Girls basketball players to watch in Tampa Bay

Get to know these singers, budding authors, future surgeons and more.
Plant guard Honor Culpepper drives the baseline before making a layup during first-half action against Academy of the Holy Names last season. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Plant guard Honor Culpepper drives the baseline before making a layup during first-half action against Academy of the Holy Names last season. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Published November 27

Brylee Bartram, Sr., Seffner Christian

Height/Position: 5-9, G

Last season: Averaged 19.4 points and 5.5 rebounds 

Know this: Bartram has been a member of the Crusaders varsity since the eighth grade. She is committed to the University of Florida, which would make her the second Seffner Christian player to play in the SEC. Chelsie Hall is currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt. 

Kendal Cheesman, So., Plant 

Height/Position: 6-3, PF

Last season: Averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds 

Three things to know

1. Her favorite thing to do off the basketball court is going to the beach.

2. She loves to sing. When she's bored, she said she will start to sing. 

3. The tip of her middle finger came off when she was 8 years old. She got it caught in the gate of a pontoon boat. 

Honor Culpepper, Jr., Plant 

Height/Position: 5-8, G

Last season: Averaged 14.9 points and 4.7 rebounds 

Three things to know

1. She is a music lover and has grown up taking piano lessons and playing the drums.

2. She is more than just an athlete. Actually, she is also a "mathlete." She has been on Plant's math bowl team for the past two years. 

3. Her father is former Bucs defensive lineman Brad Culpepper. She said she grew up hiking and snowboarding and trying to keep up with her family members. She considers her older brothers, Rex and Judge, her role models. 

MyKaylyn Davis, Jr., Seffner Christian

Height/Position: 5-8, G

Last season: Averaged 7.8 points and 4.2 assists

Three things to know

1. Davis is known to friends as "KK.'' She has multiple Division I offers, including one from Arkansas. 

2. Davis considers herself artistic. She likes to draw, dance and act. 

3. Davis transferred from Tampa Catholic.

Anabel Ellison, Jr., Tarpon Springs 

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds; made 33 percent of 3-pointers

Three things to know

1. She skipped kindergarten, which she said always makes her the youngest person in her class.

2. She has a pet rabbit who thinks he is a dog.

3. She prefers pumpkin pie over birthday cake. 

Zoi Evans, Height/Position, Wiregrass Ranch

Height/Position: 6-2, C

Last season: Averaged 11.6 points and 12.2 rebounds 

Know this: Despite being a freshman, Evans was named the Bulls' Player of the Year as voted on by her team. She led the team in points, rebounds and blocks (2.6 pg). 

D’Mya Ferguson, Jr., Clearwater

Height/Position: 6-0, F

Last season: Averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds 

Three things to know

1. Ferguson's father passed away in her freshman year. She said she has been motivated ever since to dedicate each season to him. 

2. She is a collector of shoes with about 15 pairs. "My shoe size grew and I keep having to start over."

3. She loves to travel and hopes to combine her two passions in the future. She would like to play basketball overseas. 

Carrollwood Day’s Tarriyonna Gary (21) drives to the basket as Miami Country Day School’s Emani Theodule (24) attempts to block her out during last year’s Class 4A final. (CHRIS URSO | Times)

Tarriyonna Gary, Jr., Carrollwood Day

Height/Position: 5-8, G

Last season: Scored 15 points and averaged 6.0 rebounds.

Three things to know

1. She sees herself as the team's comedian. "I like making my teammates laugh."

2. She likes listening to music before games. 

3. Her favorites foods are macaroni and Big Macs. 

K’Nisha Godfrey, So., Tampa Bay Tech

Height/Position: 5-9, G

Last season: Averaged 12.7 points 

Know this: She was the only player on last year's team who had double digits in points.

Tanyia Gordon, Sr., Tampa Catholic 

Height/Position: 5-10, G

Last season: Averaged 11 points and 6.3 rebounds 

Know this: Gordon is committed to Florida Atlantic University.

Kanesha Hall, Jr., Northeast

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 11.6 points 

Three things to know

1. Hall isn't afraid of anything on the basketball court, but off the court she said she is very scared of spiders. 

2. Her dream vacation would be to visit Dubai, Saudi Arabia. 

3. One of her favorite things to do is go out to dinner with her family. 

Kaliah Henderson, Sr., Robinson

Height/Position: 5-9, G

Last season: Averaged 27.3 points and 5.7 rebounds

Three things to know

1. She lived in Japan for five years and didn't return to the United States until her sophomore year at Robinson. Her father is in the civil service. She said she can speak a few words of Japanese but is not fluent. 

