By Craig Sager II
Rising junior Asia Durr led St. Pius to the Class AAA basketball title this season and is considered by many to be the top recruit in the country. The southpaw guard can live in the paint and is lethal with her pull-up jumper. Durr was invited to Colorado Springs May 23-27 to tryout for the 2013 USA Women’s U16 National Team among a field of 124 of the nation’s best players. In the end, Durr was one of 12 to make the final cut.
“There is nothing Asia does that surprises me,” said St. Pius head coach Kyle Snipes. “We knew it would be a huge honor and I expected Asia to go up there and do what Asia does.”
Practice for the 2013 Federal International Basketball Association (FIBA) takes place in early June, and Durr will travel back to Colorado Springs for it. The (FIBA) Americas U16 Championship will be June 19-23 in Cancun, Mexico, with the United States opening play against Brazil. The women’s teams have participated in two prior FIBA Americas U16 Championships, compiling a 10-0 event record and capturing both gold medals.
The busy schedule is something Snipes says Durr can handle. Durr plays on her Pistols AAU team during the offseason, and is a year-round player.
“That is one of the things you got to love though, said Snipes. “Even with all this going on, Asia will still be at our stuff in the offseason, that’s just the type of player and teammate she is.”
St. Pius witnessed the full arsenal from Durr last season. While combined with rising senior guard Jasmine Carter, the Golden Lions stayed in attack mode all season.
“Durr is a scorer and will always have a drive-first mentality,” said Snipes.
While continuously getting to the hoop, Durr absorbs the contact and gets to the foul line regularly. She shot almost 90 percent from the stripe last season, making 130 of 152 attempts. Durr averaged 22 points per game. The young star still studies the game as if she is a work in progress, and Snipes has watched first hand as Asia continues to progress her already polished game.
“Asia’s three-point shooting is evident of that,” said Snipes. “Last season she was shooting just 27 percent on Dec. 29 and finished the season all the way at 37 percent.” Snipes credits a streak where she knocked down 16 of 23 three-pointers towards the end of the season as well as intense practice for her dramatic boost.
With a title to defend, Snipes said, “June is the time when we lay the foundation for our season. I wish I could have her all offseason, but we all know what we can expect from her.”
Durr said, “When I heard my name [on the final roster] the first thing I did was thank God because none of this is possible without him. It was a great feeling because I was very stressed.”
Durr was the only Georgia player to make the final roster.