The 2023 Nike World Basketball Festival was more than just a tournament; it was a celebration of basketball culture, a gathering of the world’s finest athletes, and a showcase of the best products and experiences in the sport. Amidst the glittering backdrop of Lincoln Center in New York City, one young player stood out as a beacon of talent and determination – Keira Scott, an elite girls’ basketball player from DME Academy.
The festival, held from September 15 to 16, brought together the brightest stars in the world of basketball. The event aimed to usher in a new era of basketball culture, designed especially for, and with, the next generation of players and fans. With its electrifying atmosphere and world-class competition, the festival lived up to its promise.
The competition showcased four selectively assembled regional teams, each consisting of nationally-ranked talent. Scott was among a select group of just thirty-five athletes who received invitations to participate, proudly representing the ‘South’ regional team.
Standing tall at 6’2″, Scott is a versatile wing known for her incredible skills and accuracy, especially from the 3-point line. She is a standout player for DME Academy, and after the upcoming season, will take her talents to Syracuse University.
However, this past weekend, she was in the spotlight for leading her ‘South’ team to a resounding tournament victory. Scott’s exceptional performance was a key factor in her team’s success, and she left her mark on the tournament with a memorable 3-pointer shot with just one minute remaining in the championship game. Adding a touch of star power to the celebration was rapper Travis Scott, who was on hand to present the championship trophy to Keira and her victorious teammates.
Scott summed up her experience at the festival with enthusiasm, stating, “I had a great time and experience playing with the top competition from around the world, in such a monumental place in NYC.” DME Academy takes immense pride in Scott’s achievements and her role as a symbol of excellence in women’s basketball. Her journey from DME Academy to the global stage of the 2023 Nike World Basketball Festival is a testament to her talent, hard work, and the academy’s commitment to fostering young athletes’ growth.
As Scott looks forward to her upcoming season with DME Academy and her future at Syracuse University, basketball fans everywhere eagerly await the next chapter in her remarkable journey. With her dedication and undeniable talent, there is no doubt that Keira Scott is destined for even greater heights in the world of basketball.
To learn more about DME Academy’s prestigious girls basketball program, click here.
DME Academy takes immense pride in fostering talent that transcends borders, and Lara Barnes is a testament to our commitment to nurturing the best. A standout Shooting Guard on DME Academy’s High School National Girl’s Basketball team, Barnes recently made headlines by representing Turkey in the 2023 FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship held in Izmir, Turkey from August 11 to 19, 2023.
Barnes demonstrated her incredible skill set as she donned the Turkish national jersey during this prestigious international tournament. Notably, she led the team in points per game with 9, and 3-point shooting efficiency, which stood at just over 35%. Her sharpshooting from beyond the arc was a crucial factor in Turkey’s success during the championship.
Mike Panaggio, DME Director and Head Coach of girl’s basketball, couldn’t be more thrilled about Barnes’ achievements. He shared, “Lara is an exceptional talent, and her performance at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship is a testament to her dedication and skill. We are excited to have her back at DME Academy as she prepares for the upcoming high school season. Her experience on the international stage will undoubtedly elevate her game and inspire her teammates.”
Barnes’ journey from the DME Academy court to representing Turkey at an international tournament exemplifies the exceptional training and development opportunities available to our athletes. It’s not just about honing their skills but also providing them with the exposure and experience needed to compete at the highest level of basketball.
This achievement reflects the collective effort of Lara Barnes, her coaches, and the entire DME Academy community. As she returns to her training regimen at DME Academy, Barnes is set to continue her growth and success, both as an individual player and as an integral part of the elite squad at DME.
DME Academy takes immense pride in our athletes’ achievements, and Lara Barnes’s journey is a shining example of what can be accomplished with determination, dedication, and world-class coaching. DME looks forward to another remarkable season with Barnes and the rest of the very talented High School National squad.
