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One local athlete is improving her game while gaining national exposure participating in an AAU summer traveling squad. New Albany’s Micha Washington stands out in a crowd with her 6’2 frame, which led the coach of the Mississippi Hoop Dream to pursue the Lady Bulldog for his squad.
“I moved to the area this past year and I had the opportunity to watch New Albany play a couple times,” Dream coach Moses James said. “I liked her game and thought she would be a good addition to the squad, so I recruited her to join.”
Washington and the Dream have had the chance to play in several tournaments across the nation, including locally at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. As an Adidas sponsored club, national attention is drawn to these tournaments, as several college coaches attend looking at possible recruits.
“It’s exciting to see the coaches at the different games,” Washington said. “It definitely makes you want to work harder and play better.”
James noted that one aspect that Washington has brought to the team is her energy, and he mentioned how her aggressiveness has increased throughout the season, which is something her high school coach, John Stroud has been working on with her.
“I’ve noticed that she’s talking more on the court and she’s become a lot more aggressive,” James said. ‘There are a lot of players who are looking at division one programs for college ball, and Micha has improved and is starting to receive that kind of recognition.”
“I think it’s great that she has improved on her aggressiveness,” Stroud added. “Micha has a ton of ability that’s untapped and she has a good head on her shoulders. Her dad and I have worked with her in her earlier years on her being more aggressive, and if she improves in that area, I think having her and Jazmine Spears down low will be a good 1-2 punch.”
Washington set a goal to work on becoming a better post player, and hopes that her work this summer will help to create many problems for opposing teams in the post, as they will face her and Spears.
“I’m hoping to not have to rely so much on my teammates and just to be able to do my half,” Washington explained. “I think we would be a very good combo, maybe unstoppable, if we both bring our game. We’re going to be pretty good next year, and the team has a bright future.”
The Dream have had a successful season so far, receiving an invitation to an invite-only tournament, hosted by Candice Parker of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
“The top 24 Adidas teams are selected for the Candice Parker tournament,” James explained. “It’s an exciting opportunity for the team to receive nation exposure and to get the names of the girls out there.”
The Dream recently participated in a tournament at Samford University in Birmingham last weekend, as well as several other tournaments, and will continue to play throughout the summer.