CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
ATLANTIC CITY — The Select Events Atlantic City Showcase filled up the AC Convention Center this weekend, with more than 500 teams taking part in the action, with Division I (plus II and III) coaches out for the May live recruiting period. A high-level field featuring some of the area’s top teams as well as sneaker-sponsored and independent programs from around the country came out, along with hundreds of college coaches.
Here’s the first part of our notebook from the prospects we caught up with at the event:
Hope Masonius (2024 | NJ Rise Napolitano 17U)
For the Masonius family basketball is a tradition — one the youngest Masonius hooper, Hope, is well set on continuing.
Hope, a 5-10 guard, will soon become the fourth in her family to play college basketball. Her sister Faith is currently playing for University of Maryland, while her other sister Addie played for Wagner and Assumption University. Ellen Masonius, Hope’s mother, played for Saint Joseph’s, was an assistant coach at UConn and is the current founder/director of NJ Rise.
Hope Masonious, 2024 NJ Rise 17U
“They’re people to rely on and relate to,” Masonious said. “My whole family has been so supportive of my decisions and what I want to do rather than what everyone else wants me to do. That help and support has helped me so much with making me feel comfortable about everything.”
Masonius played with PhillyRise for two years, a team that last year was a Triple Crown 16U Champion (Boo, Run for Roses, Nike Nationals). She looked up to older players in the program like Notre Dame commit Hannah Hidalgo
Looking for more game time, Masonius decided “last minute” to come back and play for her mother’s program once again. Now that she is back with NJ Rise she is ready to ball out — like she did this weekend in Atlantic City.
“It’s going well. I am excited to be back. I feel really comfortable with the girls I play with,” she said.
Masonius, who plays her high school ball at Manasquan High School, scored 12 points in a win over the New England Crusaders as she played multiple positions on the court. She scored 18 points, knocking down three 3-pointers in a 53-46 loss to Hurban Legends on Sunday.
She has the ability to get in the paint and get layups or get fouled. In fact, she goes to the FT line with frequency. The guard also showed a remarkable three-point shot. She can also play in the post, has a remarkable court vision to create for teammates and is a dominant rebounder.
Masonius doesn’t know where she will go yet but she said she is looking to make some decisions this summer for her commitment. The list of offers is long and it includes UMass, St. Joe’s, Lafayette, Towson, University of Buffalo, Fordham and DePaul. She visited most of those schools and is planning on visiting those that she didn’t get to visit yet.
“I am looking for a school that fits every aspect that I’m looking for as best as possible academically and level wise where I can come in and make a difference from the start,” she said.
Her sister is helping her in the recruiting process as well.
“She is great, she is very supportive,” Masonius said.
With her 13 points per game, 6 rebounds and almost 4 steals a game she was recognized as Division Player of the Year, Second team All-Conference and Second team All Group 2 this past season.
This offseason, Masonious wants to work on becoming a better defender by improving her strength and speed. She also wants to become a better decision maker and clean up her turnovers because she knows it's possible she’ll be a point guard in college.
Manasquan ended the season with a 22-7 record and lost in the Central Jersey Group 2 final. The goal next year is to win the state title.
“Be the best leader that I can be to all the young girls on the team as well as my classmates,” she said about her goals. “I think turnovers are a big thing in my hand that I can improve on…Getting better, getting faster.” — Antonello Baggi/Zak Wolf
Addi Mack (2025 | Minnesota Fury GUAA 16U)
The list of basketball royalty at Minnehaha Academy is long, and Mack is next in line.
Playing at the same school which produced the NBA’s Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren, which has won more than a handful of girls and boys’ state championships over the last decade, Mack is the next Redhawks sensation. A 5-9 guard, Mack already has 2,000 varsity points to her name after averaging 30 ppg as a sophomore, her year ending in the state semifinals.
Addi Mack, 2025 Minnesota Fury 17U
Not surprisingly, she’s already caught the attention of Division I coaches: her first offer came from one of the country’s newest D-I programs, University of St. Thomas, when she was just 13 years old. Even though St. Thomas is only three years into its jump from D-III to D-I, the private Minneapolis college already has announced a $175-million arena and is expected to compete at a high level sooner rather than later.
“I think that it’s a big deal, just to now have two Division I schools in Minnesota,” Mack said. “I think that Minnesota basketball girls are really starting to put themselves on a more national scale and I think having two home city teams is really good for the city.”
Since St. Thomas’ offer, Mack’s gotten quite a few more, saying she had “more than 10” during a Saturday talk; she said that included schools in the Big Ten and Pac 12, among others. She’s taken visits to St. Thomas, Michigan, Minnesota and Marquette, and wants to see the rest of the schools who have been recruiting her later this offseason.
