Let’s say there’s a production, and the auditions are over, even though there are some parts still available. Then you and only you are granted an exclusive tryout after all the other aspirants have been sent home.
That’s the position that Spalding girls’ basketball seniors Aleah Epps and Torri Chestnut will find themselves in at 10:30 this morning when they take the floor for the ESPNU-televised National High School Invitational semifinals at Georgetown Prep‘s Hanley Center.
Chestnut and Epps, key players for the No. 3 Cavaliers, are awaiting college scholarship offers, unlike signed teammates Jade Scaife (UNC-Greensboro), Camille Calhoun (Virginia Commonwealth) and Sierra Clark (Saint Francis, Pa.). But unlike almost every other unsigned player in the country, Epps and Chestnut have another shot either to close deals or to attract new suitors.
They might have two shots. If the Cavaliers beat Dillard (Fla.) today they would face either Life Center Academy (N.J.) or Dr. Phillips (Fla.) in the NHSI final at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Epps, who informed three college coaches by e-mail that she would be playing on national TV on Friday. “Even for coaches that didn’t see me play they can see me [Friday] and that makes my chances better than they were already.”
The 5-foot-4 Epps, who hit a meaningful shot in the Cavaliers’ double-overtime win at No. 6 Riverdale Baptist this season, was a first-team all-IAAM choice along with Scaife and Calhoun. The college that Epps has been in most contact with is Central Connecticut, where former Spalding player Raven Makins is a freshman guard. Epps has visited the New Britain, Conn., campus.
The 5-foot-7 Chestnut, who turns 18 today, is most interested in the College of Charleston, the only school she that she has officially visited. She averages 8.2 points in the Cavaliers’ balanced lineup.
“A lot of coaches have been recruiting me, and I’m pretty sure that a lot more will be looking at this game,” Chestnut said. “There were a lot of coaches recruiting Camille and Jade, and they’ll be watching. It’s basically kind of an audition.”
In this case, there are a lot of parts yet to be cast.
“I’m getting a little attention,” Epps said, “but I would like some more, because I would take anything I can get. I’m not going to turn anybody away.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 39
PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT
Check out highlights from Damascus’ impressive win over Churchill.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Girls’ Basketball: Spalding vs. Dillard (Fla.), 10:30 a.m. on ESPNU
Gonzaga topped the Little Hoyas, 4-3, last season, their first win in 25 meetings in the series.
The Winter All-Mets have arrived. Check out the players of the year and who made the cut in basketball, indoor track and field, swimming, hockey and wrestling. Also go behind the scenes at the photo shoot with interviews and an impromptu dunk contest. It’s all right here.