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Through the pandemic, many high school players were not able to play in real game action. That was not the case for the girls that play for the Cal Stars AAU team.
Head coach Kelly Sopak is very confident in the players he selected this season. He says that the pandemic allowed the coaching staff more time to evaluate the athletes. Before the tryouts they were able to do training for three weeks, so they had a good idea of the players they wanted to select. Sopak stated that this was the most thorough evaluation he ever had.
Sopak does not just look at basketball skill when picking a team; he knows there is much more involved than that. He typically looks at three aspects when deciding whether to select a player.
“It is the overall skill of the player, their attitude towards the game and the package of the family,” Sopak said. “The family takes a big part in how we assemble our team.”
Sopak says the upperclassmen players to watch from his program are Nevaeh Asiasi, Asha Sra, Talana Lepolo and Nyah Epps. The underclassmen in the program to look out for are Amanda Muse and Nia Anderson.
Sopak is clearly excited about the rosters he has assembled for this season. He makes the pandemic seem like somewhat of a blessing in disguise when speaking of his roster. Sopak stated that he would put his teams up against anyone in the Bay Area confidently. Look for the Cal Stars and the mentioned players to make some noise in the AAU circuit this year.
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