“I’m not really sure where I want to go yet, but it’s just been really fun to talk to a lot of different staffs and make good relationships, and I’m in a pretty special position,” she said. “Just have to be thankful for everything.”
Her visits have already given her a little bit to chew on about what she’s looking for.
“I think that just the basketball culture’s a big thing, the support that they have from the school and the fans and the college as a whole,” she said, “but also just the relationships, I’m really big on relationships, so with the coaching staff and also the players.”
Mack, in her second year playing with the Fury, showed her abilities in a high-level game against the Comets’ 16s in an all-Under Armour matchup on Saturday, which the Comets won on a late bucket. She wove her way to a 14-point outing, coming up with a big pair of late-game and-ones that helped the Fury top a big comeback before just falling short at the end; she also showed her defensive abilities with a trio of steals.
“I think a big thing that I’m working on is my strength,” she said. “I like to play fast, so I think that’s one of my biggest assets, but combining that with being able to go through contact and handling the ball (well), I’m just trying to refine my overall game and take it to the next level.” — Josh Verlin
Ivanna Manyacka (2026 | BBA GUAA 15U)
Ivanna Manyacka was introduced to basketball in elementary school when one of her friends told her she should try it.
She soon asked for a basketball for Christmas and after unwrapping the gift worked on her handles everyday in her basement. As the years have gone on, she’s continued to grow her skills.
Ivanna Manyacka, 2026 BBA GUAA 15U)
Manyacka dominated in a 55-35 win over Elevate Elite, pouring in 25 points, grabbing seven rebounds and swatting four shots.
It’s hard to miss her on the basketball court.
Standing at 6-feet tall despite still being in eighth grade, Manyacka sticks out even before she steps on the floor. Once the game starts she’s able to show off her skills and silky smooth moves. Manyacka has yet to play in a varsity game, but has already accumulated a number of Division 1 offers.
Over the past year Manyacka has accumulated 10 offers, many of which are Power 5 programs, including Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, Florida Auburn, Boston College, Michigan and Providence — some of them in attendance for her games over the weekend. She’s also been offered by Northeastern and George Mason.
“I try not to pressure myself, sometimes it happens, but I try to stay humble and play my game.” Manyacka said. “I don't try to do anything too different just to show off, I just play my game.”
As an eighth grader, she played junior varsity for the Bullis School in Maryland. Manyacka said it was good to play against older girls, but she is ready for the challenge of playing varsity in the DMV area, which she claims is the best region for high school basketball in the country.
Despite being the tallest player on the floor most games, Manyacka likes to handle the ball and initiate the offense — skills first developed in her basement. As a big guard, she loves getting into the paint, using her long strides to get to the rim, either using a soft floater or finishing strong.
“I don't describe myself as a post player,” Manyacka said. “I describe myself as a guard. But I'm a player that could do basically anything. I want to be that player that could do whatever my coach needs me to do in order to win games.”
Manyacka made it look easy using her size to her advantage, often attacking the offensive glass for second-chance opportunities. She was also aggressive on defense, pickpocketing players multiple times before they even crossed halfcourt for wide open layups.
“I try to make my defender either pass the ball or steal it,” Manyacka said “I'm very aggressive on defense, I want to get the ball every single time.”
Despite not shooting the ball great from the outside against Elevate Elite, Manyacka likes to shoot pull-up jumpers. Manyacka’s favorite NBA player is Kevin Durant because he combines his length and athleticism with his skill. She also likes Candace Parker because she’s also able to use her size to dominate. Manyacka studies both, trying to incorporate aspects of their games into hers.
Throughout the summer, Manyacka is looking forward to progressing as a player. She feels confident in her abilities, but wants to improve using her left hand and being more vocal as a leader on her team.
“I'm looking forward to showing off my talent and showing people that I could play at that level,” Manyacka said. “I want to show people that I'm different while working hard to achieve my dreams.” — Zak Wolf
Evalyse Cole (2024 | Penn Fever 17U)
The 6-1 forward has a smooth offensive game, helping her gain the attention of a number of A-10 and Patriot League schools. Cole’s recruitment started picking up momentum last summer playing for Penn Fever and has continued during the spring. Cole has been offered by St. Joe’s, Colgate, Lafayette, La Salle, Army and Navy.
Evalyse Cole, 2024 Penn Fever 17U
Throughout this year Cole has visited each of the schools that offered her, explaining that she liked the feel of being on campus at every school and doesn’t have a particular favorite yet. Cole said she’s still waiting to cut her list of schools down and will probably wait until the end of the summer.
