This was a massive summer in terms of platforms and exposure for grassroots women's basketball. Whether it was shoe circuits, television broadcasts or invite only camps, we have seen the overall platform of the women's game take things to a new level.
This weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer schedule with two events in New York City: the 4 Tha Culture Girls Basketball Tournament at Rucker Park (hosted by various stakeholders in the girls' grassroots game) and Nike's World Basketball Festival which will host numerous high school athletes as well as brand representatives.
The traditional shoe circuits: Nike EYBL, Adidas 3SSB, and Under Armour Next continued to pour in resources this summer and teams are receiving more sponsorship than ever. An independent circuit has emerged, the Select 40, which hosts 17U, 16U, and 15U championships as well as 300+ colleges represented at the event to recruit from its talented pool.
Nike has added the Nike Basketball Academy in Portland, Oregon where 16 high school athletes spent a few days learning and competing in an elite setting.
Adidas debuted Eurocamp on the girls' side which included 20 of its top players practicing, touring Italy, and competing against two teams of European all-stars. Adidas also hosted 50 athletes for its annual All-American Camp in Southern California.
Under Armour hosted Curry Camp, a hands on skills camp with Stephen Curry and his team of coaches and trainers -- the Future 60 saw 36 of its top players attend. The Elite 24 game -- a traditional summer ending outdoor game of All-Stars -- also was held this year in Atlanta.
The circuits saw multiple stops during the NCAA live recruiting periods. Each one of these hosts multiple All-American candidates, hundreds of future college players, and countless college coaches on the baselines evaluating, recruiting, and competing for players.
Which teams won these respective circuits and who can we expect to see at the next level? These programs all have players committed to play Division I basketball and also have prospects still being recruited in all classes.
Location: Rock Hill, SC
15U Champion: Minnesota Stars
16U Champion: Elevate Elite (VA)
17U Championship Game: Hardwood Elite (CO) 44, San Antonio's Finest (TX) 36
The SA Finest roster has four Division I commits from the 2024 class: guard Rian Forestier (ESPNW No. 51) to USC, guard Anastacia Baker to Tulane, forward Averi Aaron to Louisiana Tech, and wing Kalysta Martin (No. 63) to Texas Tech. They have one of the top point guards in the 2025 class in ESPNW, No.27 LA Sneed, (her recruitment includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Cal, and Kansas State). They also compliment these players with two of the top 25 players in the class of 2026 in guard Bella Flemings and forward Amari Byles, currently ranked No. 12 and No. 18,respectively, and being recruited by every major conference in the country.
The Hardwood roster's foundation is 2025 Center Sienna Betts, the 6-foot 4 player that is currently ranked No. 3 in the class. She is considering 11 programs: South Carolina, Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, Southern Cal, UConn, Oregon, Arizona, and Michigan. They surround her with a relatively young lineup that should stay intact for next year that includes 2025 sharpshooting point guard Quinn Van Sickle (offers include UTSA, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Marquette, and Utah State), fundamental guard Rylie Beers (offers include Belmont, Cal Baptist, and Abilene Christian), athletic shooting guard Gianna Smith (Colorado State commit), and a forward who had a particularly breakout summer in Brooklyn Stewart (offers include Oklahoma State, BYU, NC State, Louisiana Tech, San Diego State, Fairfield, and Idaho). Their two rising seniors are guard Damara Allen (offers include Loyola Marymount, UTSA, Wichita State, and St. Mary's) and forward Elizabeth Gentry (offers include Vanderbilt, Xavier, Davidson, and Creighton).
Although low scoring, the game was intense. SA's Finest was physical with Betts inside defensively while the offense was led by Aaron, who delivered multiple NBA range threes early on.
With Betts limited, but still scoring points, Finest jumped out to a 16-6 lead early in the second thanks to Byles and Flemings work on the boards. The team carried a 28-21 lead into halftime as Baker and Forestier both hit key threes late in the half to keep the Finest lead intact.
Betts was the difference in the second half both on offense and defense, however. Her court vision allowed Hardwood to cut the lead to three, 30-27, with 9:32 left in the game.
The teams went back and forth down the stretch with Sneed, who finished with four assists, and Betts trading baskets before Betts took over. Over the final five minutes she made an impact at every level from sinking clutch free throws, to blocks on the other end. Her effort, along with an effective press, secured the 3SSB championship, 44-36.
Betts finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in the win to complete a summer where she has a strong case to be considered for the No. 1 spot in the class.
