OAKLAND, Calif. – The Myles McGowan Coaches Classic on August 21-22 at Merritt College in Oakland uncovered some bright new talent while also showcasing some juniors and sophomores already on the radar screen of college coaches and analysts.
The event is produced by former college coach and longtime Northern California girls basketball analyst and Gems in the Gym girls basketball writer Kameo Williams. He started it 15 years ago at Benicia High as a way to remember Myles McGowan, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of five. A portion of the proceeds goes to an organization chosen by the family who regularly attend the event.
Over 100 girls attended the two-day event with some girls as young as 11 and 12 competing on one of the 10 teams.
As promised by Williams not only were there some gems on display but a few genuine budding stars.
She didn’t exactly steal the show but Clovis West sophomore point guard Athena Tomlinson showed just why she was worthy of a Cal-Hi Sports All-Freshman First Team selection last season. On a Clovis West team that finished No. 3 in the final state rankings, the 5-5 Tomlinson averaged 10.1 points, 3.2 assists and 3.1 steals per game as a freshman.
According to Williams, in two games on Saturday Tomlinson was in double figures with lots of assists and steals. She displayed some great moves, no-look passes, shot the three – you name it. When we saw her on Sunday in a game where sophomores and juniors were mixed together on two teams in a quasi all-star game, Tomlinson had eight points, five assists and four steals.
Another sophomore who was very impressive in the Sunday mixed game was Berean Christian center Gabrielle Abigor. The 6-3 Abigor showed why she was a Cal-Hi Sports All-Freshman and Division V First Team honoree. In fact, statewide, Abigor was the only freshman on the D5 team. She dominated even against the older girls and finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots.
One of the highlights of the Sunday mixed classes game was the two coaches with the same first name: 2008 Berkeley graduate and star Jazmine Perkins, and 2008 Sacred Heart Cathedral graduate Jazmine Jackson, a star on the Fighting Irish 2007 team that went 33-0 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The incoming freshmen played in the Fresh Faces division and didn’t have an all-star type game on Sunday but continued to play each other with team Faith, Peace, Hope and Love as the team names.
There were a lot of talented Fresh Faces but incoming Sheldon freshman Breyana Kimmons of Love gave some love and got some love when Williams and the other coaches named her the MVP of the 2025 class. Kimmons may only be 5-3, but she’s lightning quick and fundamentally sound in every aspect a point guard should be despite her youth.
By all accounts from Williams and other coaches that saw her on both days, Kimmons had three solid games over the weekend, although we only saw her on Sunday. In that game she took over down the stretch of a 58-52 Love victory and finished with 16 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals. In the first game on Saturday, Kimmons had 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. In the second game on Saturday she finished with 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“I didn’t think I played that well in the second game on Saturday but I’m really happy to be named MVP,” said Kimmons, whose game in some ways resembles former Windward High, UCLA and current WNBA star Jordin Canada, although it’s hard to gauge since we saw her against other incoming freshmen. One thing is certain and that is Simmons was the cream of the crop at the Myles McGowan event and we predict she will be an impact player in high school in the Sacramento Metro area and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section.
Three other incoming freshmen that were very impressive were Riley Walls, Nyah Bunton and AJ Gambol.
Walls, a 5-9 wing from Clovis West who can play inside or out, has good size, can finish and is a good shooter. Not long after muscling home a rebound, she hit an NBA-range three-pointer. Watts also hit a second long trey.
Bunton is a 5-4 point guard from St. Mary’s-Stockton. She can shake and bake, makes the no-look passes, and she connected on two three-pointers outside the college circle at Merritt. She also made a thread-the-needle pass for an assist to Norett Lewis, 5-9 wing from McClatchy who can also play inside or outside with good size and jumping ability. According to Williams, who really likes her game, Lewis had a double-double on Saturday.
The third freshman that really impressed us was Gambol, another 5-9 wing from Pleasant Valley-Chico. She’s long, hits the boards, plays defense, and she can shoot the three-pointer.
She had to leave to catch a flight back to Orange County, so we didn’t get to see her play, but Williams and every coach and analyst that did see Gabby Williams play, felt the Mater Dei sophomore was one of the best at the event.
Several other girls impressed us on Sunday and made a favorable impression on Williams over the weekend.
Kaida Angelo, a 5-8 sophomore from Mt. Eden-Hayward, impressed Perkins with her hustle and defense.
Zakara Cooper, a 5-8 freshman from Berean Christian, is athletic and acrobatic.
Calonni Holloway, a 5-9 wing from Vanden-Fairfield whose father Michael Holloway coaches the Vanden boys, showed solid fundamentals and can hit from outside the arc.
The 5-7 Sacred Heart Cathedral freshmen Sawyer twins, Jania and Jamia, played well all weekend.
Another Vanden coach’s daughter, 5-6 left-handed guard Taytum Johnson, whose mother and father Allison Johnson and Jake Johnson are co-head coaches of the Vanden girls, made some favorable impressions. She can shoot the three, but the difference this year is she defended aggressively and put the ball on the deck.
Last but not least comes the juniors. We only saw a few of them in the mixed all-star game but the girls that impressed us most was 5-11 wing Trinity Zamora of Piedmont. She can mix it up inside and hits the boards, lead the fly, hit the mid-range shot as well as the three-pointer. She finished with 15 points (one three-pointer), eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
Another junior that Williams said may surprise some folks this season is Gianna Ghio, a 5-8 combo guard from Amador Valley. She’s a solid defender and can knockdown the mid-range jumper. Ghio had 14 points and five rebounds in the mixed class game.