Wednesday, November 14, 2018

THREE TO THE FARM, November 13, 2018

Stanford's Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer announced the signings of three of the country's top players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Fran Belibi (Aurora, Colo./Regis Jesuit), Hannah Jump (Los Altos Hills, Calif./Pinewood School) and Ashten Prechtel (Colorado Springs, Colo./Discovery Canyon) will join the Cardinal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Stanford's class is again one of the nation's strongest, collectively rated No. 3 by espnW HoopGurlz.

"These three young women are some of the best players and among the brightest minds in the country and we are thrilled to be able to welcome them to Stanford," VanDerveer said. "They've worked incredibly hard to be in this position, possess the on-court skills we look for in our players and are just as impressive off the floor. They will fit in seamlessly with the culture we have here and I'm confident they will thrive on The Farm. We cannot wait to have them on campus watch them grow over their four years."

The three are strong additions to a program which has won a pair of national championships, been to 31 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, advanced to the Final Four in seven of the past 11 seasons and the Elite Eight in 11 of the past 15, won at least 20 games for 17 straight years and claimed a combined 35 Pac-12 regular season and conference championships.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ashten Prechtel is Stanford bound: Discovery Canyon senior hoops star ready for final prep season

Discovery Canyon senior Ashten Prechtel is a four-year starter. She will sign her national letter of intent with Stanford on Nov. 14. 

Danny Summers,, November 12, 2018
Ashten Prechtel scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds in her first varsity basketball game as a freshman for Discovery Canyon on Dec. 1, 2015.
Those numbers, her 6-foot-5 frame and flowing red hair gained her a plethora of attention from opponents, media and college recruiters.
Four seasons later, Prechtel is preparing to lead her Thunder teammates to what hopefully will be another successful season before she takes her game in the road to Stanford.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Top-five junior Cameron Brink committed to her dream school

Jacob Rayburn,

Cameron Brink fell in love with Stanford during a basketball camp she attended before seventh grade. Since then she's become the No. 2 prospect in the 2020 class and the gifted 6-4 center committed to her self-described dream school Oct. 28.
Brink was Oregon's player of the year for 2017-18, won gold with the U17 team at the FIBA World Cup in June and was an impact player on Cal Stars Nike EYBL -- probably the top travel team in the country with 2019 No. 1 player and Stanford target ... . Senior Stanford commit Hannah Jump also plays for the team.
Cal Star coach Kelly Sopak was not surprised to hear Brink committed to Stanford.
"Cam has always been fond of Stanford and all that the program has to offer," he messaged Cardinal Sports Report. "Both (head coach) Tara (VanDerveer) and (associate head coach) Kate (Paye) did a tremendous job of establishing a great rapport with her and made her feel right at home. She is a bright kid with a long career ahead of her on the hardwood, but she sees herself as much more than a basketball player. Stanford can really help her for her career and life after hoops."
Brink's experience on the visit reinforced everything she's come to like about the university and program. It was a packed schedule on each day she and she was accompanied by Jump and now fellow 2020 commit Jana Van Gytenbeek, who is a top-50 player and one of the best point guards in the country.
Stanford's coaches took advantage of it being homecoming week to have the recruits spend time with Nneka Ogwumike and Candice Wiggins. The all-time great Cardinal were back on campus for the reunion weekend. Brink trains with former Cardinal Susan King, who also trains Ogwumike and used to work with Wiggins.
"To meet some of the most amazing players ever was a dream come true," Brink said.
But it was interacting with the current team that left her in awe of the program she will join in June of 2020.
"The major thing I saw this weekend, that I knew before but it became clear to me when I was there, is that the team is a sisterhood," she said. "If there’s one word to describe the team I would say sisterhood. They’re so close. I have never seen a group of people more supportive of each other or have more fun together. They enjoy being with each other every day for six hours.
"(Junior) Anna Wilson was my host and she said the whole time she’s been on the team they haven’t had any drama. It’s an amazing group of girls. Any unofficial I took to other colleges there was no other group of girls as welcoming to me. It really shows you the character that people at Stanford have not just in athletics, but all around."
Brink went to a class with DiJonai Carrington, attended the Stanford vs. Washington State football game, ate meals with other athletes and also went to restaurants in the area to get as much of a "Stanford student" experience as possible.
Brink also is well aware of the character and qualities of the Stanford coaches. She's been around them and communicated with them for years.
"On the court they push you and they’re going to get on you if you’re not doing your job," she said. "They’re also the first ones to congratulate you and tell you that you’ve done a good job. Off the court they’re role models in your life. Through my years keeping in contact with them I feel like I’ve made a good relationship with every single one. I feel really comfortable with them."
Brink has been in the Cal Stars program since she was in the eighth grade. Sopak has watched her develop from winning one-on-one due to her height to becoming a "a dominant versatile force."
"She is college ready right now as a rim protector," he said. "Her ability to defend and protect the basket in the paint area is extremely rare. She allows us to do so much defensively on the perimeter."
Her future teammates also offered their evaluations of Brink on and off the court.
Jump: “Cameron is one of those players that I absolutely love to play with. She is a great teammate and always brings a lot of energy to practices and games. Off the court, Cameron is a really fun person to be around. We have grown close playing together this summer and I can’t wait to spend three years with her at Stanford!”
Van Gytenbeek: “On the court she’s tough, smooth, really athletic and moves really well, especially for how tall she is. She blocks everyone and has a beautiful shot. Off the court she’s a ball of energy and she’s so funny. She definitely brings out the best in me.”
Brink isn't resting now that she's made a critical decision for her future. She is using her commitment as motivation to do even better in the classroom and she knows she still has plenty of work to do improving her already impressive skill set.
"I want to focus on building my strength and developing my shot, so I can try to reach my full potential when I’m there," she said. "I have to keep pushing."

