- Glenn Nelson, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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For most of 2008, post prospects flowed out of the Lone Star State like Texas tea. Three of the top five prospects -- and five of the top 28 -- in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100 were tall timber from Texas.
Get used to it. Texas staying big and brassy in 2009 is just one of the things we saw for the new year when we looked into our crystal ball. Here are nine players to watch for 2009 and a fearless prediction of their future.
1. Kelsey Bone, Sugar Land, Texas: The most high-profile prospect in years to wait until the spring to sign her national letter of intent, the Dulles High School senior will cause many in her home state to jump for joy by revealing Texas A&M as her college choice.
2. Brittney Griner, Houston, Texas: Already the national record holder for most blocks in a high school game (25), this Nimitz High School senior will be the first girl since Candace Parker to be allowed to compete in the McDonald's All-American dunk contest -- and she'll win it with a 360-degree reverse jam.
3. Bria Hartley, North Babylon, N.Y.: The North Babylon High School junior will help usher in a new generation of point guards who play and think through the game at hyper speed. Hartley will vault up to the upper echelons of the ESPN HoopGurlz 2010 rankings and commit to St. John's, also helping to solidify a women's basketball revival in New York.
4. Kaneisha Horn, Birmingham, Ala.: Blossoming into the best one-on-one attacker to come along in the girl's game for some time, the Ramsay High School junior will ascend to No. 1 in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100 for 2010 in April, then commit to Tennessee in August, giving both the Lady Vols and Connecticut two top-10 commitments a year after each had none.
5. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Santa Ana, Calif.: Well on her way to becoming the best scorer in the girl's game in some time, the Mater Dei sophomore will shoot the Monarchs to a CIF state championship in March, help lead the U.S. to a FIBA U16 Americas title in June, then frustrate frothing college recruiters by skipping the summer circuit.
6. Chiney Ogwumike, Cypress, Texas: At a June press conference in Palo Alto, Calif., the Cy-Fair High School junior will make the much-anticipated announcement that she will be joining sister Nneka (seated near the podium) at Stanford, giving coach Tara VanDerveer her highest-ranked prospect since signing Jayne Appel almost three years ago.
7. Shoni Schimmel, Portland, Ore.: Based on the stir caused by Ohio State freshman Samantha Prahalis, college programs in search of point-guard pizzazz will line up for Schimmel, a Franklin High School junior, and one of the game's next stars.
8. Morgan Tuck, Bolingbrook, Ill.: The Bolingbrook freshman sensation pairs up with Mosqueda-Lewis in Buenos Aires, which is scouted heavily by the likes of Australia, Italy, Spain and Russia -- all shuddering at the thought of a new generation of American women who can both handle and shoot the basketball.
9. Elizabeth Williams, Virginia Beach, Va.: A month after leading Boo Williams Summer League to the Nike Nationals championship, the 6-foot-3 Princess Anne High School sophomore will be named the top post prospect in the ESPN HoopGurlz Super Sixty for 2011.
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American Selection Committees, he formerly coached girls club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.