To learn more about how you can become a part of DME Academy’s elite girl’s basketball program, click here.
DME Academy’s girls basketball program proudly announces that not one, not two, but four of their exceptional players have earned spots on the prestigious ESPN HoopGurlz Top 100 List for the 2024 recruiting class. Tahj Bloom, Ines Goryanova, Tabitha Betson, and Keira Scott have all earned well-deserved recognition for their outstanding skills, dedication, and hard work.
Tahj Bloom, a 6’3″ forward from Chicago, Illinois, has secured the 38th spot on the list. The 8th-ranked forward recently committed to DME Academy for the upcoming season, and her impact is anticipated to be nothing short of extraordinary. Bloom is a top recruit in the 2024 class, having received numerous offers from top Division I programs but ultimately committing to Mississippi State.
Next on the list is Ines Goryanova at #71, marking an impressive ascent of 8 spots since the last rankings. Hailing from London, England, Goryanova is a 4-star point guard who has garnered attention from over 35 colleges across the nation. With her sights set high, she has recently narrowed down her prospective schools to an electrifying Top 8, which reads like a who’s who of collegiate basketball—Louisville, West Virginia, Auburn, Baylor, Iowa State, and more. Goryanova’s dedication and skill set make her a valuable asset to any team she joins.
Tabitha Betson, a 6’2″ forward from Melbourne, Australia, holds the 80th spot on the list. Betson’s ability to dominate in the paint is complemented by her versatility on both offense and defense, and she’s expected to be a strong leader for this DME Academy team in the upcoming season. Betson received offers from over 30 Division I women’s basketball programs, and has now narrowed her choices down to a select group of 12 schools, including powerhouses such as Syracuse, Clemson, and Maryland.
Last but certainly not least, Keira Scott stakes her claim at #97. Hailing from Falls Church, Virginia, this 6’2″ wing has already secured her future at Syracuse University, a testament to her exceptional skills both on and off the court. She’s expected to put a lot up on the board for DME Academy this season, especially from the 3-point range.
As the 2023-24 season looms on the horizon, DME Academy’s girls basketball program stands on the precipice of greatness. With an ensemble of talented players who have not only secured their places among ESPN’s HoopGurlz Top 100 but also demonstrated the commitment and passion that fuels their drive, success is inevitable. Michael Panaggio, Director of Girls Basketball at DME Academy, stated, “We are immensely proud of Tahj, Ines, Tab, and Keira for their remarkable achievements. Their inclusion in the ESPN Top 100 List is a testament to their dedication, hard work, and boundless potential. We are excited to see them continue to excel and make a significant impact both on and off the court.”
To learn more about DME Academy’s elite girls basketball program, click here.
The DME Academy campus was buzzing with excitement as we welcomed a total of 200 students for the new academic year. Among them were both familiar faces returning to continue their educational journey and fresh faces eager to embark on their DME experience. To kick off this exciting new chapter, DME Academy hosted a vibrant Welcome Week from Sunday, August 20, to Friday, August 25, packed with engaging events that aimed to foster connections, create lasting memories, and set the tone for a fantastic year ahead.
Welcome Back BBQ
On August 20, DME Academy set the stage for an unforgettable week by hosting a Welcome Back BBQ. The campus was alive with laughter and camaraderie as students, their families, and the DME community came together to share stories, enjoy delicious food, and create new friendships. This event not only eased the transition for newcomers but also provided a warm welcome to returning students, making them feel right at home.
Outdoor Movie on the Pitch
Under the stars and against the backdrop of the sprawling DME Academy campus, students gathered for a unique movie night experience on August 21. The outdoor screening of “Creed 3” on a massive screen brought students together to relax, unwind, and enjoy a cinematic masterpiece.
Selfie Scavenger Hunt
August 22 brought out the competitive spirit in DME students with the thrilling Selfie Scavenger Hunt competition. Armed with a list of items and places to find, student teams embarked on an exhilarating quest around the campus. Armed with their phones, they captured creative selfies with each item and checked it off the list. The first team to successfully locate all the list items was crowned the winner!
