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JUCO jamboree a success at Darton

Albany Tech’s Quiondra Darrisaw looks to pass the ball into the post during Saturday’s Southeast JUCO Jamboree at Darton State College. (Staff photo: John Millikan)

Albany Tech’s Quiondra Darrisaw looks to pass the ball into the post during Saturday’s Southeast JUCO Jamboree at Darton State College. (Staff photo: John Millikan)

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Darton’s Shanae Armbrister is one of several highly-recruited players for the Lady Cavs, who officially begin the season Nov. 1 against West Georgia Tech. (Staff photo: John Millikan)

ALBANY — Darton State College was buzzing with hundreds of basketball players, coaches and recruiters, who gathered at the junior college campus Saturday for the Southeast JUCO Jamboree, which featured 28 women’s basketball teams from around the country.

Among the teams playing in scrimmages throughout the day were Darton, Albany Tech, South Georgia Tech and Andrew College, who all played a trio of hour-long scrimmages in front of over 100 coaches and recruiters from four-year colleges.

“It’s been a phenomenal tournament. We are really excited about it. It was a great opportunity for our kids to get great exposure and play against great competition,” Darton coach Lea Henry said. “I have heard that our facility sells itself and that they can’t believe how nice our campus is. And (the other coaches and recruiters) have been very happy with how the event is being run.”

Darton freshman Shanae Armbrister, a former UGA commit and Top 10-ranked shooting guard in the nation, has played in similar events before and says it raises her game to compete in front of recruiters.

“It gets me going, because I know I have to perform to their expectations,” she said. “That’s a plus to those coaches here watching these games, because you try to be on your ‘A’ game the entire time.”

For many teams, it was their first opportunity this fall to play against somebody other than themselves.

“This helps us grow as a team and learn how to work with each other,” Dougherty grad and Albany Tech sophomore Jasmine Lavant said. “This is something to help us get ready for the season.”

Albany Tech officially opens the season Oct. 26 at Thomas University, while Darton and South Georgia Tech start on Nov. 1 and Andrew begins play on Nov. 2.