn commit Napheesa Collier was leading scorer in 8 of 13 games for U.S. at Youth Olympic Games http://elmcitytoeaglevillenhr.blogspot.com/2014/08/uconn-commits-win-gold-at-youth-olympic.html …