For the last three summers, Spirka has been fine-tuning and finessing her basketball skills with the Albany City Rocks AAU team. Spirka said she learned about the Albany City Rocks through her friend Corey Rusin. Rusin played for the Albany Eagles (the former AAU team) and she encouraged Spirka to try out. Since then, Spirka has traveled to several states and played with some of the top female basketball players in the Northeast.
Playing AAU has paid off for Spirka. She played three straight years for Twin Valley’s varsity basketball team, earned the starting point guard position, was co-captain in her sophomore year, and was named to the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen in her junior year. Now a video of Devon’s playmaking abilities has surfaced on the Internet for college scouting purposes. “Playing AAU is definitely different than high school. It shows you what skill level you need to have to play in college, it’s a different level,” said Spirka.
The Albany City Rocks played four games at the U.S. Junior National Championships. The championships were held at the Capital Sports Complex in Washington, DC, and the University of Maryland at College Park. This year, Spirka stepped out of her familiar role as a point guard and played as the Rock’s shooting guard instead. She averaged five rebounds, eight points, and four assists per game during the tournament and while her assists were lower than what she’s accustomed to at Twin Valley, Spirka said she was glad to play at a position she’s less familiar with.
The Rocks had an overall record of 2-2. They beat teams from Virginia and Ohio and lost to teams from Georgia and New York City. Spirka said the team barely missed the playoffs, but they were still glad about what they accomplished. “We lost a real close one to Georgia. The team from New York had a player who’s ranked one of the top five seniors in the country right now and we were just asleep the whole game,” laughed Spirka.
Spirka said several NCAA division I and II schools were scouting for players at last weekend’s tournament. Spirka did not meet with any college in particular. However she and her family visited Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, PA, and Holy Family University in Philadelphia. Spirka said she liked both programs, but says she’s far from making the decision at this time. As of now, Spirka says she has one more year left at Twin Valley and she hopes to make the most of it.
“The experience Devon’s gained has been invaluable,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “The kids put in the extra time and effort there and Devon’s skills have improved dramatically.”