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Philly Takedown 2024: Coverage Notebook (Pt. 1)

04/15/2024, 10:00am EDT
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
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The Ohio Basketball Philly Takedown took place this past weekend at the Westtown School and West Chester University, with girls’ grassroots competition from 12U up through 17U spread across the two venues. CoBL was in attendance at Westtown to check out the 16U and 17U action as many of the area’s programs used it as a tuneup for next weekend’s live recruiting period.

Here’s the first of three recruiting/coverage notebooks from interviews conducted this weekend:

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Philly Takedown Coverage: Saturday standouts | Sunday standouts | Notebook Pt. 1 | Notebook Pt. 2 | Notebook Pt. 3 |

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Averie Harding (2025 | Comets GUAA 17U)
There’s an advantage and disadvantage to being a jack-of-all-trades type, especially when playing with a new team. Avery Harding’s going through that now, the Egg Harbor Twp. (N.J.) standout joining an established Comets group that’s already got a little bit of everything on the roster. 


Averie Harding (above) is playing with the Comets for the first time this offseason. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

When and where to plug in will be a learning process, not to mention a game-by-game adjustment. 

“Right now I’m just trying to figure it out, what they need,” she said. “Whatever day it is, just find my role, what the team needs, and just do it.”

The 6-foot-1 junior looked good in her Comets debut as the Under Armour-backed program’s top team started its spring with a 50-39 win over the NJ ShoreShots. Harding contributed 10 points, tied for most on the squad, with a team-high seven rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end. 

“I’m a versatile player, I try to play inside-out and I think that would be useful to bring to this team,” she said. “It’s really fun playing with all these girls [...] they’re all really good, and it’s just fun to play with them.”

A mobile combo forward, Harding got her buckets around the rim, finishing strong against a ShoreShots squad with a lot of length on the inside, led by 6-5 UConn commit Gandy Malou-Mamel. But Harding and Navy commit Quinn Boettinger (10 points, 3 rebounds) were still able to get their chances inside.

This weekend is an important tune-up for the Comets, with the Under Armour circuit starting next weekend at Spooky Nook in the first of three UAA stops this summer. That’ll be a step up in competition for Harding, who previously played with the Jersey Cardinals. 

It’ll also be a significant exposure boost for the Division I recruit, who already has offers from Rider, Lafayette and FDU under her belt with further interest from Drexel, Seton Hall, Boston University and more. That’ll especially be the case if she can show her ability to consistently stretch the floor and handle the ball, two things she’s working on improving this offseason.

“I’m excited to see what it brings, playing high-level competition like a lot of other good girls,” she said. “I’m hoping with the Under Armour circuit I’ll be able to get my name out there a little more. Playing on a circuit, you’re playing against really good competition, there’s a lot of coaches, so I’m looking to see what that brings.” 

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Jahzara Green (2026 | Philly Rise EYBL 16U)
It’s no surprise that Green is a high-level athlete. 


Jahzara Green (above) is working on expanding her perimeter game. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Her mother, Nailah (Wallace) Green, played at North Carolina State and then Fordham, averaging 9.2 ppg across her four-year college career (1996-2001). Her father, Jamaal Green, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles out of Miami (Fl.) in 2003, playing five seasons in the NFL. 

So since she’s been young, Green has been prepared to be successful, no matter what she does.

“I think their insight and mentality has been instilled since we were toddlers,” she said of herself and her five siblings. “They’re always like, you have to work the hardest, have to give 110% in everything. It’s just always ‘as best as you can, don’t let anybody outwork you’ is their main message.”

Green isn’t the only one of her siblings who play ball; her older brother, Jahaan Green, was a senior at Camden Eastside (N.J.) this year. And while he’s no doubt a college-level ballplayer, his younger sister could outpace everybody in her family. 

The 6-0 wing averaged nearly 18 ppg during her sophomore season at Gloucester Catholic (N.J.) as her team won 23 games, an eight-win improvement from a year before. An inside-out threat, she’s a physical presence on the court who’s tough to stop when she’s going downhill or on the offensive glass, and she finishes well through and around contact. 

With a Rise squad that features no fewer than three or four others six feet or taller, she’s looking forward to using the summer to show she can play the guard and wing in college, not just around the paint. 

“(My goal is) definitely to get better on the perimeter,” she said. “It helps when we have bigs like (Ashley Kreiger and Sophie Smith), even Addy [Nyemchek] can post up, so when they’re in there it’s easier for me to step out and work on my outside shot or drive by people.”

Green said she’s keeping the particulars of her recruiting under wraps, though she did acknowledge she has “some offers” and that they’re “coming in.” She’s in the learn-and-explore part of her journey, still only a high school sophomore, but with the idea that she’d like to be committed around this point a year from now. 

That means visits and recruiting conversations with coaches take on even more importance as she starts to really sort through what she’s looking for in a collegiate home.

“I think it’s getting more serious as to what I specifically want and what they can bring to the table and what I can bring to them,” she said. “Just to make sure I can play the position I want to play, they have the right academics, making sure everything is fine.”

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Olivia Selverian (2025 | Lady Runnin’ Rebels HGSL 17U)
Selverian came out on fire in her Runnin’ Rebels debut. 