Peak Performer of the Week: Ashten Prechtel, Discovery Canyon volleyball

Chhun Sun,, November 5, 2018

Ashten Prechtel's future is filled with possibilities.
Let's start with the big one: This past summer, she committed to Stanford to play at the highest level of women's college basketball. Her other top choices were UCLA and Texas.
But that opportunity starts in about a year.
For now, she's the star of the Discovery Canyon volleyball team. And this past weekend, the 6-foot-5 senior proved that she's tough to mess with as she led the Thunder with 32 kills and 18 blocks in two wins in the Class 4A Region 2 tournament.
Her numbers were more than enough to land this week's Gazette Preps Peak Performer honor. Last year, she earned the same accolade as a towering force for the Discovery Canyon girls' basketball team.
She could have skipped volleyball this season, but she said she had plenty of reasons to give it one last shot. That list includes her teammates, her coaches, staying active and a possible state title run.
"We all had high expectations coming in from last year," said Prechtel, whose Thunder appeared in their first state tournament in 2017. "Everyone knew we were going to be a better team. Everyone has improved a lot. And so, we came into the season expecting a lot."
So far, Discovery has lived up to the hype.
The Thunder (23-2) landed a No. 2 seed in the state tournament, a three-day event at Denver Coliseum, starting Thursday. It will be a double-elimination, Olympic-style crossover bracket, unlike last year when it operated on pool-play schedules.
This could mean they face No. 1 Lewis-Palmer (24-1), the defending state champion, in the final. The Rangers have steamrolled through their competition this season — including handing Discovery Canyon a rare defeat last month in Pikes Peak Athletics Conference action.
The Thunder believe they could win it all. And part of the reason, Prechtel said, is because of their setbacks. They used the losses as motivation. The first was the toughest, as Discovery Canyon opened the season losing to Erie in three straight sets.
It was a much-needed wake up call.
And since then, the Thunder have dominated — thanks in large part to Prechtel, whose 158 blocks is second in the state behind Ellicott's ...(159).
"We have a really good opportunity to win state this year," Prechtel said. "I want to do everything I can to make that a reality. I think our team feels the same way."
Just the Facts
Ashten Prechtel, Discovery Canyon
Sport: Volleyball
Year: Senior
Position: Middle blocker
Favorite movie: Mulan 
Favorite athlete: LeBron James
Little known fact: She can play a few songs on the piano.
Highlights: The senior was dominant in two Class 4A Region 2 wins last week, collecting 32 kills on just one error and 18 blocks to lead the Thunder to the state tournament. Prechtel's 158 blocks is second in the state behind Ellicott's ..., who has 159.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Five-star Southridge High (Ore.) center Cameron Brink commits to Stanford

Logan Newman,, October 28, 2018

Five-star center Cameron Brink committed to Stanford, according to a tweet she retweeted from account @CalStars. 
Brink is the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2020, per ESPN.
Huge congratulations to @cameronbrink22 on her commitment to @
- CalStars (@CalStars) October 28, 2018.
She took part in the USA Basketball U17 Women's team that won gold over summer, averaging 3.6 points and 4.6 rebounds over nine minutes per game.
The 6-foot-5 center won the 2017-18 Oregon girls basketball Gatorade Player of the Year award after posting 17.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.1 assists per game as a sophomore.
Brink, from Southridge High School (Beaverton, Ore.) has been longtime friends with Steph Curry - her mother, Michelle Bain-Brink, was roommates with Sonya Curry, Steph's mom, according to ESPNW.
The two basketball players have worked together to improve her game, particularly at the free throw line, the article said.
As a freshman, Brink averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks, according to the same ESPNW article.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