In the midst of the bustling Welcome Week, August 23 offered a serene moment of tranquility with Sunset Yoga. Students gathered to rejuvenate their bodies and minds, guided by the soothing ambiance of the setting sun. The practice allowed participants to find balance amid the excitement, fostering a sense of well-being that they could carry forward into their academic endeavors.
August 24 marked the pinnacle of Welcome Week with the much-anticipated Fun Festival. The campus transformed into a carnival wonderland, complete with Kona Ice treats and a medley of inflatables, including obstacle courses, jousting arenas, slides, and a bungee run. The day offered an abundance of fun, and above all, plenty of laughter!
National Banana Split Day
As Welcome Week drew to a close on August 25, students celebrated National Banana Split Day in style. Armed with a variety of delectable toppings, students crafted their own banana split sundaes, turning a beloved dessert into a memorable social experience. The event provided the perfect conclusion to a week full of bonding, camaraderie, and shared experiences.
DME Academy’s 2023 Welcome Week proved to be an extraordinary initiation into the new academic year. From the heartwarming connections formed during the Welcome Back BBQ to the exciting challenges of the Selfie Scavenger Hunt and the pure fun of the Fun Festival, students were reminded that their DME journey is not only about education and athletics, but also about forging lasting friendships and unforgettable memories. DME looks forward to the incredible year ahead, building upon the unity and spirit of Welcome Week to create an environment where every student can thrive.
Interested in becoming a student at DME Academy? Connect with us!
In the realm of high school girls basketball, one standout talent has been making waves in the recruiting arena. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Tabitha Betson, a remarkable 6’2” forward in the class of 2024 at DME Academy, has embarked on an awe-inspiring journey through the world of college recruitment. Her prowess on the court has attracted the attention of a long list of Division I programs, setting the stage for an exciting chapter in her athletic career.
Among the array of scholarship offers from over thirty prestigious institutions, Betson has meticulously curated a list of twelve prospective schools that have captured her interest. This list includes esteemed names like:
As the school year commences, Betson plans to embark on a series of visits to these institutions, with each step bringing her closer to the decision that will shape her future.
Beyond her elite basketball skills, Betson’s character shines through as an exceptional teammate and a natural leader. DME Academy’s coach, Mikey Panaggio, attests to her integral role within the team dynamics. Having earned her place as one of the select few returning players, Betson’s value as a team player is indisputable. Panaggio envisions her continued growth, as a leader both on and off the court, priming her for the challenges of the next level while propelling the team to new heights in the upcoming season.
As Betson navigates the intricate landscape of college programs, her discernment is focused on finding the perfect synergy between her playing style and her future team’s system. This meticulous approach extends to evaluating the team’s culture, goals, and how she fits into the program’s tapestry.
In the realm of international athletes transitioning to the American game, Betson defies convention. Her swift adaptation has caught the eye of her coach, who marvels at her journey. Mikey Panaggio said, “Tab’s well-earned recruitment and her remarkable transformation in just 10 months stand as a testament to her exceptional talent. She embodies the essence of a true post player, a rare find in the basketball world.”
It’s clear that Betson’s multifaceted excellence, remarkable talent, and natural leadership positions her as an invaluable asset to any team. As her narrative continues to unfurl, enthusiasts eagerly await Betson’s decision, pondering which fortunate program will have the privilege of welcoming her into their fold.
Interested in becoming a part of DME Academy’s nationally ranked girls basketball program? Click here.
Laura Stegall, DME Academy’s hardworking and selfless Athletic Director, will be leaving Daytona, and her DME family could not let her go without thanking her for all that she’s done for our student-athletes, staff, and academy.