Aaron led Finest with 11 points and Byles had seven rounds.
Location: Chicago, IL
15U Champion: Jersey Gemz (NJ)
16U Champion: Philly Rise (PA)
17U Championship Game: Cal Sparks 68, All Iowa Attack 55
This was a rematch of a game played in pool play earlier in the tournament, a 82-72 Cal Sparks victory.
In a game aired on ESPNU, shooters were on display. Cal Sparks' 2024 ESPNW No. 6 Kennedy Smith (3-for-5), No. 25 Taj Avant-Roberts (3-for-6), All Iowa's 2024 No. 98 Aili Tanke (3-for-6) and 2025 No. 9 Divine Bourrage (4-for-4) all hit at least three 3-pointers and all four shot 50% or better from beyond the arc. Tanke is an Iowa State commit.
Bourrage's recruitment this summer really blew up. She has offers from all over the country including, but not limited to: Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Iowa State, Iowa, Ohio State, Rutgers, Georgia, Indiana, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, Michigan State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kansas State, Baylor, Minnesota, and North Carolina State.
Smith is one of the elite players in the 2024 class. She follows up a 2023 California state championship at Etiwanda HS (with teammate Puff Morris) with the Nike EYBL championship in July. Her final schools are: Duke, USC, UCLA, Louisville, and South Carolina. The matchup with All Iowa forward 2025 Journee Houston was highly anticipated. Houston is ranked No. 35 in the class and recently committed to Iowa.
Taj Avant-Roberts (final five schools: Cal Duke, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Kentucky) and Morris (2025 No. 23, recruitment includes San Jose State, Michigan, Cal, Mississippi State, USC, SMU, Duke, Illinois, Arizona State, and Yale) helped the Sparks get out to an early lead. Smith and Ryann Bennett (final five: UC Davis, Rice, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, and San Jose State) continued the Sparks impressive start before Avant-Roberts went on a 7-0 run by herself. The Sparks led 28-8 at the end of the first quarter.
All Iowa settled in and found their groove, however. Bourrage hit multiple 3s, scored inside on some post-ups and created for others, including a Tanke 3.
With the Sparks offense out of sync, All Iowa found their offense but trailed at half 41-33.
The momentum continue to swing to All Iowa at the start of the third quarter. Bourrage hit a 3 to start the second, 2025 ESPNW No. 19 Jordan Speiser (current offers: LSU, Ohio State, Minnesota, TCU, Arizona, Michican State, Utah, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Kansas, Purdue, and Arkansas) got a touch in the pinch post and she delivered with a 3-point play. Cal Sparks bounced back after 2024 No. 100 Janessa Cotton (recent offers include Colorado, Michigan, and Kentucky) recorded a three-point play and Smith and Avant-Roberts connected on threes to reestablish a double-digit lead that lasted the rest of the game.
Smith had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists while Avant-Roberts had 19 points, 7 rebounds (4 offensive), 6 assists, and 4 steals in the win. Janessa Cotton finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds and Morris contributed nine points.
Bourrage had 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists while Speiser and Tanke each had 11 points for All Iowa.
Location: Manheim, PA
15U Champion: Slaam Basketball (PA)
16U Champion: Legends U (OH)
17U Championship Game: Jason Kidd Select 65, Legends U 60
The Select 40 league is the premier independent league in the country and the championships did not disappoint. Between Jason Kidd Select (yes, that Jason Kidd -- current Dallas Mavericks head coach and Bay Area native where the club is based) and Legends U, the two teams currently have eight Division I committed players and a host of others being recruited at that level.
For Jason Kidd Select, two ESPN top 100 players have yet to commit: No. 8 Jordan Lee and No. 84 Harper Peterson. Both No. 52 Kamryn Mafua, a forward, and power forward Gabrielle Abigor are committed to Cal while guard Lola Donez is a University of San Diego commit who steadily improved throughout the summer. 2026 No. 19 Devin Cosgriff came off the bench to provide a perimeter spark for them all season. She has offers from all major conferences in the country.
Legends U has a pair of commits going to Michigan State together: point guard and No. 87 Sinai Douglas and athletic wing/forward Hellen Holley. Physical guard Seini Hicks is headed to Ohio State, guard Leila Wells is committed to Marquette and wing Brooklyn Vaughn is going to Loyola-Chicago. 2026 guard Saniyah Hall is currently No. 3 in her class and one of the major focal points of the summer in regards to top players in the country.
