July 18, 2008
BEAVERTON, Ore –
When the Florida State women’s basketball program signed Chasity Clayton to a National Letter of Intent, the coach staff knew it was getting one of the top players in the country. In addition to excelling on the court, Clayton is one of the top athletes in the country and next week she’ll have a chance to prove that against the nation’s best.
This spring Nike launched SPARQ Training with a new campaign called “My Better.” Last month Clayton (Alexandria, Va.) traveled to Hampton, Va. to get tested in five areas that make up the SPARQ rating. Her score of 64.53 was fifth in the nation and the top performers are being flown to Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. For the “My Better” Finals, July 23-24.
SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. It offers dynamic performance training designed to make young athletes better on game day. A ‘SPARQ Rating” enables athletes to track their progress, measure improvement and benchmark against other athletes worldwide. A SPARQ basketball rating is comprised of five athletic drills: 30-yard dash, agility cone drill, over the back power throw, one-step vertical jump and 30-second endurance jump. Height is also taken into account for the basketball rating duo to the unique aerial demands of the sport.
“One of the things that we first noticed about Chasity during the recruiting process was her athleticism,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “In addition to being one of the best basketball players on the court, every time we saw her, Chasity was also one of the best athletes in the gym. This competition is a great opportunity for her to showcase her overall athleticism. And by working with our strength and conditioning coach Dave Plettl this summer and during preseason, she will continue to use her athleticism to take her game to the next level.”
Clayton was ranked in the top 25 national in three of the five areas – 30-meter dash, cone drill and over the back power ball throw – including a No. 5 ranking in the 30 meter dash with a time of 4.15 seconds. She averaged 7.97 seconds in the cone drill and threw the power ball 42 feet, nine inches. Clayton also had a 27-inch vertical jump and jumped 56 times in 30 seconds.
This fall Clayton made up the eighth-best recruiting class in the nation as ranked by Hoopgurlz.com. She was a three-year Honorable Mention All-American by Street and Smith. A VISGBA Division I All-State selection in 2006, she also earned adidas Top Ten Camp Underclass All-Star accolades that year. A four-star recruit, Hoopgurlz has her listed as the eighth-best player at her position.
Last season Clayton averaged 14.1 ppg. and 10.0 rpg game to earn Honorable Mention Virginia Prep Groups AAA as well as All-Metro Honorable Mention honors. The last two seasons her Edison High School team, under the direction of Dianne Lewis, has been the Class AAA runner-up at the state tournament.