Pictured is the Arkansas Hoopsters basketball team. Members of the team are (top row left to right): KT Sharpe of Nettleton, Melanie McKuin of Dexter, Kate Junkerfield of Pocahontas, Heidi Shetley of Kennett, Emily White of Pocahontas, Kenzie Wallace of Creek Wood and head coach Spencer Hoffman; (bottom row left to right): Haley Hicks of Dyer County and Dakota Reynolds of Dexter. Not pictured is coach David Crockett.
Pictured are Haley Hicks of Dyer County and Dakota Reynolds of Dexter who were selected to the all-tournament team at the Music City Madness in Nashville, Tennessee, over the weekend.
Dakota Reynolds of Dexter High School and Hailey Hicks of Dyer County High School were named to the all-tournament team at the Music City Madness.
The Hoopsters are coached by Spencer Hoffman and David Crockett.
"Our program is setup for players who have the desire to play college basketball," Hoffman said in a phone interview with Daily Statesman Monday. "We put our players in front of college coaches and allow them to receive some exposure. We are pretty much a year-round program. We were fortunate that our 2015 class had five kids receive scholarships."
Kailen Shelton of Manilla signed with Harding University, Ali Tucker of Nettleton signed with Lyon College, Sidnee Bopp of Marmaduke signed with Western Kentucky University, Menley Long of Brookland signed with Loyola University and Lexi Perry of Marked Tree signed with Mineral Area College after playing for the Hoopsters last season. Dexter's Paige Patterson also signed with Evangel Christian University after playing for the Hoopsters in 2014.
Members of the 2015 Hoopsters squad are: Reynolds of Dexter, Hicks of Dyer County, Heidi Shetley of Kennett, Melanie McKuin of Dexter, Kate Junkerfield of Pocahontas, Emily White of Pocahontas, Kenzie Wallace of Creek Wood and KT Sharpe of Nettleton.
"We really think this class of 2016 will also have at least five kids who are able to sign and play college basketball so we are pretty excited about this class as well," Hoffman said.
Pictured left to right are Dexter's Melanie McKuin, Kennett's Heidi Shetley and Dexter's Dakota Reynolds. All three are members of the Hoopsters Basketball Academy.
"The NCAA certified events are only in big cities," Hoffman said. "The closest ones to us are in Nashville and Atlanta. They have them in other cities, but one reason we like to stay fairly close is because we want the local colleges to have an opportunity to recruit our players. For instance, this past weekend Southeast Missouri State, UT Martin and Arkansas State attended the event we were at and watched our kids play. We want to get our kids in front of the regional schools because not only do we want our kids to play college we want them to be able to play close enough to home parents, family and friends can go watch them."
Hoffman said the Hoopsters, which are in their third season, compete in basketball-related activities from March to September each season.
"I have to give a lot of credit to the parents and kids," Hoffman said. "We literally play a basketball season in the offseason. Our kids are required to come to workouts. I have to compliment the kids and parents for the commitment they make to be part of what we do. A lot of people don't realize these kids spend their summer, spring and fall playing basketball. When we wrap up in September they get about four weeks off and then their high school season starts. It's definitely a commitment and I tip my hat to the parents and players for that."