Olivia Selverian (above) showed off her sharpshooting ability this weekend. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The Cherokee (N.J.) junior guard knocked down her first three 3-pointers, all in the first half, as the Rebels ran away to a 64-31 win over In The Zone, a Lehigh Valley-based group, in a pool play game. She finished with 17 points as the Rebels connected for 10 triples as a team, a good start for a team that’s got an HGSL title to defend from last year’s 17U group.

“We’re going to be really good this year,” Selverian said, and she’s got good reason to be optimistic — it’s a group with a lot of quality pieces. 

Selverian, Williamstown (N.J.) guard Alivia Mauz and Cherry Hill West (N.J.)’s Julia Lewis bring a good bit of South Jersey flavor to a group that also features a pair of Lansdale Catholic girls (Grace McDonough and Nadia Yemola), Unionville’s Elle Johnson, Conestoga’s Janie Preston, North Penn’s Cam Crowley, and two from Germantown Academy, Jess Kolecki and Gabby Bowes, the latter of whom was on the 17U championship squad a year ago.

A 5-7 guard, Selverian helped Cherokee into the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals this year, one of the more experienced players on a young squad with big plans ahead for 2024-25. More than just a shooter — though she finished with four treys in the win — Selverian also showed off good handles and court vision, getting to the hoop for an and-one while being grabbed with two hands.

“I think I create a lot for my teammates, being able to drive and kick it out to them, I think it’s a strong value I have,” she said. “I’m planning on adding more to that as well.”

Selverian said she’s hearing from a variety of schools at different levels, including some interest from D-Is Lafayette and NJIT, as well as “a bunch” of Division III programs; she said college basketball is in her plans, no matter what level ends up being the right fit.

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Addy Nyemchek (2026 | Philly Rise EYBL 16U)

It’s not easy to put Addy Nyemchek in the box of one specific position on the court.


Addy Nyemchek (above) won a state title with Red Bank Catholic as a sophomore. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

An easy six feet tall, Nyemchek was playing a mix of the ‘3’ and ‘4’ defensively for the Rise in her debut with the program, but to call her a combo forward isn’t quite right. She’s skilled with the ball in her hands, an excellent passer on the move, with the vision and dishing ability of a point guard. 

“It depends,” she said on her positional definition. “Kind of changes. But I would say a ‘3.’”

Whatever she is, she’s good at it. 

The Red Bank Catholic (N.J.) sophomore showed a ton in her first game in a Rise uniform, going for a 19-point, 10-rebound game in a 63-55 win over the ShoreShots program she played for a year ago; she also added four steals, two assists and a block. She put up similar numbers (15 points, 11 rebounds) in Red Bank’s NJ Non-Public ‘A’ state championship in March. 

“For me it’s making my teammates better, winning, obviously, so anything as it’ll take to win,” she said. “Doing as much as I can as possible, being as versatile as possible.”

Her outing included a deep 3-pointer, a floater, the ability to finish with her left hand in transition while defended, and a number of great passes on the move, her assist total not telling the full story.

Nyemchek comes from a hoops family. Her father Brian played at Monmouth, older sister Logan just finished up at D-III SUNY-Oswego (N.Y.). There’s almost no doubt Addy will end up playing amongst the highest levels of D-I hoops, her combination of size, skill, athleticism and IQ at her age an impressive combination.

She fits well on a Rise 16U team whose roster comes entirely from New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. It’s a group with a ton of length, including 6-3 ‘27 Ashley Kreiger (Ranney School, N.J.), 6-0 Madison Kocis (St. John Vianney, N.J.), 6-1 Sophie Smith (Red Bank Catholic), 6-1 Jahzara Green (Gloucester Catholic, N.J.) and more.

“We’re really long, lengthy, athletic,” Nyemchek said. “Really skilled, too. It was our first game together so kind of just building our chemistry and working out the little things.”

Nyemchek wasn’t willing to discuss the particulars of her recruitment, though it’s clear she’s got a healthy helping of Division I offers. Now that she’s in her 16U summer, the attention continues to ramp up, the college years starting to move closer on the horizon. 

“I’m trying to get in as many visits as possible when I can,” she said. “It’s a little busy, in-season I couldn’t, so locally I went to visit but trying to go far and see what schools, to see my options, to see what I would like.” 

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Carrington ‘CJ’ Thomas (2025 | K-Low Elite Scott 17U)
After two years at Germantown Academy, Thomas went over the river to board at the Hun School (N.J.), a new experience for the 5-foot-11 junior forward. 


CJ Thomas transferred from GA to Hun School (N.J.) last summer. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“The first couple of months, it was a struggle, being away from my family for a while,” she admitted. “But the people there just helped me get used to it.”

The Raiders played all over the East Coast, in events in D.C., New York and Pennsylvania as well as the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) competition. Thomas said she spent the year working on ability to read defenses and her jump shot, though her bread-and-butter is still around the rim. 

She showed that with a 10-point, nine-rebound outing in a win over the WeR1 Lady Sharks in a 17U bracket quarterfinal on Saturday morning, knocking down all four of her foul shots and grabbing four rebounds on the offensive end. 

She credits her quality footwork to spending 10 years of her childhood as a dancer before getting into basketball; she’s still on the step team at Hun. 

“This offseason, I want to just be more consistent and more dominant,” she said. Because in the past, I feel like I haven’t been as dominant as I should be and how I need to be, too.”

Thomas said she’s hearing from a number of Division III schools including Stevens (N.J.), Gettysburg and Scranton, among others; so far, she’s only visited Stevens, but is looking forward to getting out to more.


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