2. Her first introduction to athletics was competitive cheerleading. 

3. She considers herself a gym rat. She spends at least five days per week, even in the offseason, working on her game. 

Seytia Hill, Sr., Weeki Wachee

Height/Position: 5-11, F

Last season: Averaged 11.2 points and 13.2 rebounds 

Know this: Hill was a Times' first-team all-North Suncoast selection as a junior. 

Nyla Jean, So., Plant 

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 11.2 points and 3.8 steals.

Three things to know

1. She is passionate about music. She said she loves to sing, play and listen to music. "Music has been a part of my family for years."

2. She also is big into fashion. She loves doing hair and makeup. 

3. When she is not playing basketball she said she loves doing gymnastics. "I like flipping; it keeps me in shape." 

Olivia Jones, Sr., Clearwater

Height/Position: 6-1, F

Last season: Averaged 13 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Three things to know

1. Jones is a three-sport athlete for the Tornadoes. She plays volleyball, basketball and runs track. 

2. She is a dancer. A really good dancer. She has travelled to Paris and Germany for competitions. 

3. She has big plans for her future. She would like to go to medical school and become a surgeon.

Britney Lacerte, Jr., Gulf 

Height/Position: 5-6, G

Last season: Averaged 11.8 points and 3.0 rebounds

Know this: Lacerte hit 40 percent of her 3-point shots last season. 

Nykisha Macon, Sr., Lakewood

Height/Position: 5-6, G

Last season: Averaged 12.5 points 

Know this: On a team full of scorers, Macon excels on defense. She averages nearly seven steals per game. 

C.C. Mays, Jr., Seffner Christian

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 10.1 points and 4.7 rebounds

Three things to know

1. Mays is a transfer from Carrollwood Day. She started as a freshman and sophomore, and led the Patriots to the state tournament both years. 

2. Do not play Mays in video games, especially Call of Duty Black Ops 2.  "I consider myself a video game master." 

3. She is writing a fiction book titled Incognito. She said it takes place in the future, where slavery is reinstated. The heroine, Cynthia, is an author who escapes slavery by pretending to be white. She becomes famous, is found out, jailed, ultimately released and leads the charge to end slavery. 

Weeyah McGill, Jr., Carrollwood Day

Height/Position: 6-2, C

Last season: Averaged 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds 

Three things to know

1. She loves to sing.

2. She started off swimming and playing tennis before switching to basketball.

3. She has a half-brother named Marc. "Many people believe that I am an only child."

Tiasia McMillan, Jr., Carrollwood Day

Height/Position: 6-0, F

Last season: Averaged 14 points and 6.8 rebounds 

Know this: McMillan was a Times' first-team all-Hillsborough County selection as a sophomore. 

Summer Quigley, Sr., East Lake

Height/Position: 5-11, G/W

Last season: Averaged 26 points and and 8.6 rebounds

Three things to know

1. Off the basketball court, Quigley is into martial arts. She is a second degree black belt and has won national competitions.

2. Her older brother, Ryan, is the head coach at East Lake. "We are looking forward to winning a district championship this year."

3. She is committed to play at Saint Leo next fall. 

Lakewood guard Diana Rosenthal fights for some space while driving to the hoop in last year’s aClass 6A state semifinal. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)

Diana Rosenthal, Sr., Lakewood

Height/Position: 5-9, G

Last season: Averaged 16.5 points 

Three things to know

1. Her favorite television show is Rick and Morty. 

2. While serious on the court, Rosenthal said she is the player who keeps the team loose off it. "I'm really funny." 

3. Her favorite animal is a jaguar. Her favorite food is any type of pizza or hamburger. 

Jalyn Spurlin, Sr., Armwood

Height/Position: 5-10, G

Last season: Averaged 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds 

Know this: Spurlin transferred from Tampa Bay Tech. 

I’ces Utegg, Jr., River Ridge 

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 20 points 

Three things to know

1. She is originally from Virginia and moved to Florida four years ago. She first started playing basketball in Virginia.

2. She is double jointed in both shoulders, which is a pretty cool party trick. 

3. She admits she spends most of her time in a gym working on her basketball skills. But when she has some rare free time she usually watches her favorite television show, the anime Naruto. 

Triniti Youngblood, So., Brooks DeBartolo

Height/Position: 5-7, G

Last season: Averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds

Three things to know

1. She loves to dance.

2. She considers herself a "sneaker head" and has a large collection of shoes.

3. She also considers herself a people person and likes to be active in the community. 

Macey Zeh-Arndt, Jr., Lakewood 

Height/Position: 6-2, C

Last season: Averaged more than 12 points and six rebounds

Three things to know

1. She has a passion for art. She is building a portfolio for college and plans on taking an AP course in art next year.

2. She is a voracious reader. She said she reads all genres of literature. When she was younger, she said her mother would take books away from her as punishment. 

3. She loves horror films and haunted houses. "If I'm frightened by it I'm happy."

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