How Ashten Prechtel grew from poky kid to 'Little Keith' to big-time prospect

Walter Villa,, October 18, 2018

When Ashten Prechtel was in seventh grade and growing into her tall frame, she repeatedly finished last in running drills with her club team. The coach, who wanted all the players to finish simultaneously, decided to give Prechtel a daily head start of about 10 feet.
"It was terrifying to be called out by the coach," Prechtel said. "I felt the whole team was judging me."
After practices, Prechtel went home mortified. And cried. She worked on her speed and pushed herself to play catch-up.
After a few months Prechtel no longer needed that head start.
"It showed me I had to keep persevering," Prechtel said. "Looking back, it motivated me."
Now a 6-foot-5 senior post player at Discovery Canyon (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Prechtel is the No. 16 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 for the 2019 class.
She got her first recruiting letter from Stanford during her freshman year, and it was the Cardinal that won an intense recruiting battle for her, beating UCLA and Texas.
Prechtel, who committed to Stanford on June 25 and will sign Nov. 14, has a 4.5 weighted GPA.
On the court, she led Discovery Canyon to its first playoff win last season, averaging 18.4 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.
"She's a once-in-a-lifetime kid," said Heath Kirkham, who was hired to coach Discovery prior to last season and led the team to a 15-9 record.
"After I got the job, I heard we had a 6-5 kid. I thought, 'OK, that's nice. She will help us on defense.' But then on the first day of practice, she backed up and hit 10 3-pointers in a row, and she showed she can handle the ball. I thought, 'Wow, this is amazing. This is big time.' "
Kristina Schneible, who was her teammate last season but is now in college, said Prechtel remains grounded.
"Everyone knows Ashten," Schneible said. "She's nice and funny and down to earth."
Prechtel, the oldest of a group of three sports-loving siblings that includes two brothers, comes from an athletic family.
Her mom, Elayne, played Division I volleyball at Drexel University as a 6-foot-1 middle blocker. Prechtel's father, Matt, is 6-5 and was a professional rower.
Elayne claims Prechtel is "taller than her dad," perhaps by as much as an inch.
"But she doesn't want to be measured anymore," Elayne said.
Prechtel's athleticism first manifested itself in football. A huge Denver Broncos fan, she could always throw a tight spiral. In third grade, she was chosen as the quarterback of a boys' flag football team, and, even today, she said she can heave the ball about 50 yards.
Volleyball is another of Prechtel's talents. She has played on Discovery's varsity team for three years, but basketball is her passion.
In fact, it's common for Prechtel, 17, to go through a grueling volleyball practice, come home and grab her two favorite rebounders -- Mom and Dad -- and drive a few blocks to the gym at The Club at Flying Horse.
"She won't leave until she makes 300 shots, including NBA 3-pointers," Matt Prechtel said. "And she can get that done in 45 minutes to an hour.
"Her mother will have one basketball, and I will have the other. We just keep firing her the ball."
Besides the support of her family, Prechtel has had two important mentors over the past three-plus years: Danielle Page, 31, and Keith Van Horn, 42.
Page, a 6-2 former University of Nebraska basketball standout, was born in Colorado Springs and represented Serbia in the 2016 Olympics, where she won a bronze medal. Page is now an assistant coach at Toledo.
"Danielle told us that Ashten is way ahead of where she was at a similar age," Elayne Prechtel said. "Danielle worked with Ashten whenever she wasn't overseas playing basketball."
Van Horn was the second overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, and he played nine years in the league as a skilled, 6-10 forward.
And because two of his daughters played basketball, Van Horn got involved in coaching them and now runs Colorado Premier, the largest AAU program in the state.
Once Prechtel joined Colorado Premier, Van Horn began to mold her game. He has been so successful that people started calling Prechtel "Little Keith."
"There's certainly some resemblance in size, ability to shoot the 3 and play inside and out," Van Horn said. "People often ask me if she is my daughter. We've spent the past few years correcting people."
Van Horn said Prechtel's intelligence is an important part of her skill set.
"Ashten has a lot of natural gifts," he said. "She's very intuitive in terms of her basketball IQ. She gets it, and she wants to be great.
"Look, she has really nice touch, she's a strong rebounder, and she's developing into a great shot-blocker. What she has to do next is polish her post game so she can be consistently dominant."

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Discovery Canyon girls' basketball standout Ashten Prechtel picks Stanford

Vinny Benedetto,, June 27, 2018

Ashten Prechtel got her first recruiting letter from Stanford just after her freshman basketball season at Discovery Canyon. Monday, a phone call from the Cardinal coach ended her recruitment.

click to story

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Discovery Canyon's Ashten Prechtel announces commitment to Stanford women's basketball

Ryan Casey,, June 26, 2018

Ashten Prechtel, one of the state's top girls basketball players, has committed to Stanford.
Prechtel will be a senior at Discovery Canyon in the fall. She announced her commitment to the Cardinal on Twitter. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Jenna Brown has been named to the USA Basketball U18 National Team that will compete at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in early August.
Brown made the 12-member squad from a pool of 35 hopefuls following three days of camp over the weekend at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The team will reconvene for a training camp on July 20 before it departs for the FIBA championship, which runs from August 1-7 at a location still to be announced. The top four finishing teams at the championship will earn a qualifying berth into next summer's 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

click to story

Monday, May 28, 2018

Viral dunker Fran Belibi looks forward, backward and, of course, up at USA Basketball trials

Dan Olson,, May 26, 2018

Fran Belibi recently crossed a big item off her to-do list. So now is as good a time as any to do some reflection and projection.