Stegall joined DME Academy in 2021, after launching the women’s volleyball program at Daytona State College and coaching the Falcons for seven years. During her time at DSC, she produced six nationally-ranked teams and was named AVCA Southeast Region 2 Year College Coach of the Year in 2019. Stegall mentored her student-athletes on and off the court, averaging a 3.5 or above program GPA each year and boasting a near perfect graduation rate during her coaching career.
At DME Academy, Stegall continued to lead her student-athletes to success by being a mentor, guide, and ‘second mother’ to most, especially DME’s volleyball players. She has helped to develop well-rounded student-athletes, and has improved their performance in the classroom, on the court, and in life. Stegall’s leadership has been instrumental in setting a standard of excellence at the academy that has been embraced by DME’s student-athletes, staff, and families alike.
Dan Panaggio, Owner and Co-Founder of DME Academy, stated, “Laura Stegall has been a huge part of the growth of DME Academy. She was a selfless and tireless worker that had the respect of everyone. She is leaving quite a hole in the heart and soul of our school. We will miss her kindness and friendship.”
To hear more about the impact Laura Stegall has had on the DME community, watch the video below:
DME Academy wishes Laura and the entire Stegall family good luck on their next adventure in life, and looks forward to seeing them find continued success. The Stegall’s will truly be missed, but will forever be a part of the great DME Academy Family.
Kris and Keegan Murray were at it again. The twin brothers, who made a name for themselves at DME Academy, put on a show during this year’s NBA Summer League.
Keegan Murray was the talk of the California Classic held at the Golden 1 Center, where he finished as the top scorer of the event on his home court. In the Sacramento Kings’ first game of the event, Murray helped his team to a 100-94 win over the Golden State Warriors, leading all scorers with 29 points. Two days later in a match up against the Miami Heat, Murray topped his already-stellar performance by racking up 41 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and a block. Murray closed out the event in front of a jaw-dropped home crowd as the California Classic’s top scorer, with 70 points in 62 minutes of play and an undefeated 2-0 record for the Kings.
In his brother’s NBA debut, Kris Murray proved why he was a 2023 first-round draft pick. In the Trailblazers third game of the NBA Summer League, Murray led his team to a 97-93 win over Charlotte at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Blazers forward contributed 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 7 rebounds in his 32 minutes on the court. His scoring efficiency is something that Portland is sure to be excited about for the upcoming NBA season.
Kris and Keegan Murray both attended DME Academy as post-graduate basketball players, where their recruiting stock took a turn for the better. They went on to continue their careers in the Big Ten, donning the black and gold for the University of Iowa. In 2022, Keegan Murray was drafted as the fourth overall pick to the Sacramento Kings. The 6’8” small forward had a notable rookie year, averaging 12.2 points and shooting 41% from the 3-point range, helping the Kings make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and earning himself a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. A year after Keegan was drafted, his brother Kris was picked up by the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. The Murray brothers’ careers have been nothing short of impressive, and we can only expect continued success at the professional level from here.
DME Academy’s basketball program develops student-athletes to compete at the highest level. To find out more, click here.
DME Academy boys basketball student-athletes, Moustapha Thiam and Elijah Duval, have both earned spots on the prestigious ESPN Top 100 ranking list.
Moustapha Thiam, the 7’0” 200lb center for DME, earned the 51st spot on the list of 2025 recruits. Thiam’s impressive size, combined with his basketball IQ, make him an easy target down low and a scoring machine. Despite his age, he’s already a leader on the court and receiving offers from colleges who want him to be a part of their team.
Occupying the 76th spot on the 2024 list is Elijah Duval, a 6’2″ point guard for DME. He recently reclassified as a 2025 and transferred to DME, where he’ll have the opportunity to develop under an elite coaching staff, and showcase his talents against the top teams in the nation. Duval is a four-star, nationally-ranked playmaker with incredible court vision, who’s expected to do great things in Daytona.
If you dream of becoming an ESPN Top 100 caliber player like Thiam and Duval, check out DME Academy’s boys basketball program.
