One of Cayman’s top basketball prodigies is scoring kudos in the United States.
La-Torae Nixon played a substantial role as her team, the IMG Academy Ascenders, won the Crete-Monee First Annual Cross Town Shootout in Chicago, Illinois this month. Nixon, 16, nabbed nine points, eight rebounds and two steals in the opening game of the tournament. From there, Nixon would score 16 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Ascenders as they won the Florida Hoops Challenge in Orlando to improve to 10-0 for the Fall campaign.
Johnny Esfeller of IMG Academy said Nixon, a high school sophomore, made a lasting impression.
“Another standout through the weekend was the sixth woman off the bench, La-Torae Nixon,” Esfeller said. “Nixon, playing through injuries, has been a key role player throughout the season and was a critical asset in Orlando. Nixon provided quality minutes when she was on the floor.”
The Chicago competition featured nine of the top-ranked programs in the Midwest region of the U.S. while the Orlando tournament showcased 14 of the top programs in the Southeast region battling it out in a round robin format. The most notable team IMG beat in those games was the Dr. Phillips Panthers, who have won two of the last three ESPN High School Invitationals (2011 and 2013, runner-up in 2012).
Nixon has two more years of US high school eligibility left before heading on to college. At her current standard of play, she is primed to play at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Division One level and beyond. Indeed, Nixon has already had interest from U.S. colleges with technical director for Cayman basketball Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro saying in passing that Eckerd College and Furman University have approached him for more information on the budding prodigy.
Based on her past and current exploits, Nixon is primed for a full college basketball scholarship. She received a $60,000-plus scholarships as part of the Young Nation Builders Scholarship Fund program. Nixon was one of three scholarship recipients, with the others being baseball player Dequan Bennett and hoops starlet Hannah Parchment, the latter is in the midst of the controversy surrounding the program due to her father Richard Parchment’s political affiliation.