The Cal Stars — traditionally one of the top programs on the Nike Girls EYBL circuit — are 5-0 after the first weekend of play and are averaging 71.8 points per game.
One of the reasons is Aquira DeCosta, a 6-3 wing who is ranked as the top player at her position and No. 5 player overall in the Class of 2018 by the espnW HoopGurlz rankings.
DeCosta averaged a team-high 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in EYBL play in Hampton, Va.
The next sessions don’t come until early July when 16 teams will play in Indianapolis and 16 will play in Louisville. The finals are July 9-12 in Chicago.
During the high school season, DeCosta plays for traditional California power St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.). She was selected to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Girls Basketball Team in the fall.
Last summer, she played for the USA Basketball U17 World Championship Team that won bronze and in 2015, she played on the U16 team that won bronze at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship
USA TODAY High School Sports caught up with DeCosta to talk EYBL, recruiting and more.
Q: What were your impressions of how you played last weekend?
A: This is my last summer playing EYBL ball so I really want to stand out throughout the whole summer. For this first weekend of EYBL, I feel like I did well at Boo Williams and even stood out to some. My rebounding — both offensively and defensively — scoring, and defense was on point, and as a team, we really turned some heads and shook a lot of people. I’m excited to see what’s to come for us in the future.
Q: What are you trying to work on during the EYBL season?
A: Throughout the EYBL season, I am really focused on working on my shooting in the mid-range area and beyond the perimeter as well. I want to be more consistent in that so it can really increase my game and take it to another level.
Q: How is playing EYBL or travel ball different than your high school season?
A: Playing EYBL ball is more competitive than playing high school ball. In high school — especially for my team — we have a handful of games where they aren’t competitive at all and are easy games to just blow the other team out. In EYBL, every game you play is going to be a battle regardless and that’s what I love about it. I’m the type to really show my capabilities in the toughest games so EYBL really benefits me even more.
Q: What’s the latest on your recruiting?
A: I’ve been really looking at the ones who are on my five right now — Baylor, Tennessee, Louisville, South Carolina, and Cal. But I am still keeping a few programs in the back of my head to just see how my relationship goes with them and to see how I bond with each of those programs I am looking at. But as of right now, things are going really well and I’m blessed to be able to be in such a position with the recruiting process.