This championship game was a close contest throughout. Saniyah Hall (2026 recruit with offers from: Oregon, UConn, LSU, Arizona State, UCLA, South Carolina, Arizona, Pitt, Miami, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Michigan State, West Virginia, Louisville, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida State, Maryland, and Ohio State) was absolutely outstanding for Legends U as was Kidd's Mafua.
Jason Kidd Select utilized the two-man game with Lee and Mafua early and it led to some nice draw and kick reads for Lee. Hall continued to be hot for Legends U and showed her full arsenal of scoring pull up jumpers, post ups, and fancy footwork to create space for fadeaway jumpers as well.
Mafua showed her versatility early with spot up 3-point shots as well as offensive rebounds and put backs while Hicks countered with her own versatility by playing the wing and forward positions and filling the holes for her team -- particularly on the glass. Lee and Harper Peterson helped close out the half on a run to take a 36-34 deficit into half.
In the second half, Jason Kidd Select dug deep and had to find some gritty buckets from Lee and Mafua. Legends U battled, but could not get shots to fall late. Mafua scored for Kidd Select on one of their go-to sets: a double high ball screen that sets up a curl for the first screener (Mafua), and then Lee scored off a leak out and long rebound that led to a layup that put them up six late. Legend U couldn't over come the late lead and Select won, 62-58
The major takeaways from this game were the balanced rosters of talent as well as the emergence of Hall for Legends. These two squads have a depth of talent and those players will be successful at the next level because of their development style.
Lee will likely choose between the likes of Duke, South Carolina, Stanford, and Texas while Ijiwoye committed to Stanford this summer. Peterson is considering Stanford, Florida State, Utah, and Washington.
Under Armour Next
Location: Hamilton, OH
15U Champion: Northwest Blazers (OR)
16U Champion: FBC United (GA) 17U
Championship Game: FBC United (GA) 73, Supreme Team (TN) 59
Two teams from the southeast that are very familiar with each other squared off in this final at Under Armour. Fun fact: ESPN No.3 Jaloni Cambridge is the starting point guard for FBC and her father, Desmond, is the head coach of the Supreme Team. Jaloni's final schools are LSU, Baylor, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, Louisville, and South Carolina.
Another item that should be noted: FBC United's Joyce Edwards, current No. 2 in ESPN HoopGurlz rankings, missed this event as she was with the U19 USA Basketball team that won gold in Spain in July. She has trimmed her recruiting list to Stanford, LSU, South Carolina, Clemson, Maryland, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.
FBC United has been arguably the most dominant club in the country the last five years. Their last three graduating classes have produced a combined 10 All-Americans.
Supreme Team got off to a hot start as 2024 Georgia Tech commit and No. 79 Chit Chat Wright hit a 3 before she split a ball screen and drew help and rotation which led to a kick out for another 3. This time it was to 2024 Jania Akins, who hit multiple threes in the game (her recruitment includes: George Washington, Belmont, Furman, and Mercer). On their next possession, ESPNW No. 62 Danielle Carnegie got the switch she wanted out of a ball screen and drove to the rim for the score.
Cambridge delivered FBC's first points by getting an offensive rebound and a put back and some quick zone defense led to a Zamareya Jones steal and a layup. Jones is No. 17 in 2024 and has trimmed her list to five schools: Mississippi State, Georgia, NC State, Florida State, and Alabama.
Wright and Akins hit back-to-back threes to build a 21-12 lead. FBC hung around in the half, however, and Jones hit a late 3 to make it a three-point deficit, 30-27, at halftime.
The second half was all FBC. Supreme Team started the half off with a turnover and FBC took the lead on a Shakirah Edward 3 (her recruitment includes Central Florida, Mississippi State, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, and NC State).
Once FBC took the lead to start the third quarter, they never relinquished it. Kelsi Andrews patrolled the paint and had some power finishes in the paint. FBC kept Supreme Team off the offensive glass and limited them to one-and-done possessions. This allowed FBC to get out in transition and they were just relentless in their attacking of the paint after increasing the tempo of the game.
FBC won the Under Armour title, 73-59. The run this club has made over the last five years deserves some study as they have built a small dynasty. All signs point to them having multiple McDonald's All-Americans again this year. They were led in scoring by Cambridge with 22 points. Ohio State commit Ava Watson led the team with seven rebounds while Zamareya Jones tallied four assists.
Wright had 18 points, 2025 forward Jekerra Butler had 10 rebounds, and Danielle Carnegie had 4 assists for Supreme Team in the loss.