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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Elauna Eaton of Nettleton plays during a basketball camp Monday. Nettleton is one of the state's top uncommitted players in the 2020 class.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Nettleton coach Jason Smith said incoming senior Elauna Eaton is more than just a scorer and she showed off a variety of other skills on Monday afternoon at the Arkansas women's basketball team camp.

One of the top uncommitted players in the 2020 class in the state showed a deft eye to deliver the ball to teammates, quickness on defense. She even crashed the defensive boards to start a fast break against Class 3A Jones, Okla., which finished 23-3 last season.

But Smith said her passing often gets overlooked.

"That's the hidden talent that probably does get masked a lot on the high school level and even on the EYBL level," Smith said. "Because everybody thinks of Elauna as she's the scorer. She's this shooter. But I think wherever she lands collegiately she's going to impress a lot of people with her ability to see the floor and make some passes that high-level kids are going to catch and finish."

She's ranked as the No. 47 prospect in the country in the 2020 class and No. 11 shooting guard. Eaton showed why early on Monday. After her first shot rattled out, she made four consecutive shots -- a jumper, a spin and scoop, a driving layup and a 3-pointer.

The 5-11 guard already has more than 30 scholarship offers in hand, including from Arkansas. But she's concentrating on becoming a better player this summer, specifically working on her rebounding and defense.

"Getting stronger, getting faster, just getting prepared for the college level is the main key," Eaton said. "Because being a freshman college is really tough. The ball-handling has gotten better. I didn't use to be able to bring the ball up very well. I'm trying to be a better leader on the floor."

She will also be narrowing her list of prospective schools after Nike Nationals in July, probably naming a top five.

Described as soft-spoken, Smith said Eaton's almost unselfish to a fault on the basketball court, but she also knows more will be asked of her this season.

Eaton averaged 16.2 points per game for the Lady Raiders, who finished 25-3 last season and lost in the second round of the state tournament to eventual state champion Little Rock Christian. But also added 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.6 steals. She also shot 37 percent from the 3-point line (66-of-177) and 48 percent from the floor overall.

"She's the consummate teammate, but I think this year she understands that there's a little bit more of the load on her shoulders and I think she's excited about that. Very unselfish with her teammates, maybe to a fault. But at the end of the day she knows, I know and the rest of them know where the ball needs to be with the clock running low.

"There will be nights where we will lean on her to get 25 or 30."

She also has a high basketball IQ, Smith said.

"She's one of those hoop heads," Smith said. "She's watching it whether it's NBA, WNBA, college. She knows the game and that's pretty neat. It's been really fun who's under that much of the spotlight still find time to be the same sweet kid she's always been."

Eaton said basketball has helped her grow as a person on and off the floor.

"It's not just a sport," Eaton said. "You travel around the world. You meet new people. You learn a lot of things in life, not just on the court. You gotta learn how to be a leader. You gotta control things and it's all things that help you in life."

Sports on 06/11/2019

Print Headline: Nettleton's Eaton more than just a scorer

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