Cole has a basketball family with her dad previously playing at Lafayette. She explained that she gets her height from her dad who’s 6-5 and was a forward in college. Cole also has three younger sisters who play for the Fever, adding that they look up to her and it’s nice to see herself as a role model figure. Cole said she likes beating her sisters one-on-one. She also joked that her dad doesn’t want to play her because he’s afraid of hurting his knees.
Cole is a skilled and mobile forward with the ability to put the ball on the floor and make sharp cuts to the basket. She’s effective as a screener in the pick-and-roll game, using her soft touch to finish in the paint. Cole finished with 13 points in a 48-39 loss against GTS Fusion, doing most of her damage in the paint. Cole worked well with fellow forward Maddison Siggins in the high-low action. Siggins caught the ball at the free throw line, while Cole used her size to seal off her defender, allowing for easy layups.
“My mobility definitely helps with the high-low game,” Cole said. “I’m able to maneuver in the paint and carve out space for myself when I need to.”
While being strong down low, Cole wants to expand her game with her shot, starting with the midrange. Already a good free throw shooter, Cole wants to be involved in more pick and pop actions instead of just rolling to the basket. She also feels she can get better at finishing through contact. — Zak Wolf
LeAsia Wilson (2024 | I-90 Elite 17U)
Don’t sleep on her.
Wilson, a talented 5-5 guard from Bishop Kearney (N.Y.), showed off her talent this past weekend. LeAsia missed her freshman season after tearing her ACL and she has been trying to get to the level where she knows she belongs. It looks like she got it.
In a close game against NE Crusaders, she contributed with a game-high 20 points and scored in multiple ways. The point guard is a fun player to watch as she is always close to dropping defenders with her lethal crossover and gets past them easily. Her confidence can’t go unnoticed, something that can’t be taught.
“It’s been treating me all right, just hooping and a lot of working in the gym,” she said about the spring season. “We gotta fix a little bit of our mistakes in defense, talking and communicating with each other, keep our energy and momentum going together.”
Wilson, who has now been with I-90 for three years, had a good season with Bishop Kearney but their run ended in the sectional semifinal with an overall record of 13-4. Wilson is excited for next season and she said that this time they will capitalize and take the dub in the sectional championship like in 2022.
She hasn’t gotten any offers yet but a few colleges, including St. John’s and Wagner, have been reaching out. Wilson, who is expanding her game by getting to the rim in different ways with spin moves and tough floaters, hasn’t gone to an official visit yet but she said that should come soon.
While she waits for coaches to reach out, Wilson is trying to show them that she plays hard on both ends. She can get offensive boards as well as run in transition and be a problem off the pick-and-roll. Her jumper looks solid and she made two 3-pointers, one step-back.
“My goal is always be in attack mode, always kill and always be a leader, work hard [work on] pull up, quickness, getting downhill and defense being more aggressive,” Wilson said. — Antonello Baggi
Mallory Daly (2024 | WPA Bruins 17U)
Daly is an offensive and defensive weapon. Can’t tell if she is better on one side rather than the other as she scores on someone’s face, gets back on defense immediately after, gets a steal and throws a bounce pass in transition for a teammate. And she does that multiple times a game.
In the 41-26 win over the GTS Fusion, Daly had at least seven steals and made her teammate’s job easier with offensive boards and assists. Even in games her stats aren’t great, it’s hard to neglect that she plays really hard and never gives up in any possession, the small details that are not on the sheet but are necessary for the team’s success.
The day after, when the Bruins were facing the Delco Goats, the 5-8 guard scored 14 points using her ball-handling to get into the lane and get fouled. Off the ball she scored through hard cuts to the hoop and defensively even got a block and, again, dished a few assists.
“It just happens. I just read it. I think I average like four a game,” Daly said about her ability to get steals.
Daly, who has played with WPA since fourth grade, has established a great bond with her coach James Rocco, who has been with her since she joined the program. She added that she and Alayna Rocco, Ava Walker and Kellie McConnell have been together for a very long time, a talented group of players with D1 looks.
She said she’s had some D1 interest since freshman year, noting she’s talked to Duquesne, Hofstra and Boston. She announced her first scholarship offer from Division II Walsh University (Ohio) on April 29.
I have one [offer] from Walsh, it was my first offer, so it got exciting,” Daly said.
While she is showing her talent to college coaches, Daly is also focused on her senior season at Seton LaSalle. The 1,000-point scorer and two-time all-state selection believes the team will improve its 13-9 record from last season with a strong group of returners anticipated back.
“I feel like finishing [...]I think my defensive game is good. I need to work on offense,” she said about what she will work on this summer. — Antonello Baggi