As more and more Bay Area athletes that have been huge successes as professionals have started giving something back to the youngsters, it comes as no surprise that Jason Kidd has joined their ranks.
When Kidd retired in 2013 after a 19-year career in the NBA a feature on him appeared on Cal-Hi Sports asking the question “Is Jason Kidd State’s All-Time Best?”
In the end Kidd was rated as the No. 2 prep hoopster behind Bill Walton, but when he left St. Joseph of Alameda (now St. Joseph Notre Dame) Jason was the first ever four-time All-NorCal choice, had led St. Joseph to two state CIF Division I titles, set national and state records for career assists and career steals, and was a two-time Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. In his final game at the old ARCO Arena in Sacramento, he had scored more points in the first three quarters than the entire team at Mater Dei of Santa Ana in what ended up as an impressive 59-37 victory.
Kidd may be No. 2 in that poll but to the girls of the new Jason Kidd Select club basketball team he is definitely number one.
According to Jason Kidd Select Director of Development and Coaches Armando Pazos, “I met Jason through a mutual friend and he expressed interest in getting involved with a youth basketball program in the Bay Area where he grew up.”
“Jason Kidd’s involvement with our program delivers instant credibility and awareness which helps to attract top players from our community and throughout the West Coast,” Pazos continued. “His financial support through the Jason Kidd Foundation helps underwrite much of our operating expenses which relieves our athletes from fundraising responsibilities so they can concentrate on becoming better players.”
The fact that Kidd has chosen to support the girls game is a welcome breath of fresh air since few male basketball stars have taken that route. The “A Message from Jason” on the jasonkiddselect.com web site pretty much sums it up, while at the same time soliciting additional support of his efforts.
“After playing in the NBA for twenty years and coaching for the last eight years, I have realized that there is a dire need for proper coaching and training at the youth level. The thrust of Jason Kidd Select National and Regional Programs is to provide our female athletes with the foundation and tool to grow academically and athletically while also providing opportunities for better competition.
My goal is to provide female athletes with an elite basketball program where they will flourish and achieve their dream of a college scholarship. Your contribution will help fund the academic and athletic support that would put these talented young women on track for a successful college and professional careers. I am committing time and resources to the program, and I hope through my non-profit JK Select Foundation, we can provide the players of our program with opportunities that they would not have otherwise been afforded.
I hope that you will consider making this worthwhile investment in the players of Jason Kidd Select and the empowerment of these young, strong female student-athletes.”
The program is two-fold. Jason Kidd Select is comprised of elite female athletes who train and tour the country competing in tournaments. Team Kidd is a regional program with many elite athletes on those teams as well. Their middle school teams are also known as Team Kidd with the goal in mind to make the Jason Kidd Select teams.
Pazos coaches the Jason Kidd Select 17U and other teams as well, and first-year St. Mary’s-Stockton heads coach and former San Jose State associate head coach Alle Moreno, who is the club’s Program Director, coaches the Jason Kidd Select U16 team.
“Alle and I have known each other for close to five years,” Pazos said. “When this opportunity came up she’s the first person I thought of to help lead the program. With her playing and coaching experience at the collegiate level it just made absolute sense.”
It’s not just Pazos and Moreno that comprise the Jason Kidd Select coaching staff. Among the other coaches are some well known names in the Bay Area, including Skyline College women’s head coach Chris Watters, and Bishop O’Dowd girls head coach Malik McCord, plus others.
The first real splash Jason Kidd Select made was at the July 6-8 NCAA certified first annual West Coast Clash event put on by Coach Buck Matthews at the new 12-court Roebblen Center in Roseville during the first part of the July NCAA Viewing Period.
The West Coast Clash consisted of eight divisions and 60 teams total starting with a 12U division all the way up to a 17U Elite bracket that had eight teams.
In the end the 17U Elite division came down to two Kidd teams, Jason Kidd Select 17U versus Team Kidd NorCal 17U for the championship of the top bracket.
NorCal 17U fought hard and shot the ball well, and even led 32-30 at the half, but Select 17U took over in the second half in a 70-63 victory.
Cal-committed Amaya Bonner of Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland only had two points in the first half but the 6-foot wing finished with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. With time running down and Select 17U only leading 66-63, Bonner made her final four free-throw attempts to close out the scoring. Using our viewing period evaluation criteria Bonner had the highest rating of any girls observed and garnered a 2.5 stars rating out of a possible perfect four stars.
Washington-commit Teagen Brown of Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills made her presence known when needed. The 5-foot-11 wing had a three-pointer followed by a rebound and put back that gave Select 17U its biggest lead at 66-53 before NorCal 17U had a final 10-0 run to make it close. Brown finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds with two assists. For her performances throughout the West Coast Clash Brown garnered 2.35 stars.
Chloe Williams, a 6-foot-2 center from Bishop Montgomery-Torrance earned 2.0 stars and finished the title game with 17 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots. Laguna Creek-Elk Grove point guard Ahrray Young fell just short of two stars and had 10 points in the title game win. Another girl that made some marks and had three assists and three steals but not enough for two stars was St. Mary’s-Berkeley point guard Anela Thomas. Also falling just short of two stars is three-point shooting St. Francis-Mountain View guard Natalija Grizelj and Oak Ridge 6-foot-4 power forward Ella Ray
No girls from NorCal 17U earned two stars, but Sabrina Ma of St. Ignatius-San Francisco shot the lights out and was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points on five three-pointers. Ma also had three assists.
Other NorCal 17U players that made some marks were St. Mary’s-Stockton incoming senior guards Sophia Lee and Tai Sherman.
With Jason Kidd Select having so many teams in the West Coast Clash field the Select 16U team played up in the 17U Red division and once again in an all Kidd championship the 16U girls were an easy 60-30 winner over Team Kidd NorCal 16U.
Jordan Lee of St. Mary’s-Stockton showed why she is considered one of the top players in California from the Class of 2024. The 5-foot-10 incoming sophomore wing led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals despite limited action in the second half. Lee showed some real solid skills and tied Brown for the second highest rating with 2.35 stars.
Several other girls played very well for Select 16U and fell just short of two stars. Charlotte Climenhage, a 5-11 incoming junior wing from Folsom nailed two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals, Hannah Golan of Branson-Ross added seven points and 11 rebounds, Harper Peterson of Whitney-Rocklin had nine points, and incoming sophomore point guard Dominique Nesland of Xavier Prep of Phoenix, Arizona, who picked up an offer from Weber State, showed solid skills and had four points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Incoming Moreau Catholic-Hayward junior point guard Dymonique Maxie didn’t score but had four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
NorCal 16U was led by scrappy Oakland Tech incoming junior point guard Erin Sellers with 15 points including two 3-pointers.
In all the games observed the only other girls to garner 2.0 stars was Clovis West-Fresno incoming junior Etoyah Montgomery of Fresno Lady Heat U17. She played well but her team was overmatched in a 75-41 loss to Jason Kidd Select 17U.
A name to look for from Lady Heat 17U is 6-foot-2 incoming San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno freshman Alexis Swillis. She made a huge impression on the over 60 college coaches that attended the West Coast Clash.
With the 10-day dead period complete teams are now moving on to the second half of the NCAA July Viewing period.
Jason Kidd Select will be playing in two tournaments in Georgia, the July 21-22 #BCSSummerInvite followed by the July 23-25 PBR End of the Game.