Dominika Paurova, a DME Academy graduate (‘23), represented the Czech Republic at the 2023 FIBA Women’s Eurobasket tournament held in Tel Aviv, Israel from June 15-23.
At just 18 years old, the Czech Republic native was the second-youngest athlete competing in this year’s tournament, but that was no problem for Paurova. With 4 points, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block in the fourth quarter of their game against Greece, the 6’1” small forward helped her team advance to the quarterfinals.
The Czech Republic team finished seventh overall in the tournament with a 3-3 record, and the women’s team from Belgium took home the title with a win over Spain for their first-ever FIBA EuroBasket championship.
As Paurova continues to build on her impressive basketball career, the next stop along the way is Oregon State University. She joins the Beavers as one of three incoming freshmen for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Oregon State women’s basketball head coach, Scott Rueck, said of Paurova, “Beaver Nation will love the competitive and exciting nature she brings to the court, as well as her creativity on the offensive end.”
To learn more about how DME Academy can help take your basketball career to the next level, click here.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The DME Academy at St. John’s Northwestern Academies partnership took center stage at the 2023 NBA Draft as two former standout products of each academy were selected in the first round of the draft.
On Thursday, June 22, 2023, Brandin Podziemski, a 2021 graduate of SJNA, was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the 19th pick. Soon after, the Portland Trail Blazers utilized the 23rd pick to add DME Academy post-graduate basketball alumnus, Kris Murray, to their roster.
Launched less than a month prior to the draft, the 2023 NBA Draft was a banner night for the DME at SJNA program. With two draft picks in quick succession, the partnership announced itself under the bright lights of the Barclays Center as a hub for top talent, and laid a clear pathway to the highest levels of the game for the next generation of DME at SJNA student-athletes.
With 11-year NBA veteran Wesley Persons set to coach the newly established DME at SJNA teams in the upcoming season, and DME co-founder Dan Panaggio’s wealth of NBA coaching experience, the new partnership is set to take flight and offer its students next level experience and guidance that is solely found through the DME at SJNA program.
Before they heard NBA commissioner Adam Silver call their names out on Thursday (June 22) night, both Brandin and Kris put in the work and shined on their respective campuses.
At St. John’s Northwestern, Podziemski accumulated more than 2,000 career points, was recognized as a three-time All-State honoree, and in 2021, he was awarded the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Basketball and the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. After graduating from SJNA, he continued his basketball career at Santa Clara University.
Murray, too, was very successful at the academy level. At DME, he averaged 17.1 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, and shot 48 percent from the field. Wesam Al-Sous, former DME Academy head basketball coach, said, “Kris was our glue guy. He was the guy that could do it all.” Murray went on to have a stellar career at the University of Iowa, where both his twin brother and father also played basketball.
Catch Brandin and Kris getting geared up for the NBA season next week (July 3-6) at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada. With a strong preseason, DME at SJNA fans can expect to see more of their favorite stars on the NBA stage come October and the start of the 2023-24 season.
The partnership between DME and SJNA aims to continue to produce elite student-athletes, like Brandin Podziemski and Kris Murray. To learn more or apply to be a part of the DME at SJNA partnership in Delafield, Wisconsin click here: DME at SJNA
To follow along with Kris Murray’s journey from DME Academy to the big leagues, click here.
About DME Academy
DME Academy is a premier sports and education facility located in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Academy provides a range of sports programs for athletes of all ages and skill levels, as well as top-notch educational opportunities. DME Sports Academy’s mission is to empower young athletes to reach their full potential on and off the field. To learn more, visit www.dmeacademy.com.
About St. John’s Northwestern Academies
Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Academies develops young men and women inspired to become responsible citizens and moral and ethical leaders for the global community through excellence in Academics, Leadership Skills, Spiritual and Character Development, and well-being through Athletic Activities and Healthy Life Habits. For more information, visit sjnacademies.org.