By Gary Knox

Minneapolis South High School’s Tayler Hill will go shoulder-to-shoulder next week against the top prep girls basketball players in both the United States and Brazil. The 2007 USA Basketball Women’s Youth Development Festival runs June 13th-17th at  the U.S. OlympicTraining Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The elite 36 represent the country’s best high school junior and senior players. The young ladies were chosen for their superior athleticism and versatility. The American prep phenoms will be divided into three teams: Red, White and Blue. They’ll undergo rigorous skills clinics and compete in three preliminary round games before advancing to the semifinals and medal round. Competition will be fierce. Hill will be one of 12 players on the USA Red Team. The 5’10” guard said, “I’m excited not nervous. I plan to work hard. I’m happy for the experience.” Hill won’t travel to Colorado alone. “I’m glad my mother is going with me. She’s a big supporter. My dad makes me nervous”, Hill laughed. Monique Hill said, “I  LOVE watching her play. Tayler has a passion for the game. I’m going to Colorado Springs to cheer her on!”

Hill’s father is head coach of  her AAU team. Paul Hill has led the Minnesota NC Heat to five state championships, 12U, 13U, 14U, 15U and 16U. Coach Hill said, “ I think this will be a measuring stick for Tayler to see what she needs to work on. I’m kind of nervous in a good way.” Last Sunday, Tayler Hill scored 38 points against the Minnesota Stars-Hested in the AAU State Championship semifinals at Cooper High School. Hours later in the finals, she put up another 32 points against North Tartan-Larson to win her 5th straight state championship title with the NC Heat.

During the regular season for Minneapolis South, Hill averaged 27 points per game as a sophomore, making her the number one scorer in the Metro for 2007. The Minneapolis South Lady Tiger has been a varsity starter since 8th grade. Hill is a 3-time First Team All Metro Player. She has scored over 2,000 high school points and is on target to become Minnesota’s all time leading scorer. The state record is currently held by Kati Ohm with 3,694 points. Hill’s enormous talent, hard work and dedication have earned her the rare invite to compete among the nation’s elite girls prep basketball players. Coach Hill said, “This is something well earned. It’s exciting that Tayler can get out there and play with that kind of competition all in one place. I’m confident that she will do well.”




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